Unlike fine wine, memory is one thing that doesn’t get better over time. Let’s face it. As we get older and busier, it gets harder and harder to remember every single thing. With our hectic schedules, it’s easy to forget something and let it fall through the cracks. However, your memory isn’t a completely lost cause. There are things you can do to gradually improve it and strengthen your memorization skills over time. Let’s take a look at four simple tricks that can help you improve your memory skills:
Write it all down.
How often have you tried to remember something, only to completely forget what it was 2 minutes later? All too often. A simple way to remember something is to write it down. Especially if you often have meetings, it’s helpful to write quick thoughts or important notes down. Otherwise, it all starts to blend together and it becomes hard for you to retain or differentiate it. Make it a habit to carry a small notepad and pen with you so that you can jot down notes at anytime. You can also use your phone. Apps such as Evernote are great for collecting and storing your ideas.
Use a mnemonic device.
Our brains have a tendency to remember funny or interesting phrases that catch our attention. That’s why mnemonic devices can work so well. A mnemonic device is a technique that is used to help you retain something specific in your brain. It can be anything from an acronym to rhymes. For instance, remember the phrase “Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally” from grade school? That helped us remember order of operations in mathematics. Using the same techniques can help you remember your thoughts, even if it is complex.
Challenge your brain.
When we have the same routine over and over again everyday, our brain gets use to it. It becomes very comfortable for us to do on a daily basis. It’s almost like second nature. However, when you’re doing the same things everyday, you’re not keeping your mind sharp. Make it a habit to challenge yourself everyday. You don’t have to learn a whole new skill. Something as simple as playing a word puzzle can challenge you and your mind and help you think more quickly on your feet.
Repeat it to yourself.
Repetition is a proven memory trick that really works if you do it right. When you have something important you want ingrained in your memory, repeat it over and over again to yourself as much as you need. Pretty soon, you’ll be reciting it subconsciously. This is a great way to remember names and phone numbers. Just make sure you don’t repeat it again and again out loud in public. Otherwise, you might get some stares.
These simple memory tricks can help you remember everything, from the simplest to even the most complex concepts. What’s your favorite memory trick to use?