How To Train and Improve Your Memory. Increase Retention. Remember More.

Adam O writes...

"My memory is really bad. I don't remember things that I should. I'm still a young guy, so I'm not suffering from Alzheimer's (yet). lol. How can I improve my memory and remember more stuff? Thanks Jeff."

Replies (15)
  • Be aware of state-dependent learning.

    We best recall information in the state in which we learned it.

    • For example, if you learned something at home, you’ll have better recall in that same environment. If you’re taking a class, attempt to study in the same room where you’ll be tested.
    • Space out your memorization sessions.

      Attempting to memorize complex information in one sitting doesn’t work well for most people. It’s much more effective to review the information several times spaced out over the course of several days.

      • Perhaps you can spend every day for a week memorizing something. Then, you can make it 2-3 days a week for the next two weeks. Eventually, you’ll only have to spend one day per week. There isn’t a hard and fast rule. The complexity of the information will dictate the schedule.
      • Use mnemonic devices.

        Mnemonic devices can be used to help you remember certain bits of information by relating the facts to an easy-to-remember image, word, tune, or phrase.

        • For example, the classic sentence, "Every Good Boy Does Fine," has been used for generations to help people remember the lines of the treble clef (EGBDF) for sheet music.

        • Relating the knowledge you want to remember to jokes or rhymes works well, too. These are fun ways to remember facts.
        • Visualize concepts.

          Images can be very powerful. If you're a visual person, you might find visualizing more helpful than some of the other techniques. Visual people remember better if they see what they need to remember. It will usually help you to see information in a picture, chart, or graph.

          * This describes me as I mentioned in a post above. I found a way to explain it better here.

          • Learn how to meditate.

            Meditation is excellent for clearing the mind and teaching you how to concentrate. Meditation is all about maintaining your focus on a single thought or point.

            • Begin by seeing how long you can sit and focus entirely on your breath. It probably won’t be very long at first. But when your mind wanders, simply bring it back to your breath.

            • Meditation can be a great way to take a break. After working for an hour, take a 10-minute meditation break. Your mind will stay focused and relaxed. You’ll find that you can work longer, too.
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