A good memory is a tricky thing to master. No matter how hard you try, it's easy to forget even the most important information. By practicing these memory improving techniques regularly, you should see noticeable progress.
The best way to remember a thing – whether it's the name of something or a task you need to do – is to use vivid multi-sensory images. Employ humour, silly rhymes, exaggerated mind pictures and symbols to help you remember the information. The mind often rejects negativity so always make the images and codes pleasant. Ever had an advertising jingle stick in you head? Make up your own jingles using the information you need to remember.
These are some easy and effective mnemonics to help you with some common memory problems.
An acronym is formed when the first letter from each word in a phrase is combined to create a new word – for example, FBI is an acronym for Federal Bureau of Investigation. Acronyms can help you to remember groups of things. Just say you need to recall the three different types of rock; sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic is long and hard to remember, but SIM is a lot easier.
You can also form sentences to help you with longer groups; I think every school child knows the My Very Educated Mother mnemonic for remembering the planets.
If you're in the type of profession where you meet a lot of people, remembering their names can be tricky – but not if you use these tricks.
When someone is introduced to you, always repeat their name, "Hi (name), it's nice to meet you." By saying their name out loud, you are helping it to stick in your mind.
If the person's name means something else, visualise that something else as you talk to them; so if the person's name is Paige, think of a book.
Your brain loves alliteration so try to associate them with an alliterative descriptor, for example Andy the Accountant or Tall Tanya. Rhymes also work well.
I was going to do something...
Ever stride purposefully into a room, only to forget what you came in for? When this happens, retrace your steps. The majority of the times, your actions are triggered by a visual clue. You might see a poster for a movie, which reminds you that you need to return some overdue DVDs. By retracing your steps, you will see that poster again and that should trigger the memory.
There are many memory improvement classes and seminars throughout Australia for those who need more professional help. Try Brain Power Training, designed especially for corporate workers, or the less intense Mind, Memory and Motivation course at Lifestyle Learning Direct.
For a more enjoyable memory training, try these memory games. They are scientifically designed to help with different aspects of memory.
Forgetfulness is a frustrating personality trait, but with some dedicated memory training you can learn to nip it in the bud.