The only people that usually pay attention to improving their memory are those doing badly in academics, or those with an obvious memory failure that interrupts daily work and personal living. But, shouldn’t everyone pay the same attention?
Unfortunately, the advent and upswing of technology has made us all lazy. It’s a lot easy to google information without much thought and stress. If you need to, you can set digital reminders, and record stuff on the go. And we have facebook to remind us ahead of special events, so why bother about improving memory?
Conversely, the absence of an optimal memory means that you’re nothing without technology. You can’t give relevant advice without a google consultation, you can’t do well in public speaking, you can’t retain an idea long enough to get out of the shower, you struggle with remembering a name, and you even forget where you last put your keys.
More so, you don’t try at all to remember your passwords, since you can conveniently hit the ‘forgot password’ link after the first failed attempt. What’s worse? A lot of you don’t even memorize the number of your nearest relative, so, if you get stuck without technology, I can only imagine what a mess it will be - calling 911 for unrelated and non-emergency matters right? Another lazy excuse. I can go on, but I'm sure you already follow.
Thankfully, there’s a way out. So, instead of chowing down nootropics, here are a few ways you can jolt that memory to optimal performance.
This strategy works like magic. For instance, when I struggled with the words - ‘advice’ and ‘advise’ - trying to remember which is a noun and a verb, I took to the internet every single time. I was worried that after multiple googling, I was reliant on my search engine without progress. So, with the letter ‘s’ and ‘c’, I developed a link - ‘see cecelia’ - ‘see’ being an action verb, and ‘cecelia’ (a name) being a noun. It helped me apply their respective correct spelling where appropriate, and after the third time, I knew it like a champ.
Depending on what you need to remember, you can use mental vision, places, events, colors, people, etc. In order to remember the date of a past occurrence, for example, create a mental picture of what you wore, or what else happened on that day, and use it as a linking symbol - your memory will respond to it everytime, and surface the event you’re digging for.
In the world of online purchase, sometimes, your credit or debit card may not be at hand. Since it’s not always advisable to store financial information on technology devices, try to chunk those long digits into 4 sets of 4 digits. After about four times of unaided usage, you should know your card details by heart. Same applies to remembering your student ID number, account information, phone number, etc. Chunk them and memorize, then when needed, try to recite without help, till it becomes registered. If there are letters, or numbers resembling dates like 1859, you can use fact linking to assimilate and remember faster. It’s also helpful to use acronyms to shorten long information.
Lyrics And Rhymes
When trying to remember a chemical formula, a long list of something, or even how many days are in the current month, creating lyrics and rhymes can be incredibly helpful. You can also acronymize long details and use their first letters to form a song. For instance, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally is a good rhyme to remember mathematical operations in their order - Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.
These are a few helpful ways, but it wouldn’t be effective if you don’t sleep long enough, exercise, eat a balanced meal, or if you’ve already condemned your memory. Remember, no one has a bad memory, we’re mostly just uninformed and lazy. It also doesn’t hurt to exercise your brain, like you do your muscles. Think, solve puzzles, play fast games, say things aloud, learn new skills, and take on challenges that push your brain performance.
If you have more solutions, let’s rub minds in the comment section below.