More and more people across all
age groups complain of memory difficulties. Read on to discover how you can
improve your memory with just a few simple tricks. First step: Repetition
The more associations an information triggers and the more sensory channels are
activated, the more opportunities there are to integrate the information in
knowledge structures already stored in your long-term memory!
To purposefully embed your knowledge as active knowledge in your long-term
memory, it all comes down to repeating things often enough. According to this
principle, you should repeat important information on the 1st, 3rd,
7th, 14th and 30th day. It is also a good idea
to repeat this once more after three months. However, you should avoid
overlearning - only repeat the part which you have forgotten by then. And
working over the information from another perspective (profound repetition) is
best here. Memory psychologists maintain that once material has been stored in
your long-term memory, it will never be lost.
Second step: The art of remembering
There is nothing more unpleasant than forgetting names. If you did not
understand a person's name the first time around ask them to repeat it. By
following these three steps, you will be able to store names more permanently
in your long-term memory.
- Try to find an unusual feature about the person (what immediately catches
- Associate the name with an image (what does the name remind
- Create an association between that person's characteristic and an image
of the name. For example, is Mr. Hightower tall and skinny? Why not picture him
as a skyscraper!
It is important that you repeat regularly the correct name together with the
image in order to store it in your long-term memory. This method is similar to
learning new vocabulary.
First names are easier to memorize because there is a list of all first names.
Why not associate images with the name of people you know. For example, Andrew
holding Saint Andrew's Cross, Sandy in the sandpit. =) So if you know any
Andrews, you will imagine them holding Saint Andrew's Cross, while all Sandys
you know will be playing in the sandpit, and so on.
Third step: Take a break so that your
short-term memory is not saturated
The more you strain yourself when taking in information, the more stressed you
will be – this will lead inevitably to a sudden arrest in the flow of thoughts
(releasing adrenaline and noradrenaline). In that case, there is only one
remedy: Taking a break during which your short-term memory can do its thing.
The breaks should be well-measured: not too short as the short-term memory
won't have enough time to rest; not too long as you may have difficulties getting
back into the material ("warming up").