You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!
1. The thing you need to do is part of a habit or routine such that it requires very little attention.
2. You are distracted by something that takes your attention away from the thing you need to do.
3. You are trying to do two things at the same time.
It is impossible to completely overcome absentmindedness, but you can take steps to reduce it, such as getting organized, keeping written notes, repeating what you need to do out loud, or using mnemonics such as the Loci System to better organize your ideas.
If you know that you are about to go into a situation where you may need to remember people's names, you can use a technique called "priming." To do this, you will need a list of the people who you might encounter. If you are going to a high school reunion, you could flip through your yearbook. If you are going to a company party, you could scan through the company directory. Studies show that if you have "primed" your memory with all the potential names, you will be much more likely to recall a particular name when you encounter that person at the event.
Studies have shown that if you are given someone's name at the beginning of a conversation, you are less likely to remember it than if you get their name after a few minutes of chatting. This is because if you already know something about the person, their name is more meaningful to you. Additionally, you have more ways to cross-reference the information in your memory. If you are the introducer, you can take advantage of this by repeating the names of the people you are introducing after they have been talking for a few minutes.
If you are trying to recall someone's name, try remembering as much information about him or her that you can. Think of their profession, where they live, where you met them, what their face looks like, etc. All of this extra information will help cue your memory.
The first reason is simply that recognition is much easier than recall. This is because with recognition, you are presented with something and you only have to determine if it is familiar or not. With recall, you actually need to retrieve a piece of information from your memory. If you were given the person's name in a multiple-choice quiz, it would become a recognition task, and you would probably pick it correctly.
The other reason is that pictures are much easier to remember than words. Since faces are things that you see and names are things that you hear, you already have an advantage towards remembering the face and not the name. This is why nametags are a helpful aid when meeting people. It lets you hear and see the names, which gives you two different ways to remember it later.
Pen, Sun, Toast, Elephant, Telephone, Window, Mud, Hamburger, Cat, Bottle, Goat, Bed, Car, Book, Money, Calculator, Lipstick, Snowman, Skateboard, Thumb
Form a clear mental image of these links to connect the words, here are some examples:
1. A pen shooting out sunlight
2. The sun being so hot it toasts some bread
3. An elephant eating some toast
4. Talking on a little elephant instead of a phone
5. Throwing a telephone out a window and breaking it
6. Having mud completely covering your window
7. A hamburger covered with mud instead of ketchup
8. A hamburger made of cat instead of beef
9. A cat stuck inside a bottle
10. A goat eating a bottle
11. A goat sleeping in a bed
12. A bed strapped onto the top of a car
13. A giant book with wheels and a steering wheel
14. A book with money for pages
15. A calculator that spits out money
16. A woman rubbing a calculator on her lips
17. A snowman wearing lipstick
18. A snowman skateboarding
19. A skateboard shaped like a giant thumb
20. (if you want to link it into a circle) Using your thumb to sign your name
Now close your eyes and try to recall the entire list. See how easy it was? To prove the effectiveness of this technique, make up a different list and try to memorize it without using the link system. See how hard it is?
- Memory Tests - Determine how good your memory is.
- Flash Cards - Create and use flash cards to learn new information.
- Vocab Builder - Build a better vocabulary with these words from the SAT and GRE standardized tests.