Having an excellent memory is something most of us dream of. A boon in business meetings where you can rattle off quarterly results and growth projections without pause for thought. A networking booster when you remember a contact’s name and your previous conversation from a chance conference meeting four years ago. It would be great if we could memorize all of the information we know we should, rather than being struck with a pained face, mumbling the epitaph, “It’s on the tip of my tongue,” before conversation awkwardly dies then moves onto the next topic.
It’s for that reason that QuickQuid have created this handy infographic to illustrate some of the best techniques that memory experts have come up with for making important information easy to memorize, store and recall. Not everybody learns in the same way, so the tips look to use a variety of senses and make it possible for anyone to become a memory master.
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Memory, how it works and how to make it better has interested humanity for thousands of years, which led the ancient Greeks to establish what is still one of the most popular memory methods, the loci method, from the Latin word for “places”. This technique involves creating a “mind palace”, in other words a place which you know extremely well, such as your house. You then visualize the elements you want to remember in the separate rooms in sequence. When you wish to recall the memory simply trace the route back through your chosen locus.
Another method that has been proven to scientifically enhance one’s memory is writing things down. It is the most common study practice in education and the research backs it up, as the physical process of moving your hand to write engages our reticular activating system (RAC) which is a group of cells at the base of the brain which induce it to pay closer attention to the task at hand. It can be particularly useful when learning the vocabulary of a new language, after transcribing translations to flashcards one can also use them for regular reviews until the information is imprinted fully.
If writing isn’t your thing however then why not try an altogether more pictorial technique, such as linking. To do this you simply create an interesting and memorable picture that is associated with what you want to remember. This could be an image of sweeping up sand in the desert to remind you to pick up your dry-cleaning, or thinking of a party guest on a boat powered by rowing ants to engrain the fact they are an anthropologist on your mind.
There are several other techniques described and it’s a good idea to try them all out to see what might work best for you. Like anything, perfection will take practice so don’t get disheartened if you’re not able to memorize all the capitals of the world on your first try. Consistently using and honing your chosen method will improve your memory powers, giving you an excellent tool to put to use in both professional and personal situations.