How to Retain the Most Information

Class session during mbu

According to Psychotactics, adjusting how you respond to learning something new can increase your retention of information up to 90%.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help retain more information at home and in your business from the experts:

Tips on Retaining What You Read

Remember what you read

Why am I reading this? Continuously check in with yourself and ask yourself if you are still on task.

Skim first

This puts an emphasis on headings, pictures, graphs and key paragraphs. Slow down and read carefully only the parts that contribute to fulfilling the purpose. Skimming primes the memory, orients thinking, and makes it easier to remember certain things. The Internet is designed for skimming! Is your website set up to skim or for in-depth reading?

Get the reading mechanics right

Make sure your website is designed for skimming, not in-depth reading. This means eyes can skim easily in short blocks of text.

Be judicious in highlighting and note taking

Make note cards of the meaning of words to help job your memory. Highlight key words, not full sentences, in the text or write keywords in the margin.

Think in pictures

Mental pictures can facilitate the memory for what you read. Think of something to associate what you are reading and voilà! A picture is worth a thousand words!

Rehearse as you go along

Read in short paragraphs and think about how it is satisfying the purpose of what you are reading. Ask yourself questions such as, “Do I understand this?” or “How much of this do I need to memorize?” Generate your own ideas. Paraphrase what is written as you continue to read.

Stay within your attention span and work to increase that span

Do not try to read if you are distracted. You will waste your time and not retain a single thing. If you are reading dense material, only read for 10–15 minutes at a time. Take breaks often so you can retain the most. Quiz yourself on what you have read. Discipline yourself so you can concentrate for longer periods.

Rehearse again soon

At the end of your session(s), rehearse what you have learned. Do it again at least twice during the day.  When you teach someone else on what you’ve learned immediately, your retention shoots up to 90%! Avoid distractions or interruptions that make you multi-task as this will interfere with long-term memory. Tell someone about what you read, or write it down.  See how much you retained.
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How is the content on your own website? Could clients and potential clients be falling into low retention due to your sleepy content? Perk them up with these tricks!

  1. 79% of web users scan rather than read. If they don’t find it on the page they’re visiting, they will click away and look somewhere else.
  2. The web is a “lean forward and participate” medium. Television is a “lean back and let it wash over me” medium. Think about what you can do to engage your clients so they lean in and stay on your page.
  3. Forget what you learned in high school: you need snappy, witty content! Don’t be complex; we aren’t poets.
  4. Write in an inverted pyramid. State your takeaway first and supporting sentences to follow. This helps scanners move from point to point.

Learning chart for remembering

  1. Have white space so things are easy to read. Line breaks, paragraphs that are no longer than four sentences each, bulleted lists, relevant links and pictures are a great way to do this.
  2. Double check yourself! Skim through your text. Do you understand the gist of everything? Look only at what is highlighted or what you’ve called attention to. Does it pull you in? Make you want to visit your business? Why would it get your attention?

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To put these skills and more to the test at MINDBODY University, join us at one of our next events! For a list of all upcoming events, please visit our website or call the MBU team at (877) 847-4504 to learn more.