Do you often find yourself wandering around the supermarket shelves asking yourself what else you had to buy?
Do you have the memory of a shrew?
Would you like to drastically increase your ability to memorize what you want in a simple and effective way?
Why is it important to have a good memory?
First of all, know that in general there are no people with little memory but only people who do not make the most of their internal resources, with the right techniques you can instruct your memory to learn and memorize whatever you want … or almost.
Practice and constant training will further improve your ability to memorize what you want.
By continuing to read this article you will find out
- How to keep your brain young and elastic
- Increase school and work performance
- Efficiently store books and large amounts of information
3 good reasons to improve memory
Trying out memory techniques without having a goal is like going on a journey without knowing what the destination is. So first, identify the areas of your life that you would like and a more powerful memory. By focusing on them you will also have the right incentive to learn the techniques. Here are 3 goals where you may want to improve your memory.
1. Improve your study skills
Memory techniques cannot help you better understand new information but it will help you store and retrieve information in the most correct way. This will improve, for example, your ability to retrieve information quickly and accurately during an exam.
2. Improve work performance
Improving memory can increase your work efficiency. For example, you could spend less time checking appointments and looking for information on the agenda. Having complete and accurate information speeds up the problem solving, the decision making and remembering the names of colleagues, customers and partners will improve the working relationships.
3. Keep your brain young and learn at any age
Memory performance does not deteriorate with age. Blood flow and oxygen consumption in the brain, two factors that determine performance, are exactly the same in a healthy 70 year old and a healthy 20 year old. The only area where performance differs is learning speed. When new information is given to be memorized, older people take more time than young people to absorb it.
But while learning speed may decline with age, information retention and recovery remain good even in old age. Keep your brain trained and even as an elderly you will have a young brain.
4 principles for an iron memory
To help you remember information, most people simply use old and ineffective memorization methods.
Every time I go to a friend’s house I am greeted by a blaze of post-it. There is no square meter in his house where there is a yellow slip of paper with some author’s title, a movie book, an appointment … With this method I would need an additional post-it just to orient them.
Create images (Image Creation Principles)
By nature the brain works with images. So you have a virtually infinite capacity to create them: you can imagine whatever you want, even things you’ve never seen if they are described in detail.
One of the fundamentals on which memory techniques are based is to create mental images associated with the information you are learning. The easiest images to memorize are those completely out of the ordinary, even better if bizarre or absurd … here you can really give free rein to your imagination.
Use this principle to beautify the image making it unique and unforgettable. When your “eye for detail” improves you will find it easier to create vivid and memorable images. By associating an information you want to remember with an image that has the features described so far, you can drastically improve your memory performance to store, retain and retrieve information.
Use the principle of associations
The brain likes to create links between different pieces of information, building a repertoire of associations. When the brain receives new information, it looks for something in the long term that is the same or similar so that it can better understand the new input. This process happens in a few moments and is not aware. By actively creating a personal connection to which your brain can hook, you will give your memory something to work with, helping it to retrieve information.
Organize the material
Another fundamental principle in memory training is the brain’s natural propensity to organize information into categories. For example, when you have a shopping list you can categorize information by sector: body products, household products, pasta and preserves …
Organization is the key to successful information management in many areas of life. Libraries are a great example: without a subdivision and coding system to organize books, a bookstore would be a terrible mess.
Memory techniques do the same for your mind, creating a structure (a place or a category) in which you can put information. This will give your memory the ability to process and store information in a way that will facilitate recovery. Other ways to encourage your brain to actively engage with information include concentration and using visual and other senses to rearrange data in a format that is easier to remember.
Research confirms the role of emotions in memorization. No coincidence that the events we remember best in life are those that have had an important emotional connotation. Intense emotional experiences, both positive and negative, leave a strong trace in the brain. For this reason you will remember personal emotional events such as when you learned to ride a bike or your first day of school; or even collective emotional events such as September 11th or the death of Princess Diana.
3 Memory techniques to remember like an elephant
By using the above principles and combining them together you will have everything you need to dramatically increase your storage capacity. In addition to this, I now propose 3 ready-to-use techniques of proven effectiveness to better remember.
1) Mind maps to store books and large amounts of information
Mind maps are a method of expressing information using colors, images and keywords in a structure that radiates from a central core to the outside. Brainstorming, problem solving, studying for exams, taking notes and decisions are among the myriad uses of this tool.
Mind maps significantly increase information retrieval during and after learning also because they use colors and images that together give the memory more information to attach to rather than a set of black words printed in a linear fashion.
The use of keywords in maps reduces the amount of information by about 90%, thus minimizing the amount of information you need to remember. Keywords are like a trigger to call up other information in the brain. The radiant structure used reflects the associative structure of the brain and the way we think and learn. Furthermore, creating a mind map can be easy and fun.
2) Create exciting images
The principle on which some memory techniques are based is to create mental images from the information you are learning. The more memorable the image you create in your mind, the more out of the ordinary the greater the power of this technique. Create an image in 6 steps:
- Make it bizarre by introducing an element of fantasy
- Make it move, for example you can turn an inanimate object into a moving one
- Make it three-dimensional, then note its height, its width, its depth
- Make it full of colors, add color brilliance and use at least 3
- Make it fun, add something that makes you laugh, such as giant glasses over a talking toilet
- Make it huge, exaggerate the whole image or just some parts of it
3) Say goodnight
A study by the University Of Notre Dame showed that memorizing new information is more efficient when it is learned before going to sleep. During sleep, in fact, the brain tends to process information in order to facilitate its subsequent recovery.
Here is an effective 4 step memorization procedure that you can implement before going to bed …
1) Relax your body and free your mind to the best of your ability.
2) Write by hand the information you wish to memorize on a sheet of paper
3) Speak out what you have written giving a recited and emotional interpretation if possible.
4) “Clean” your mind and go to sleep without thinking about what you will have to remember.
If you use the principles and techniques presented in this article, you will not only dramatically increase your ability to learn and memorize, but you will also do the most effective to best preserve and use your precious gray matter.
Let me know yours in the comments.