For years and years folks have been trying to figure out how to tap into the magic of the hidden brain. You’ve probably heard before that we only use like 10% of our brain. Maybe you’ve never been asked this particular question this way, so please listen closely. What would you do if you could tap into say…10% more? What about 20% or 30% or even more?
Though it’s hard to even imagine the full capabilities of what the human brain really are, it’s obvious that we aren’t even scratching the potential surface. Well, that’s what scientist, whiz kids, and scholars have been researching and hypothesizing and even experimenting on for thousands of years. For those who are knowledgeable and scholarly becoming more so is not only a challenge but a demand of intellect.
Let’s take a look together at a few of the memory retention practices and suggestions that have come down the pipeline throughout the last many years. Some may seem a bit odd. Some perfectly normal and some perhaps questionable. But, many if not all of these have met with some degree of success for those practicing the methods. So….as they say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it because you never know.
So, what are the 12 best memory retention simple techniques? This answer may vary directly on whom you ask, but I’ll give it a good shot here. Please feel free to comment and/or contribute in any way. I’ll list these out and then have a chat about them to help you understand what I am talking about.
12 Simple Memory Retention Techniques
- Regular versus Cram
- Be organized
- Food & drink
- Practice mnemonics
- Visualize / visual management
- Get out of the rut
I could really go on and on with the list of options available to help with memory. There are folks that have tried some pretty weird things, but all in all it comes down to… see what works best for you. The twelve I have listed and are soon to talk about are the top ones out there for the majority of folks though.
Now let’s get started and together we can talk about what these mean and how they can benefit you.
I am truly not trying to be funny here either. One of the problems with memory is that all too often we are all too busy to begin committing to memory in the first place. Our lives have become so busy with appointments, meetings, work to do, errands to run, ballgames, etc. that our poor brains are overloaded and overworked.
We are constantly barraged with information and to do lists. We seldom to never stop long enough to achieve focus for more than just a minute or two at a time.
If you really want to achieve good memory retention, you first have to focus. This means shut off the iPod, turn down the TV and turn off the radio and games. Come back into clarity and focus with yourself. This make take more than one attempt, but once you’ve done so, you will know why you need to do it more often.
Now…focus on whatever it is that you are wanting to commit to memory. Concentrate on whatever it is then relax and go do something. Come back to the source and concentrate on your focus once again. As you do this you will begin to meld your memory to hold onto the imagery, sounds, etc. around you and retain the information better.
Though a lot of people don’t like to hear it because they are afraid to talk to or in front of others, talking to others about what you are trying to remember is the best way to actually commit it to memory. For instance, let’s say you want to remember the battles in the Revolutionary War. If you spend time teaching this information to other students, you will reap the rewards. It will get much easier for you to do the more you do it. So….it’s time to get started.
This works in a couple of ways. First of all, by the time you go about the preparation of teaching a topic you have studied it more. You’ve contemplated on it and prepared teaching materials so you’ve naturally committed something to memory already. Then you teach it. Once you hear yourself teaching it out loud and perhaps your students will ask questions you need to answer. This further solidifies your memory.
This may sound like a funny combination, but I’ll explain. Getting enough rest is critical to most things. Memory isn’t any different. In order for your brain to accurately retain information and be able to recall it efficiently, you need adequate rest to allow the brain and body to rest. Sleep also helps memories to assimilate and come together to retain them for the future.
So you might wonder what repetition has to do with sleep. Well, if you recite something you want to commit to memory or read it, etc. you will be asking your brain to process this while you sleep and it does! Your brain will keep working on the stuff you put in it right before sleep. Might as well make it a memory you want to hold onto.
Regular Versus Cram
There may be many college students that would argue with us here, but this is scientifically proven for good memory retention. What this means is regular study sessions in small increments is much more effective that cramming the night before. Though cram sessions may help you to make the mark in the short term, you will be lucky to retain any of that crammed information in the long term. Thus memory retention was not achieved through cramming.
If you keep your notes, highlighting, post-it notes, desk, drawers, closets or whatever organized, you will be less frantic about anything in your life. You will be able to retain studied material because it won’t be making you crazy while you are studying. You will remember where things are and be able to find them. You will be amazed at what simple organization will do.
Food & Drink
There are certain things you can eat and drink to help improve your memory retention. Some folks may try to tell you all about some weird concoctions, but I am not not going to go there. I am just going to tell you about stuff like Omega 3s and fatty fish like mackerel. These are very good for your brain and your memory. There are surely other foods, but if you could just include these foods in your diet it would help.
What about drink? Well, water, water, water. Oh yeah, did I say water. This is the drink of choice for memory and for life. You can have some of that other stuff, but make sure your body is fully hydrated with plenty of good ole’ H2O and it will help your memory.
You might not even know what these are, but soon you will. First of all a mnemonic is something like “every good boy does fine.” This is something I remember from childhood still. I learned this when learning to read music. EGBDF are the sequence of notes of the treble clef.
You can make up crazy stuff and it doesn’t matter….as long as you can remember what a sentence or a combination of words or letters stands for. It’s a memory trick.
When you are learning new information, sometimes it helps to add it to old information. That said, what I mean is…if you happen to know something like knitting and you want to learn how to crochet. You can create tags in your memories by associating some of the information. Though the processes are different, some of the information will be similar. Like following a pattern, reading the sequence, changing colors, etc.
By following this type of process you don’t have to hold so tight to a new memory segment because you are attaching it to an old. If someone has learned how to add, then subtraction and/or multiplication can be attached in the memory as similar processes. This facilitates ease of learning and memory retention.
Visualize / Visual Management
Some people will tell you that visualization is hogwash. Those who have truly used it will tell you it’s awesome. Visualizing is about seeing yourself passing the test, remembering where something is, etc. It’s about seeing the outcome that you want to occur. This has been proven again and again to lead to successful outcomes.
Visual management is similar to simply visualizing, but it’s altered slightly by bringing the desire into the tangible world. Suppose you want to pass a major test. You can write math test or whatever on a piece of paper in big letters and tack or tape it up somewhere. It can be the fridge, the wall or whatever. Put a big A on that paper to remind yourself of the grade you will get on your paper.
This type of visual tool will help you in achieving success.
Get Out of the Rut
Change up your study area. Change up your routine. Don’t get so locked in that you can’t see daylight. If you find your brain wandering, take a 10 minute break but change your location or at least your position. You can invite a new team member to a study group, go out to a coffee house for a session, etc. Just don’t allow boredom to become a factor and a reason for avoiding your studies, chores, etc.
It is true that if you are bored, your brain will become kind of lackadaisical. Just don’t allow your brain to get bored. Keep it new and fresh and go get a cup of coffee!
Get off your butt and get going. Memory recall will get a major boost from walking, biking, swimming, playing ball, etc. You name it, it will help. Like to do jumping jacks? Have at it! Jog around the blog, do yoga, etc. It doesn’t really matter. Just get up and get going. Move around and you will see your memory processing and memory retention pick up to a major degree.
Last but certainly not least you need to take a chill. Calm down and take it easy. Enjoy your friends, fun and family. Let go of what you are trying to remember. Quit trying to force it. Laugh and love and enjoy your life. Take time for this and come back to what you are trying to remember and you will once again see astronomical success.
Click Here To Enlarge
Embed this infographic on your site:
There you go folks. If you will put some of these tricks into practice, you are guaranteed to see improvement in your memory. The more you can do, the better you will see your memory improve. Enjoy learning and remembering, but most of all have fun doing it.
If you liked our article, please share it and use the comment section below to tell us about your experiences or ask any questions.