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July 16, 2009 at 11:40 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Tips for a Slow Learner

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

While it is common for our children to face learning difficulties, it can be much harder when it is adults who have trouble learning. Learning difficulties can potentially interfere with work, education, and one's personal life and can trigger feelings of low self-worth and doubt.

Coping with Delayed Learning

You may have noticed throughout your adult life that certain tasks simply take you much longer to complete. All adults experience a delay in some sort of task; many have problems with mathematical or logical thinking, while others experience difficulty creating word based products. Usually we recognize our strengths and weaknesses and choose our professions accordingly. This way, we can maximize our strongest areas and limit exposure to those at which we are not so efficient.

Many people have automatically adapted certain behaviors to adjust to their weaknesses. A forgetful person may have made it a habit to keep a notepad with them to jot down items they need to remember. Professors often take snapshots of students to help learn student's names.  Most likely you already have certain behaviors you incorporate on a daily basis to help yourself overcome your weak areas.

Slow Learner or Learning Disability?

Since you've sought this article out, chances are you are concerned about your learning speed. You may have noticed certain difficulties in picking up new ideas or adapting to new changes. Often this difficulty begins at work, where we're constantly required to acclimate to new tasks, interact with new people and multi-task.

If you have a serious concern about your learning abilities, seek the advice of a medical professional, either your general practice doctor or a psychologist. It's possible you have a learning disability such as ADHD or dyslexia that is interfering with your daily life. These disabilities occur in adults as well as children, especially since we are more aware today of the signs and symptoms of these conditions. Hearing problems often interfere with learning in adults, as does depression or other mental illnesses. A qualified professional can check for these conditions and any others.

Lifestyle Habits

Your lifestyle habits may be contributing to memory problems. Being overweight has been linked to memory dysfunction, as has lack of exercise and a poor diet. And, since all three factors, diet, weight and exercise, are linked, it's easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Caffeine, tobacco use, and alcohol abuse can contribute, as well.

Tips for Slow Learners

If you have difficulty learning or remembering events or details, here are some tips to help you maintain optimal functioning:

  • Get Organized - Carry a notebook, date book, or digital device in which you can record and track important information. This can hold grocery lists, daily to-do lists, birthdays, meeting information, phone numbers, etc. Keeping all this information in one place allows for easy accessibility. However, try to keep a back up copy (PDA's can be uploaded to the computer) in case of accidental loss.
  • Leave Notes - A well-placed sticky note can be beneficial. Keep note-pads in various places that you or family members can use to communicate reminders.
  • Don't Multitask - While multitasking feels efficient, it can actually decrease focus and memory. Stick to one task at a time.
  • Remove Distractions - Maintaining focus will help you learn and remember.  Minimize workplace distractions with soothing music or white noise.  Use headphones if necessary.
  • Keep Your Mind Sharp - Minimize activities that allow your brain to zone out, such as watching television. Try to keep your mind sharp by engaging in challenging activities like chess, reading, crossword puzzles, or brain games.
  • Understand How You Learn - Know what environment suits your learning style best. Try different learning methods to see what is most effective. You may want to record presentations, take note in longhand, or learn by repeating the task yourself.


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