Having a sharp memory is important for a lot of reasons. Not only should it improve your professional life, but going to dinner parties and remembering everyone’s name is downright impressive. If you think you have been cursed with a terrible memory, I have good news for you: that’s not true. Anyone can improve their memory by following this simple advice. Learning how to remember things is vital. Many intelligent people have a hard time remembering things simply because they’re not attempting to recover the information (or store it) properly. Just follow these tips, you’ll see an improvement.
1.) Use the “snooze button:” To remember random information like an address or phone number, instead of repeating it to yourself, just rehearse it every 15 seconds or so for a few minutes. Don’t wait longer than that or else the memory will decay.
2.) The peg system: This may seem like a bizarre method to recall information, but he human body peg system works. What you do is imagine parts of the human body itself and use them as “pegs” to store information. You visualize an image of what you are trying to remember and associate it with a corresponding body part.
3.) Just sincerely FOCUS: Many people listen to music or have the television on while they study, but this actually significantly impairs the ability to memorize information. You can’t actually multi-task, you just jump in between tasks. So, to memorize information, just focus and limit other stimuli.
4.) Linking: If you link items together in a list (even if they are unrelated), it’s easier to remember them. A common way to link items together on a list is with a short story, where you incorporate every item.
5.) The keyword method: This is a useful trick when you need to memorize vocabulary when learning a foreign language. To use it, take a sound that you recognize from the new word, visualize that sound and then relate it to the new word you are learning.
6.) The method of Loci: This is also known as the Journey Method and the Roman Room Method. This old memory technique uses a “memory palace” or house. You mentally walk through an area where you have stored information. By walking through different rooms or areas, you can remember the information you stored in those rooms.
7.) Use the chunking method: According to research, you can hold about five to nine (seven on average) items in your working memory at one time. However, we can remember things like a phone number (10 digits-long) by chunking the information into groups. Therefore, that 10 digit phone number is only really three pieces of information.
8.) Setting the information: There is a phenomenon called context-dependent memory, where you can give yourself clues for remembering things based on the sensory input you are experiencing at the time of the memory. Researchers found that when test participants learned something underwater, they could recall the information better when underwater again.
9.) Using music to enhance memory: You shouldn’t distract yourself with music if you’re trying to remember something. Instead, putting long strings of text TO music (like lyrics) is an effective way to remember something. Think of all of the songs you learned in grade school to remember facts; that’s this mnemonic at work.
10.) Smell enhances memory: Smell is one of the most powerful memory recall devices possible. This sense memory is exceptionally strong because the nose is able to go directly to your memory center. If you were studying for a test and wearing a certain perfume, if you wore the same perfume during the test you may perform better.