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!
You are going to attach numerical waypoints to specific locations in your loci system. For example, you could associate a five-dollar bill to the fifth location and your ten toes to the tenth location. When you make your associations you will need to incorporate all three items into one visualization.
For example, if your fifth location is the bathroom sink, and the fifth errand you are trying to remember is to pick up the dry cleaning, you could picture yourself washing a five-dollar bill in the sink. Linking all three items together will allow you to jump directly to that location in your list. If you want to jump to the 12th item, simply think of the association attached to your ten toes. Then hop two locations up the chain.
Another advantage of the loci system is that forgetting one item in the list does not affect your ability to recall the remaining items. This is a problem that the simpler Link system has.
If you frequently have to remember lists and you have not yet invested the time to learn the loci system, you might want to give it a try.
To prevent this from happening in the future you can try two things. When you decide to go into another room, visualize yourself doing what you need to do, or tell yourself what you are going to do. For example, "I need to get my shoes." By doing either of these things you are ensuring that the task gets into your short-term memory.
When you are walking to the other room, try not to get distracted. This can delay you long enough for your short-term memory to forget what you need to do.
This is probably why it's easy to forget someone's name moments after hearing it. The name only sticks in your brain for 30 seconds, and unless you do something to push it into your long-term memory, you are going to forget it.
To get more than 7 items at a time into your long-term memory, you can try the Chunking Technique we discussed yesterday. Repetition can also help.
But remember, having a limited short-term memory is a good thing! Imagine how cluttered your mind would be if you remembered every single thing that went into it.
- 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.