Hack your learning potential with this one simple word

Imagine the massive amount of information your brain will process in your lifetime. Imagine all the great quotes, books, stories, or articles.

Did spending the time processing the information make a lasting impact? Did that inspirational quote change your daily life?

If you’re anything like me the answer is “not really.”


After deciding to embrace my natural talents as a coach and consultant, I started to devour an enormous amount of relevant materials. I’m reading articles, listening to audio books (like The Power of Habits), and watching videos. I’ve signed up for classes, online courses (check out Cardone University), and webinars (such as “Be More Productive” by Dorie Clark).

Then I realized that I couldn’t remember specific lessons. What good is all this studying if I can’t recall information?

I stopped the mental abuse and set my brain free to work out a solution. When I am stumped I backed away from the problem and let my brain work on the problem while I do something else.

The “ah-ha moment” will eventually arrive.


The solution was to identify specific actions to perform while learning and processing the new info.

I developed the following acronym to help me extract and retain quality information: PACKETS.

PACKETS stands for…

P – Procedure

This is information that adds or modifies a procedure (a.k.a. routine or habit). The new info modifies my daily routine card on Trello or to my morning read (I’ll cover these in another post).


A – Action

This information causes an action item which I add to my to-do list on Trello.


C – Coach

Add/modify my coaching/consulting material


K – Knowledge

Information to retain but that doesn’t immediately need to be acted on.


E – Enjoy

Having fun will help you be more productive when applied correctly.


T – Toss

Don’t keep things around that have no relevance to life.


S – Share

Sharing helps great content impact the lives of more people.


Applying PACKETS has caused me to slow the hell down.

No more reading 10 articles in bed, a kindle book while sitting on the throne, and listening to an audiobook while I walk. I’ve constructed this framework for deliberate learning and immediate impact.

So here are three examples of how I’ve applied PACKETS:

  1. This article Make Yourself Happier by Doing One Creative Thing Every Day says that doing “Something as simple as mindless doodling, making a joke, or even daydreaming,” will help me be a happier person. So I added “doodle” to my afternoon routine.
  2. I read 5 Simple Things Tim Ferriss Does Every Morning (and You Should, Tooand tossed 1, 4, and already have 2 and 5 on my list, but I added #3 to my daily routine. 
  3. I read this quote today attributed to Seneca:

    Two elements must therefore be rooted out once and for all, – the fear of future suffering, and the recollection of past suffering; since the latter no longer concerns me, and the former concerns me not yet.”

    I enjoyed it so much that I added it to my morning read so that I can be reminded of it over the next few days.

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