Anyone that has ever lost their keys, forgot what they were supposed to get at the grocery store or arrived at the wrong time for a doctor appointment knows that memory can be tricky. You may always be able to recite all 50 American states, what year your children or siblings were born and what you had for dinner last night, but can you remember how many cars you passed on your drive home? Or how many emails you’ve read in the past week? In this article, we’ll give you a few strategies to improve your memory and help you do just that.
If you are looking to improve your memory a little bit, then use the knowledge that you have by teaching others. Doing this makes your brain fire in a different way, and it helps in increasing memory. The trick is to teach something that you are genuinely interested in sharing.
A useful strategy when tasked with the memory of new information is to restructure and reorganize the information. The simplest way to do this is to take the information and create a summary outline in a notebook or on your computer. This works for two reasons. It is easier to remember something that you have worked with, and the process also naturally reorders the information in a way that is easier for you to remember.
Writing by hand is a great way to help your memory. Writing with a pen or pencil engages your brain in a different way than typing on a computer. You can either copy out a speech your trying to memorize or keep track of your daily to do list by writing in a calendar. If you’ve written it out, you may be able to remember without even checking your list!
Mnemonic devices can be a great way to help you memorize information. Mnemonics are simply a way to remember facts by associating them with some familiar image or word. For example, each element of a list could be associated with a flower that starts with the same letter, or you could turn the list into a memorable rhyme.
Since repetition enforces memory, repeat important information over and over in your mind immediately after hearing or learning it. Be it the name of a new client or your wedding anniversary, by rehearsing information you will keep it fresh in your mind. Not only will this assist you in remembering the important details, but this is also a very useful exercise for your memory in general.
Be sure to visit a dentist and take good care of your teeth if you want to have a good memory. Tooth and gum disease have been known to clog your carotid arteries, which in turn decreases oxygen to the brain. Without enough oxygen, the brain cannot process and keep information.
Now that you have these strategies, try using them every day and see how your memory improves. Chances are you’ll still remember all 50 states and you won’t know the exact number of cars that you passed on your drive home but can you remember what you had for dinner now?