A strong memory is one of the important things you need to succeed in the business world. There are many instances when you have no other choice than to keep important details in your memory for the long or short term; such as when your tablet’s battery is flat, and you have to get down a potential customer’s contact details.
Though technology might have come up with multiple solutions that make you rely less on your memory, you still need to use it in certain instances when tablets, smartphones, or PCs just can’t help. And if you want your memory to help you when you need it the most, you need to improve it.
Improving your memory is easier than it sounds. Most of us think of our memory as something that cannot be changed or improved. But it’s not. You can improve your memory just as you can improve the size of your muscles or your foreign language skills. All you need is to adopt some proven memory-boosting techniques.
There are two kinds of memory—short-term and long-term memory. Short-term memory is the kind of memory our brain uses to store information that we need instantly or within a brief period, such as the name of someone you are just meeting.
Long-term memory, on the other hand is for things you need to memorize for a later time; such as when you study for a test or exam or when you experience a memorable event with your friends and family. Both long-term and short-term memory can be improved with the following 10 tips.
10 Action Ways to Improve Your Short and Long Term Memory
1. Visualize things
One of the weirdest ways to remember something is to associate it with a visual image. This simply explains why we tend to remember people’s names faster when we see their faces or when we hear their voices. You can take this to the extreme, where you can recall a huge number of pieces of information just by building up a detailed visual image of each piece in your brain.
2. Be focused
Multitasking is one ability that many people praise, yet it has more than countable downsides. One of such downsides is that it reduces memory power. By engaging in many activities at once, we often fail to do the one important thing that will improve our memory—paying attention to the task at hand. Your brain needs time to encode and store information properly, so you need to focus on something for some time for you to be able to recall it later. If you really want improve your memory, quit multitasking.
3. Repeat it
Repeating something several times is one of the commonest ways to memorize–and one of the most effective. Repetition helps you keep information in your memory because it makes a “deeper impression” on your brain; one that cannot be cleared easily. Ever wondered why you could still remember most of your nursery rhymes? It’s because you repeat them everyday back in those days.
4. Chunk it
Another way to easily get any piece of information in your memory is to chunk it. Even though research has revealed that we can only keep seven new pieces of information in our memory at once, we still find it easy memorizing the 10-digit phone number of someone we are just meeting. Why? That’s because we have taught ourselves to chunk the information. Instead seeing the phone number as ten different digits, we see it as just three pieces—a 3-digit area code, a 3-digit prefix, and a 4-digit number. So, each time you have to keep some information in memory, break it in smaller chunks to make it easier.
5. Organize it
Because our brains like organization of information, we tend to remember things better when we organize them. That’s why the books we study in school are organized in chapters. By carefully memorizing what you have to memorize, you are helping your brain better encode and store the information.
6. Use mnemonics-: Mnemonics help us to easily remember more complicated pieces of information through acronyms, imagery, or rhyme. Medical students, for instance, are able to remember a lot of things by using mnemonics.
7. Play memory games-: From simple puzzles and matching games to high-tech solutions like Lumosity, playing games to improve your memory produces significant results. So, if you have always seen such games as timewasters, you need to change that mindset now.
8. Eat well-: Every organ on your body requires good diet to function well—and your brain is no exception. From time to time, take foods and fruits that are particularly good for the brain, such as gingko biloba.
9. Exercise and sleep adequately-: Regular exercise and adequate sleeps improves everything about you. Not only will these help you feel better, but they will also enhance to ability to remember things.
10. Know what works for you
When searching the web or books for information on how to improve memory, you will stumble upon hundreds on tips, from the easy to the hard and from the common to the weird. But one thing you need to understand is that there are no hard-and-fast techniques for improving memory. Different techniques work for different individuals. So, know what works for you and stick with that.