Here’s how to quickly commit new things to memory.

Take a break. To retain something, you have to pay attention and be deeply engaged, but after awhile, the mind wanders. Take a break every 30-60 minutes.

Tune out the Internet. When taking in information online, it’s easy to let links and social media distract you. Get a productivity app to block these things when you’re engaged.

Ignore mobile interruptions. If you have trouble disregarding notifications, put your phone in Airplane mode or turn it off.

Link a fact to where you are. To strengthen that link, use your senses. In a coffee shop, tie the name of the person you met to the taste of your latte. In a store, link the price of an item to the song playing in the background.

Link a fact to something in your “memory palace.” This is a place you dream up with memorable components—a house full of antiques, an office packed with cartoon characters. You link a fact to each component—a Latin American country to each antique, for example. Thanks to our great visual and spatial memories, when you imagine the visual, you’ll recall the fact. This 20-minute TED Talk explains.

Here’s to learning everything you need to know to put together your best year ever!

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