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."
Our December issue features Oprah's Favorite Things—as well as your chance to win them all! You'll also find our easy holiday declutter plan, Dr. Oz's guide to sleeping better (starting tonight) and the ultimate holiday menu.