10 Great Tips and Tricks to Improve Memory Recall
Do you have a bad memory? Researchers have found that memory recall greatly improves when you write down what you need to remember.
Memory loss or poor memory recall can be distressing to anyone afflicted and can often leave one feeling frustrated. However, there are things you can do to help increase your memory recall. The more you practice, the more likely you will improve your memory skills.
So, if you’re always forgetting things, keep reading. We’re discussing eight great tips and tricks to help improve your memory recall.
Table of Contents
1. Seven Things
Psychologist George Miller and other scientists found that our short-term memory as adults can store around seven things before we start struggling, give or take two. Miller called this “the magical number seven, plus or minus two.”
When trying to recollect something, remember that our minds can comfortably store up to seven things, making things simpler if you remember things in groups of seven.
2. Attach a Meaning
We remember things easier if we can tie them together with something else. One way we can do this when trying to improve our memory recall is to attach meaning to the things we need to remember. For example, if you’re trying to remember a grocery list that consists of:
When you attach meaning, you can create a sentence using the first letter of each item. For example, Andrew Brought Back Tasty Cuisine. Or you can go a little more direct and use the grocery list in the sentence itself. For example, The Apples bought Banana Bread and Thyme to the Chicken.
3. Write Things Down
As studies have shown, we remember things better when we write them down. This is believed to be because the physical act of writing helps your brain process information. When you record information, try to focus on key points you want to remember because you may not be able to write long notes.
Use a notebook and try to keep it on you at all times. By reviewing or rereading your notes later, you can further commit the information to memory.
4. Structure and Organize
If things are cluttered and haphazard, it is more challenging to remember important information. If you spend time structuring the information and organizing it into manageable pieces of information, you’ll have a much better chance of recalling it successfully.
Use colored pens and sticky notes to edit your notes and group together related concepts. Using this trick will make it easier for you to remember something you otherwise may have forgotten.
5. Mnemonic Devices
Mnemonic devices are similar to attaching meaning to the information you’re trying to recall information. Try connecting a word you need to remember to an item you’re familiar with. With mnemonic devices, you can create a joke, song, or rhyme to help you remember, and the more memorable it is, the better you’ll recall it.
For example, if you want to remember someone’s name, Peter, and they are wearing smart-looking pants, you could remember his name by relating it to “Smart Pants Peter.” Even with poor memory, you’re likely to remember it because it’s amusing and memorable.
Some people respond better to visual cues, so visualizing something you need to remember can effectively improve your memory recall. Things like diagrams, photographs, sketches, and tables can all be better committed to memory if you focus on them.
If you don’t have any visual images, you can create your own using drawings or different colored pens, highlighters, and colored sticky notes. If visualization is your thing, consider using flash cards to help you remember things.
This may seem obvious, but if you want to commit something to memory properly, you need to be one hundred percent focused on it. It doesn’t help to be distracted by something else because your brain’s attention is split, so neither gets your full attention.
When you find something challenging to remember, spend extra time focusing on the subject. Once you understand it better, you’ll have better memory recall when you need it. Higher levels of concentration help your brain absorb and recall information.
Pro Tip: You can also take supplements like Adrafinil to help improve your focus
When we repeat things over and over, we’re more likely to remember them later. Another trick to try if you want to improve your memory recall is repetition. When you’re trying to use repetition to remember things better, you keep the memory fresh if you space out your repetition. You will be able to recall it easier the more times you repeat it and commit it to memory.
9. Get More Sleep
While everything else we’ve spoken about is more addressing techniques to help you remember things, we also have to mention some things you can do to help your body work at its optimal performance. One of these things you can do is ensure you’re getting enough sleep, preferably eight hours a night.
Studies have shown that sleep is an integral part of learning and memory and that even taking a nap after studying something can help you commit it to memory
10. Brain Games
Finally, one more way to improve your memory recall is to play brain games as often as possible. This can include crossword puzzles, Sudoku, brain teasers, word searches, chess, etc. The more often you activate and engage your brain, the more elasticized your brain gets. This makes it easier to recall information, even as you get older.
When you stop working your brain, it stagnates and can become difficult to reverse after some time. Keep your brain active by playing brain games in magazines or on your phone.
Improve Your Memory Recall Today
Knowing these techniques and methods of working your brain can go a long way to helping improve your memory recall. However, not every method will work for you; some will work better than others. It’s important not to give up and to keep trying to find new ways to boost your short-term memory.
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