Listen In on the Conversation
What was this workshop about?
The study of The Oath continues! Building off the torrent of creativity and play that we go through as GMs, it’s important to dedicate time and energy to our memory. The power to recall and reference all the juicy details, lessons, and ideas we pick up throughout the week or even in the middle of the session.
I won’t spoil the whole workshop but I did want to jot down some of the principles I referenced throughout the discussion. Most of them were picked up from a book called 4-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss. It’s practically a textbook, but I have enjoyed the principles presented, even though the tone of the whole book comes off a little brazen.
This acronym is kind of his recipe for how to learn anything. I found it helpful in breaking down larger concepts into a framework I can work through. Essentially when I want to learn or remember something how to turn a huge task into smaller bites and where I should focus. But here’s what it means:
What are the building blocks of whatever you’re learning or doing? Deconstruct whatever you’re working on to it’s foundational pieces.
Once you have everything broken down into blocks, which 20% of the blocks should you focus on that will benefit you 80% of the time?
Now that you have identified the most important blocks, in what order will be the most beneficial? Does it make sense to learn one block before another?
After all that is done, what stakes can you establish to push yourself and motivate to put that learning into action? At some point, you have to move on from theory and into action.
The other acronym I shared builds off the first and helps focus on the secondary principles of learning and condensing new knowledge into applicable bits. This acronym breaks down as follows:
A good skill to develop is how to take a large subject and compress it down into something more manageable. For example, can you distill and entire RPG or World Setting into a single page?
Establishing how frequently you are putting this knowledge into practice will also determine the rate and ease of learning and memorization. It’s hard to remember something you only do every three months compared to something you do every day.
Lastly, can you encode this new knowledge for rapid recall? Does a bullet, acronym, or image bring to mind more than what is written? It’s a classic case of a picture is worth a thousand words.
Now I know that these acronyms won’t work for everyone. Memorizing, bullets, long-form notes, whatever. They all have a place and a person that resonates with them. So find what works for you and lean into it. Try things out and put effort into your own memory. I know that it will benefit your game. But what do you think? How do you remember everything you need for your games?