Have you ever tried memorizing a long list of words for an English test? Or tried memorizing multiple lines from a play script?
Honestly, how did it go?
Let’s make it a little simpler; what is the name of the last new person you recently met?
I have always envied people who had brilliant memories. They seem to be able to recall things that were mentioned in class at the beginning of the session, they can easily recall the name of all the students in the class. Also, no matter how much information they have to go through, they are able to reproduce that information almost flawlessly while some of us still struggle to recall the name of the person we just met a few minutes ago.
In this post, we will be discussing proven techniques that are capable of helping you memorize anything easily and faster.
How Does Your Memory Work?
Before we move further, we need to, first of all, understand how our memories work.
Our memory is basically how we acquire, store and recall information. You can liken it to a computer, where you input information into an application such as Microsoft word, store it in your local directory and recall it at a later time when you need it. This is the same process we go through, except that our own computer is our brains.
So, we acquire information from books, movies, songs, and so on; these information are stored in our brains for later use when they will be recalled. For example, a school examination or a song presentation.
The process of memorization can be summarized as; Acquire – Store – Recall.
Why Do We Forget?
So, the next question is, why is it sometimes difficult to recall some of the information we have acquired? Why do we forget certain things during an examination or a presentation?
This is simply because there are two sides to our memories; Long term and short term.
Short term memories hold on to information for a short period of time – from a couple of seconds to a few minutes. While long term memories hold on to information for a longer period of time. They could last for days, months, years and even decades.
The default storage point for any new knowledge or information is actually our short-term memory. Immediately you read a page in a book, it is stored temporarily in your short term memory. This way, if you do not do anything about it after a brief period of time, it gets lost. However, when a piece of information or knowledge is worked on – that is, you act on it either by repetition or practising it – it moves from the short-term memory to the long term memory, which lasts a longer period of time.
How Can You Boost Your Memory 10 Times?
One of the biggest mistakes we make when learning is we try to learn new things without understanding what works best for us. We learn by; reading, listening, watching or a combination of either or all of them. Understanding your preferred mode for learning new things takes you a step closer to memorizing things easily since you will most likely remember what you are most familiar with.
Research has shown that adequate rest/sleep is very important for a clear mind, which is very important when trying to memorize new information. Getting a good night sleep or taking a nap after learning something new is an easy way to boost your memory.
The best way to move information from short-term memory to long-term memory is to be intentional about whatever you learn. Practicing whatever you learn helps you to add it to your long term memory, ensuring that you don’t forget the information. Also, the same way physical exercise helps your physical body, mental exercise helps you boost the capacity of your brain and helps you retain more information easily. Tests, assignments, brain-tasking games and all are very helpful with this.
Write things down
Writing things down with a pen and on a paper is also a way of exercising your brain and repeating whatever you have learned, further strengthening your memory storage system.
Relate new things to something you know already.
Relating new information with already familiar things around you helps you to remember things easily. New information might be a little difficult to process, but when they are associated with pre-existing information, whenever you want to recall that information, all you need to do is to recall that familiar information, and you will remember the information you are looking for. For example, when you associate a piece of new information with an image that you are familiar with, all you need to do is to recall that image and you will be able to remember the information that you need.
Teach other people
Research has also shown that teaching other people is one of the best ways to reinforce what you have learned. It is also a way of practising and exercising.
Mnemonics are specific memory techniques that help to easily remember the details of anything you are learning. It could be abbreviations, patterns of letters, ideas or associations like we mentioned earlier. An example is ROYGBIV which is used to remember the colors of the rainbow. This helps to reduce lengthy information into tiny bits that are easy to recall.
Try these 7 powerful secrets to boosting your memory and you will be amazed how it will help you remember things easily and faster.
Did I miss out on anyone, or you have something that works for you but is not listed here? Reply in the comments section.