6 Dead simple memory techniques

Ever wondered why flipping burgers is hard work but not paid so well? It’s because creativity and working the human brain is something most humans shy away from. Everyone can do a job where you don’t have to think so much!

Mental exercise is hard work and many would rather spend an hour working out in the Gym than tackle a hard crossword.

This is one of the reasons Entrepreneurs on the whole make more money than their employed counterparts, it is because they use their brains a lot to create new ideas and find new ways to do things.

One brain exercise we all need to do to get better at whatever we are doing is our memory, it really is as simple as learning how and practicing, a good memory is not the mainstay of a lazy person, it’s for those who are happy to go outside their comfort zone.

Ignite Your Focus Levels

Here are a few tips to help you with memory training and how to practice:

How to remember passwords and numbers.

Shape your numbers. Assign a shape to each number:

  • 0 Ball or ring
  • 1 Pen
  • 2 Swan
  • 3 Handcuffs
  • 4 Sailboat
  • 5 Pregnant woman
  • 6 Pipe
  • 7 Boomerang
  • 8 Snowman
  • 9 Tennis racket.

To remember your ATM PIN (4298, say), imagine yourself on a sailboat (4), when a swan (2) tries to attack you. You hit it with a tennis racket (9), and it turns into a snowman (8). Try forgetting that image!

Rhyme it. Think of words that rhyme with the numbers 1 through 9 (knee for 3, wine for 9, etc.). Then create a story using the rhyming words: A nun (1) in heaven (7) banged her knee (3), and it became sore (4)

You know it but can’t recall it. (tip of your tongue?)

Practice your ABCs. Say you just can’t remember the name of that movie with Arnold whatsisface? Recite the alphabet (aloud or in your head). When you get to the letter T, it should trigger the name that’s escaping you: Terminator!! This trick works when taking tests too.

Remembering speeches and text for exams

Read it, type it, say it, hear it. To memorize a speech, toast or test material, read your notes, then; type them into the computer. Next, read them aloud and tape-record them. Listen to the recording several times. As you work on memorizing, remember to turn off the TV, unplug your iPod and shut down your computer; you’ll retain more.

Use color. Give your notes some colour with bolded headings and bulleted sections (it’s easier to remember a red bullet than running text).
Make a map. Imagine an intersection and mentally place a word, fact or number on each street corner.

Build a memory hotel.

You need a memory hotel somewhere to glue all the pieces too and it turns out to be very effective and is what the memory champions all use as the hotel is a static place in their mind where all the things they need to remember are added to the places within their hotel, like rooms and facilities.

The term comes from the learned ancients and works with our very strong short term memories. While we’ve not evolved well to remember lists of facts, we have an uncanny ability to retain places. This is why you can still perfectly see all the items in your childhood home.

A memory hotel is basically a visualization of a place that you know well in real life say, your current house. In each room of this virtual site, you can place segments of things to remember, with as much visual elaboration as possible. The idea is that, by focusing on tracing your steps through its rooms, you will come across these concepts and recall them

Be an involved listener.

What is useful knowledge? As much as we may feel that due to technology; memorizing facts and figures is becoming obsolete, it turns out that having a foundation of retained facts helps us contextualize new information, and thus helps us with learning.

Research shows that when school children possess a basic understanding of an historical event, like dates and key details of a war, they are better able to integrate and retain new knowledge about it. Otherwise, without the context, future information tends to ooze away into the forgetesphere.

Continue practicing

Stop going the gym and the flab returns – hey this is human life; deal with it!

Turns out all of those commercials for mature adults to play games to enhance memory have a point — our memory gets better when we use it. If you want to get better at remembering names, practice. Use the association techniques of adding funny images to their names whenever you meet someone new.

If you’d like to be able to retain lists, stop writing down your shopping lists and try to store the items in your memory hotel instead.

When honing your memory skills, give yourself concrete goals – for example, try to memorize a series of numbers of a certain length, within a certain time. Don’t let yourself plateau; if you keep practicing and trying new things, your memory can continually improve.

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