When we’re thinking about new approaches to learning, it seems that the time in between might be just as important as the method itself. In fact, this research supports actually including short breaks as part of the process rather than seeing them as ‘downtime’ or ‘non-learning’. It’s a boost to thinking about learning as lifelong and fulfilling rather than as standardised repetition.
Trying to learn a new skill? Researchers of a new study suggest that taking short breaks is key to really solidifying the new skills that we learn.
Many people who want to learn new skills practice a lot so that they can master it. However, researchers of a new National Institutes For Health study suggest that apart from practice, resting is also critical to truly mastering a new skill.
The researchers observed from the brain scans that the participants’ brains were changing and improving during the breaks rather than during the typing, and that these changes added up the learning they made during the day. In addition, those gains were found to be greater than the ones they observed when the volunteers came back to try again the next day.