Chris Hannah

The Best Way To Retain What You Read

Brett and Kate McKay:

We’re exposed to a torrent of media these days, much of it dross that we’re happy to forget in the time it takes to scroll to the next thing. But sometimes we’re reading a passage in a book or article that is so interesting or inspiring we feel we’d like to remember it for a long time. 

Typically, even if we mentally repeat and rehearse the arresting content, we find ourselves in the position described above — just a day, or even an hour later, we can’t recall what we read. Interesting, weighty, even potentially life-changing insights have permanently evaporated from our minds.

The solution:

If you’d like to retain and secure more of the information you consume instead of letting noteworthy knowledge pass right through you, here’s the best way to do so: share it with someone else.

I’ve never known the science behind this, but I’ve certainly noticed that I learn things better when I’m teaching it to others. Just like right now at work, I was on a training course where I didn’t quite remember everything. But when I was tasked with teaching other people, I found that I could recall the knowledge much easier.