Do you want to drastically improve your learning speed? By understanding the Ping Pong Learning Technique you absolutely can.
There’s no gimmicks, just a simple understanding of how the brain functions.
What is the Ping Pong Learning Technique?
At any time, our brains are using one of two modes. These are focus mode and diffuse mode.
Ping Pong learning is strategically switching between these two modes to maximize learning efficiency. Let’s go over each of them now.
Focus mode is activated when your brain is actively thinking about a specific task or problem. This mode uses a particular part of the brain. If you cannot work out a particular problem or mental task, then your brain essentially sends the problem to the diffuse mode part of the brain.
Diffuse Mode is the part of your brain that is active when you’re not actively thinking about anything. You can consider this a rested state. What happens in this rested state is quite amazing.
Your brain continues to work on the mental problem – unbeknown to the individual. In this deeper state, the mind is able to find connections the conscious mind is unable to make.
Once your Diffuse Mode brain has made a connection of discovery, it is sent back to the Diffuse Mode area of the brain. This is why sometimes when you’re walking or taking a shower, an idea can magically appear in your mind.
What we know now, is that it isn’t magic, it’s the diffuse mode part of the brain doing its job!
Using the Ping Pong Learning Technique
The Ping Pong Learning Technique involves taking strategic breaks during your learning schedule, allowing your brain to switch between focus and diffuse mode. Here are the two types of breaks you should be taking.
Micro-Breaks are 10-20 second breaks during your active learning. You would use these if you’re struggling with a mental problem or cannot get your head around something.
Simply take 10-20 seconds not thinking about anything. Think of it as a kind of mindfulness. Try to switch regularly between focusing and relaxing. Hopefully, once you have returned to your work, you will be better prepared for the problem.
20 Minute Breaks
Every 20 minutes, you should be looking to take a small extended break for about 5 minutes. This allows your mind to consolidate information it has absorbed and sends it over to the diffuse mode part of your brain.
If you want to learn more about the Ping Pong learning technique then here are some resources to get you going!
- Learning how to learn | Barbara Oakley
- How to Learn | Barbara Oakley
- Focused and Diffused Thinking: The Ping Pong Technique
Want to improve your learning even more, then why not check out our Memory Palace Guide!