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Three Techniques for Improving Memory Quickly

Updated on April 24, 2016
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In our modern and hectic world, it seems like there is always too many thing to keep up with. From family birthdays to conflicting office events, there never seems to be a time where you don’t have to remember something. Unfortunately for many, the ability to recall the memories that we need can evade us. That lack of recall, especially in a pressing situation, can cause a lot of hardship, and all too many times it makes our life more difficult than it could be. If this is the case for you, there are some excellent techniques for improving memory available that can prove invaluable in moments where memory is of the utmost importance.

The tips for improving memory below are indispensible techniques because of their lack of complication. Many techniques require long-term changes and you don’t see the results for some time. Others require heavy visualization which, although very useful, sometimes aren’t quick enough in moments where you need to remember something quickly.

If you need a powerful way to remember something, keep the following memory improving techniques at your disposal:

The Acronym Method

An easy tip to improve memory is the “Acronym Method”. You will be surprised at how simple and yet efficient it is. If you’re required to remember multiple items, for example, just place the letters in an order that can create other sentences. As children, this method was often used in schools for teaching memory. The acronym for north, east, south, and west, was Never Eat Sour Watermelon. The acronym NESW was converted into an easy to remember statement that increased the odds of retention.

Also, if the beginning letters of your items can be made into its own word, even better. Do you remember how to retain the names of the great lakes? You just say the word HOMES. Each letter represents a lake: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eerie, and Superior. The acronym method is very easy and often works in situations that leave little time for other methods.

The Body Method

Here is another fast way to improve your memory and swiftly recall information. The trick to this technique is to ground your required memories to a body part. Say that you want to remember the name of an important person you are meeting later that day. Take your right index finger, for instance, and project the name onto it. Create in your mind an image of the name and associate it with your index finger, focusing on the body part as the name is made to correspond with it.

The body method uses the transference of a memory to an anchor point; a form of association that utilizes the brains already existing familiarity. To some, the body method may seem peculiar, but once you try it out you will recognize its usefulness right away.

Rhyme Linking

For those of you that just can’t visualize well, the rhyme link method will be a godsend in situations that demand improved memory. With this method, all you have to do is focus on what you want to remember and link it to a rhyming word. This technique for improving memory is used by playing the rhyme in your head multiple times until the melody gets snared. Do you need to remember to buy water and butter? Try rhymes like this: “Close the shutter and buy some butter”, and “Welcome back Cotter did you bring me the water?”

The rhyme linking method can be a fun technique for improving memory because of the necessity for finding a witty rhyme in order to maintain retention. In doing so, the repetitive and melodic nature of the statement secures it to memory for later recall.

If you have trouble remembering important events or would just like to stop misplacing your glasses, procedures for improving memory can be invaluable.

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Study and general memory use

In my experience I feel there is a big difference between using our memory for study in the classical sense and wider use. With classical sense I mean the kind of study you need to do for school or certifications and tests. The memory we need to pass the necessary tests to advance a little in our careers do benefit from tips and tricks. The same is true for remembering our shopping list or cards that have been played in a game etc.

But to gain a wider range of capabilities that will benefit you for the rest of your life. You need a steady flow of learning combined with critical thinking and asking yourself the right questions during study. You also need to spread repetition over longer periods of time to really create a knowledge foundation for understanding.

I'm not a native speaker for instance, English is my 3th language. I'm still learning and still improving, still not noticing a lot of basic mistakes I make. With language it is easy to see you don't have a full understanding yet. With things like history, politics, humanities and economics the fallacy to believe you know all is more easy to make. Things that seem similar are to easily classified as the same. This will block your learning, because you'll integrate or discard most new knowledge based on the framework you already have.

Be curious and don't be scared to fail

I meet a lot of people who block their learning, because they made mistakes in the past. Stress levels rise, the mind gets foggy or is all over the place. Being in a relaxed state is most beneficial for deep learning. Drinking a lot of coffee or using stimulants can help during very short bursts, but it's on the whole very superficial. Not being prepared for your exam and doing some all nighters can get you a passing score sometimes. But if you see your education as a continued process you'll set yourself with a deficit in real understanding of the material. This will make future learning more of the same tricks instead of building on a strong foundation.

Don't be scared to fail, be curious, be open, never believe that not knowing and understanding something very fast is your fault. Don't block yourself from true learning by believing any of those thoughts or sometimes even remarks. Even when you believe you understand stay open to changes or different ways of looking at what you are learning.

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Lifestyle and Sleep

You’ll find that the best way to enhance your memory is to not only use quick techniques for improving memory, but to do things that affect your brain as a whole. For example many people don't sleep enough. During sleep the brain processes what it has learned and experienced during the day. Sleep helps a lot in integrating all those ideas and memories. The funny thing is that during exam periods or other stressful situations people sacrifice sleep to have more time to study. I would argue that you need your sleep most during these periods and it will help you process and memorize. Start early, repeat over longer periods of time and sleep normal hours

As a whole I would approach study as a joyful thing, the problem is that our competitive environment makes it more difficult and stressful than it should be. Between these methods and other lifestyle changes, you will be well on your way to an improved working memory and a much less stressful life.

Retention of learning

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