When I was 'studying' herbs before, I was very into gaining knowledge. I bought and half filled a journal with random bits of information about many different herbs and plants. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I can't tell you anything of substance that I wrote. I wrote it, but I didn't absorb it.
Now that I'm more seriously studying herbs and plants and nature in general, I'm taking my time with each thing. I'm learning all about an herb, how it's leaves grow, what it smells like, what it can be used for medicinally and culinarily (is that a word). I'm taking time to really stop and listen to the herb and I'm absorbing so much more.
I guess patience really is a virtue :P