Yeah, we have Wikipedia, but shouldn't you also want to use that thing between your ears more efficiently?

1. Write Things Down
In 2014, researchers at Princeton and UCLA found that by writing things down (on paper, with pen, no technology) you actually pay attention more and soak in that knowledge goodness at a deeper level. Being distracted by social media on laptops is one small piece of it, but also while you’re typing, transcription tends to be mindless and brain-flowy like the salmon of Capistrano.

2. Watch The Clock
Smart people at the Louisiana State University’s Center for Academic Success (a name so wholesome you know they know) recently found that learning in short bursts is actually more efficient than cramming an entire semester into one night. “Anything less than 30 is just not enough, but anything more than 50 is too much information for your brain to take in at one time,” writes learning strategies graduate assistant Ellen Dunn.

3. Skip The Drugs
We know, your deadbeat roommate who doesn’t take anything seriously claims to have found a breakthrough that makes him be a better person. So maybe, he’ll shoot higher than weekend shifts at Jimmy John’s? No, pills (nootropics, Modafinil, Adderall) aren’t a quick way to become smart. You’ll feel smarter, but plenty of studies show it’s all in your head and often just a way to burn your kidneys quicker than you already are. 

[cover photo via Shuterstock]