How to improve memory

The first two steps are perhaps the most critical. If you are at the office and are reading emails and the phone rings stop reading, pick up your note pad and pen, and listen to what the caller has to say, otherwise you are dipping into the same resource pool and will come up dry in the end!

  • Pay attention
  • Focus on just one thing at a time (remember the ressource pools)
  • Repeat, rehearse and write things down in a notebook
  • Elaborate on the information and create associations in your head

Find out how to improve memory from the experts

Memory has led to some pretty amazing feats, throughout history. When Mozart was 14-years old, he could write down an entire half-hour long piece of music from memory. More recently, memory champions have been setting astonishing records, such as remembering 364 playing cards in 10 minutes. While we assume that the brains of these memory champions must be extraordinary, it was proven in 2002 that their brains are no different to ours. So how do they remember so much?! Memory is not an innate human capability, nor does it decline with age – it only declines because we expect it to (New Scientist). It is clear that memory is a skill which can be improved and must be practised, like any other mental skill. The answer of how to improve memory lies in a method based on association and imagination.

Brain

An important skill to learn which will improve memory is association. This means linking what you want to remember with something else. Imagine that by associating this memorable object to something else, that you are attaching a tag to it. For example, a similar method of association we use elsewhere is putting ideas into context or linking ideas. It will be much easier to recall this memorable object when you have an associative tag to grab onto! For example, if you have an appointment with your dentist at 3pm, associate these items, for example you know the dentist has 3 children, or you have 3 teeth to pull out. Or, make your own association, think of the 3 musketeers with floss and mouthwash! The more personal the association, the more you improve memory of the information.

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How to improve memory with imagination

Imagination

Imagination is a potent skill to learn to improve memory. If you can attach vivid images or stories to what you have to remember, you will find that your memory of this is strengthened. For example, you need to remember the following shopping list: chicken, apples, toothbrush. Create an imaginative story which links all of these together, such as the chicken coming to life and eating messy chunks out of the apple, and then brushing its beak to remove the apple pips! Visualise this clearly – hear the squawking and crunching, and then the brushing with apple pips flying everywhere and the smell of the mashed up apple. Using all of your senses and creating a funny and unusual scenario will improve memory of these items.

The act of Mind Mapping increases association, imagination and creativity – so it is the perfect tool to improve memory. Find out how to a create a Mind Map to get yourself comfortable with the technique.

So how exactly do Mind Maps improve memory? Let’s take a look:

  • Mind Maps only contain keywords. This means that the information to remember is prompted by short, memorable words with meaning – not reams of notes!
  • Mind Maps promote associations and connections. As we know, association is an important way to improve memory. Mind Maps not only encourage association, the connections between your ideas will also be laid out clearly on the page as a visual reminder.
  • Mind Maps use colour and images, which stimulate your imagination. Imagination is the key secret to improve memory, and the visually exciting nature of a Mind Map full of colours, images and symbols will certainly get your imaginative juices going!
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In this article, we have given you some useful – and simple! – tips to improve memory. You will find that the more you use Mind Maps, the more information you will remember, as your creativity will be engaged and your brain will constantly be making associations between ideas. And don’t you forget it!

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