Memory-Enhancing Tips and Tricks
Try using these memory-enhancing techniques can help improve your ability to learn new information and retain it over time.
One of the golden rules of learning and memory is to repeat, repeat, repeat. The brain also responds to originality and newness, so repeating something in a different way or at a different time will make the most of the novelty effect and allow you to build stronger memories. Examples:
· Taking notes.
· Repeating a name after you hear it for the first time.
· Repeating or paraphrasing what someone says to you.
A day planner or your smart phone calendar (the world of modern technology!) can help you keep track of appointments and activities, also can serve as a journal where you can write anything you would like to remember. Writing down and organizing information reinforces learning.
· Try jotting down conversations, thoughts, experiences.
· Review current and previous day’s entries early in the day when your day gets started, perhaps at breakfast and again towards the evening, dinnertime another good possibility.
· If you use a planner and not your smart phone, keep your planner in the same spot and always take it with you whenever and wherever you go.
Learning faces and names is a particularly hard task for most people. In addition to repeating a person’s name, you can also associate the name with an image. Visualization strengthens the association you are making between the name and the face. Example:
· Link the name Rose with the flower and imagine Rose holding the flower in between her teeth, doing the tango J
· Positive, pleasant images that are vivid, colorful and three dimensional will be easier to remember.
· Rather than just trying to visualize and image, try to smell, hear and touch as well. Make “sense”.
When you are having difficulty recalling a particular word or fact, you can cue yourself by giving related details:
· Using alarms or a kitchen timer to remind you of tasks or appointments.
· Placing an object associated with the task you must do in a well-known, important place at home. I.e., if you want to order tickets to a play, leave a newspaper ad for the play near your computer or telephone.
When you are trying to remember a long list of items, it can help to group the items in sets. This strategy builds on organization and association, and helps to extend our short-term memory capacity by chunking information together instead of trying to remember each piece of information independently.
· i.e., if you have a list of 20 items on your grocery list, you can group them by category such as dairy, produce, frozen foods, canned items.