If possible, always try to break up learning into separate sessions, rather than studying in a nose-to-the-grindstone marathon, according to Doug Rohrer, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, who has conducted several experiments in this area. "Say you take French eight hours a day for two weeks—language immersion courses yield excellent performance right after the class. However, if you want to know French in the long run, you're much better off spending that same amount of time distributed across a semester or a year." When you space out learning like this, he says, "you can have up to 100 percent more retention."
Declutter your life! Our March issue features a complete guide to streamlining your life, from Peter Walsh's 30-Day Organization Challenge to innovative ways to clear your mind. Plus, go behind the scenes of Oprah's yard sale and find out how you can improve the world with a simple "hello."