The Feynman Technique

Step 1. Choose the concept you want to understand.

Take a blank piece of paper and write that concept at the top of the page.

Step 2. Pretend you’re teaching the idea to someone else.

Write out an explanation of the topic, as if you were trying to teach it to a new student. When you explain the idea this way you get a better idea of what you understand and where you might have some gaps.

Step 3. If you get stuck, go back to the book.

Whenever you get stuck, go back to the source material and re-learn that part of the material until you get it enough that you can explain it on paper.

Step 4. Simplify your language.

The goal is to use your words, not the words of the source material. If your explanation is wordy or confusing, that’s an indication that you might not understand the idea as well as you thought – try to simplify the language or create an analogy to better understand it.


Step 5. Teach it to someone else for real.

Then you are forced to simplify the language :)

Step 6. See what other areas of your life the idea applies to.

Last updated