Apr 02, 2018
Cramming for an upcoming exam or doing some self-study during your free time, and you are frustrated that you can’t remember and retain more of the information you are learning? Here are some common memorisation techniques to help you retain what you learn for a longer.
The association technique is a great method towards improving your brain's ability to store data. If you wonder why it is so hard to remember a client’s phone number, it’s because you are not establishing a link between the client and his digits (and because smart phones have made us lazy). Our brains retain images more vividly than text or numbers. So by tricking your mind into remembering a number as an image makes it easier to recall.
Instead of committing every number to memory, you can just as easily convert them into a scene or an image. This sounds silly but for example, if you know the client loves to fish, picture him or her fishing on a boat that has the number painted on the side of the hull.
From there on, you can go wild and get creative. The wilder it is, the more vivid the memory becomes.
This is a simple yet useful technique, especially when you are dealing with large numbers of small facts. It involves taking small pieces of information and grouping them together into a reduced number of larger groups.
The most common example of chunking is in remembering phone numbers. For instance if a number consists of 10 digits 0-4-2-8-7-7-8-1-0-5, you can chunk the number into three groups, 042-8778-105. The ten individual components of information has been reduced to 3 making it much easier to recall.
Using mnemonics can be a fun way to facilitate memory retention. If you’ve watched the Sherlock TV series, you’ll know the technique call the Mind Palace. This is actually a form of mnemonics. Also known as the Method of Loci, the ancient Greeks used it to give speeches lasting for many hours without a written script. They achieved this feat by mentally placing the key points of their speech in places inside a familiar location such as their house or palace. Every piece of information is represented by an item in a place that they could visualise. When the time came to recall all the information, they just needed to mentally picture themselves walking around their palace, interacting with the items, effortlessly recalling their key points.
Memorisation also involves repeating things as many times as you can. Like training a muscle, consistent repetition will enhance and strengthen your memory. Basically, your brain's capability of recalling data will depend upon the number of times that the information is repeated and how recent it is.
A good example of repetition learning is using flashcards. It is an excellent learning tool especially if you are picking up a new language. By utilising flash cards to help you remember, you are keeping the information at the forefront of your mind, keeping it available for you when you need it.
Just before you go to sleep, take out whatever learning materials that you want to memorise and read through it once again. Studies show that our brain sorts external information in proper order during sleep. Furthermore, it is believed that if you attempt to analyse problems just before sleeping, the next morning you might come up with a solution to it.
Consider giving your brain an excellent workout while having fun. Brain exercises allow your brain to develop, giving birth to new neural pathways. These pathways within your brain are essential for the development of your memory. Exercises can comprise of puzzles as well as other games. Games that involve analytical thinking like Monopoly and Scrabble are good choices. You can even try and perform aerobic exercises such as yoga to help improve blood circulation, to keep brain activity high throughout the day.
Eating the right diet
Do you know eating certain foods can help improve memory? For optimal brain functionality, eat foods like fish, avocados, cereal, vegetables, and fruits. These foods provide B12 vitamins, folic acid and other minerals to your body. Water is also critical to your brain activity since dehydration can cause delirium, which leads to poor decision-making skills. When your blood sugar level drops, your brain stops functioning correctly. Eat regularly and try to avoid skipping meals.
In today's fast-paced world, it can be challenging to hold onto an abundance of critical information. Memory retention is a lot easier when it is structured around memorisation strategies. Be disciplined, take action, and good will follow!