Forgot if you have locked your windows? Left your wallet at home? Can’t put a name to neighbor’s kid? Unable to recall your password to your email?
You are not the only one. Let’s get straight to the point – everyone talks about their bad memory, but few people actually do anything about it. What if having a good memory is really a piece of cake? Well, read on and find out for yourself!
Be Interested in Memory
Obviously. If you want to improve your memory, you have to be interested in improving it, you have to force yourself to remember. Isn’t it easier to learn something and excel in it when you love doing it? Make up your mind that you will be interested in remembering, names, faces, to-dos, and anything.
Stop Using Pen and Paper as Substitute!
When you really remember, you cannot forget! Writing things down with the intent of supplementing your memory, or to aid retention of the exact information is totally fine. But using them to substitute for memory is definitely not going to improve it. Your memory is like a muscle, the more you neglect or under-use it, the worse it will get. Exercise it well!
Trust Your Memory
Mr Memory likes being trusted. He becomes increasingly reliable and handy the more you trust him. Have confidence in him and he will perform competently.
Observe! Don’t Just See.
Memory and observation go hand in hand. You cannot remember anything that you do not observe.
What is the difference? You must have seen the traffic lights countless times, so which light is on top? Is it Red or Green?
Now don’t look at your watch, is the number six on your watch dial in Arabic or in Roman numeral? Ok, maybe you got it right, so what was the time shown when you checked it just now?
Many times, people see but do not observe. Work on your observation and you will be surprised how well it aids your memory.
Ridicule Your Mental Images
Mental images are easily recalled, compared to words. And recalling mental images is a breeze – IF they are made as ridiculous as possible.
Let’s say we try to memorize a rabbit. Close your eyes and imagine a rabbit in front of you (yes a bunny we all know how it looks like). You might forget about it a few days later. But if now, I tell you to picture this ridiculous image: A gigantic blue rabbit lying on your bed. I bet it will be stuck in your head for some time to come.
Associate and Link
Rabbit, car, towel, apple, clock, fish, calculator, tree, door, television, pig, window, book, hand-phone, shoes, coffee, dog, tie, piano, cup.
Look at the 20 words above and try to memorize them in sequence. When you are ready jot down your answer. Not easy isn’t it?
Now try this. Link and associate the first word to the second, then the second to the third, and so on. How exactly do we link it?
Rabbit – Car: Remember the ridiculous mental picture of the gigantic blue rabbit? Now close your eyes and picture this – You are driving the gigantic blue Rabbit in a Car made of glass. There you go, you have associated the first 2 words.
Car – Towel: See this. You are still driving the Car made of glass, but suddenly you realize you are only clad in a piece of Towel!
Towel – Apple: Your Towel has a polka-dot Apple printed on it!
Apple – Clock: See yourself biting into an Apple, “Ouch! It’s hard”. It’s actually and apple-shaped Clock!
You do get the gist, right? Let your creativity juices flow, apply this method and try memorizing the 20 words again.
You met a new friend in a seminar. You introduced to each other briefly and shook hands. Alas, by tea-break, you realized you had forgotten his name.
Well, it happens. But fret not, we have 5 simple tips for you.
- Make sure the person’s name is heard in the first place.
- Have him/her to repeat it if you are not sure. Spell it if needed.
- Try to mention something interesting or related to the name. (Oh Evans, like the actor Chris Evans?)
- Repeat the name as often as you can during conversations and along the course of the seminar.
- Use the name when you greet good-bye.