Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is a technique that greatly improves your memory.

The process for spaced repetition is as follows:

  1. Document the things you want to remember (usually on flash cards)
  2. Periodically review your cards.
  3. Newly created cards, or cards that you've had trouble recalling, should be reviewed more frequently.
  4. As you begin to successfully remember cards, gradually reduce their review frequency.

As an example, here is how I might reinforce my memory of a Jiu-Jitsu technique using spaced repetition:

  1. Document the technique on a flash card.
  2. The next day, try to remember the technique.  Walk through it in my mind.  Then compare against what I wrote on the flash card.
  3. If I was successful in recalling the technique, try recalling it again in two days.  And then four.  Eventually, I'll only be recalling techniques once a month or year.
  4. If I'm not able to recall a technique, start reviewing it more frequently.  Once my recall improves, reduce the review frequency.

Spaced repetition can become cumbersome if you're doing it by hand, so I recommend doing it digitally.  I use an iOS app called SmartCards+ to do this on my phone.


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