Imagine a flat desert in your mind.
There is nothing to see. No features, or anything you can recognize or mark. Just sand.
But you’ve decided to build something here.
So, you start making a pile of sand for your wall or digging a hole for your garden or, whatever.
The desert is hot though. You quickly feel tired and, after an hour or so, you have had enough.
So you leave the desert for somewhere cooler.
If you come back later that day – you can probably still find your building site quite easily, and you can continue building.
If you come back the next day – the building site will be a bit harder to find, but not impossible. However, it will be a bit flatter than before.
If you come back in a week though – your building site will be nearly gone! You will have to start almost all over again!
It gently smooths out the desert during the night, slowly restoring it back to its natural state.
Every night, in fact.
So what should we do?
How can we build?
The answer is – frequently.
We have to build on what remains, and do it OFTEN in order to have the best chance of success.
After all, the wind is never going to stop blowing.
This is a metaphor for learning.
The desert is your memory.
The act of building is learning something.
The wind is your brain cleaning up during sleep.
The rebuilding is reviewing what you have learned.
Whether it’s practicing your vocabulary, practicing your grammar, thinking about how to use language in context, or whatever you need to do to get comfortable – this is how the system of learning works, and how you should deal with it.
Without review, the knowledge you’ve gained will be lost over time.
The longer you leave the knowledge alone, the longer it takes to recover it.
So review everyday if you can, and save yourself some time later!