Improve your memory with these helpful tips.
We all would like to think that having the world’s knowledge at our fingertips makes us smart. But I fear the reality is different. Having everything readily available online does make it easier to find the information; however, it makes our memory worse. What’s the point of remembering someone’s telephone number if it’s saved in your iPhone? Why would you remember the birthday of your friend if Facebook knows it already? Slowly but steadily we remember less and less…but sometimes, we still need to rely on our memory. Here is how you can improve it.
Assign meaning to things you are trying to remember
Think about the subject you are learning and associate it with something you know already. Choose something that is really important to you; it will be easier to recall it later on if you have strong feelings about this thing.
New information is most strongly encoded in your brain when it’s related to something you already know. Use this fact to your advantage. The more logical connections you can make, the stronger the memory will be.
Learn general first and specific details later
Start by remembering general information first; then, add the specifics. This technique is also very helpful when you are trying to retrieve the information. If you know that a certain piece of information belongs to a broader category, it’s easier to access and remember the specific details.
Review and repeat frequently
Spaced-out repetition is a popular technique for better memorization of complex topics. As you’ll see on “the forgetting curve” below, the longer the gap, the more likely the information will remain memorized.
Recite things out loud
Read things you would like to remember out loud. Speaking aloud works by creating a “production effect” which helps to retain information in your memory.
Tell it in your own words
Try to repeat what you are trying to remember but using your own words. Keep trying until you don’t need to refer to your notes anymore.
Teach someone else
Explaining the material to someone is else is an amazing way to learn a new subject.
You probably used this technique at school but let’s quickly review how it works. Sentence mnemonics are great for remembering a set of information — the order of planets or the 7 levels of classification of living things. As an example, here is how you would remember the signs of the zodiac…
As Times Goes, Cowboys Love Viewing Little Stars So Cool And Pretty.
Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
You can use a similar technique to remember the words when you learn a new language, for example:
If you need to remember a lot of information, try dividing it into smaller chunks.
Act it out
Do you know how theatre actors can memorize pages of text? Because they are attributing emotions to every scene. Actors need to know why a specific character said what he did and try to show that emotion.
Use this technique by approaching every new subject that you are trying to learn as a story. Treat the material as a plotline to a movie, and the people as characters with specific motivations and emotions.
Good old flashcards are great if you need to remember certain facts. Shuffle cards and recite out loud. Write a question on one side, the answer on the other. Keep reviewing your cards until you get all the answers correct. For best results, combine this method with others such as a spaced-out repetition.