The Best Times and Places to Learn
Is there a best time and place to learn?
Scientists tell us that our Brain Circadian rhythms play a big role in our cognitive performance which suggests that there is a best time to learn. We all experience natural peaks and troughs throughout the day which can affect our ability to focus, absorb information and learn.
For example, have you ever heard someone describe how they can jump out of bed, go for a run, check all their emails, and plan their day all before you’ve even had the chance to press the snooze button on your alarm clock? You could probably hazard a guess that they’re a ‘morning lark’. As the lark sings, morning people tend to feel alert and ready to go; they use the burst of energy they feel first thing in the morning to help them get into a learning mode.
Conversely, ‘night owls’ may feel sluggish in the morning and not ready for anything until they’ve had a shot of caffeine and time to revive. Instead, they may have a surge of energy in the evening and might find themselves concentrating on a task well into the night while others are fast asleep.
Questions to consider:
- When is the best time for you to learn?
- Are you in your best learning state in the morning or later in the day?
Ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve?
The best time and place to learn might also depend on what you’re trying to achieve. If your task requires lots of physical energy and interaction with other people you might find that you’ll learn better during the day, in the office, surrounded by colleagues. But, if you have more of a cerebral task to complete you may prefer the peace and tranquillity of a quiet space or the comfort of your own home.
Even learning at home can have its distractions however: noisy children, a load of laundry that needs doing, recycling boxes that need putting out or a partner that deserves some attention. That’s why you sometimes see people plugging into the WIFI in coffee shops or on the train; instead of being a distraction, the hustle and bustle that’s happening all around them is like white noise, relaxing and calming and undemanding.
Question to consider:
- What is the best environment for your STAR® learning?
Think about, how does it fit with your temperament
Another interesting factor that might determine the best time and place to learn is how congruent it is with your temperament. For example, do you consider yourself to be an extroverted learner or introvert learner? (This doesn’t necessarily have any relation to your social preference at parties!)
If you are introverted you may prefer to learn alone and have more time to think and reflect in order to embrace new ideas and concepts. As an extrovert, you might find you prefer to absorb the energy of having others around you and be in a position to discuss what you’re learning or implement your ideas straightaway. Both introverts and extroverts, however, can benefit from each other’s preferred style for a fully engaging learning experience.
Questions to consider:
- Do you consider yourself to be an extroverted or introverted learner?
- What does your answer tell you about the best time and place for you to plan to progress through your STAR® Journey?
- What best practices could you take from other types of learners to help you learn more efficiently and effectively?
When is the best time and place for YOU to learn?
There is no one ‘generic’ best time or place to learn, which can be problematic for some people who are forced to attend live group workshops that take place at a time and place that is incompatible with their learning style.
The beauty of your STAR® programme is that you have full autonomy over when and where you learn. In fact, you can learn in different environments every time you log on if you so wish, and you can learn for different lengths of time dependent on your mood, schedule and capacity thereby maximising your learning engagement and ensuring you get the biggest return on your learning experience.
Question to consider:
- So when and where could you complete your STAR® programme?
Whenever the best time and wherever the best place is for you to learn, take that opportunity to continue your STAR® journey - anytime, any place, any device - and you’ll complete your STAR® programme in no time at all.
In fact, what are you doing right now...?