Of course we’d all like to remember more of what we do and what we learn. Surely, there’s no substitute for using a great memory system to improve your memory. When you have a consistent, systematic way of organizing what you’re learning and taking in, your chances of remembering it will definitely improve, and it makes it easier to move from short-term to long-term memory. That being said, there are definitely other tips I find helpful in improving your memory.
1. Make sure to get a full nights sleep – Don’t understimate the power of getting a full night of sleep to help your recall. Not only does your brain need time to transfer memories from short-term to long-term memory, but when you’re well rested you are more likely to take in new information and capture it in your short-term memory so you can get it into your long-term memory later. When people tell me they have a hard time focusing or poor short-term memory, and I ask the question if they’ve had a full night’s rest, the answer is universally “no”.
2. Fun Memory Exercises – Playing games like crossword puzzles and using your memory more consistently has been shown to improve your memory. Don’t let your mind get lazy, play puzzles and games and challenge yourself to remember things instead of writing them down to keep your mind active and sharp.
3. Avoid too much sugar in your diet – It’s been shown if you eat too much sugar it can cause you to crash and feel tired and fatigued. Anything that reduces your mental alertness will reduce your ability to memorize.
4. Incorporate more of you senses – When you use more of your senses in your mental imagery, you improve your ability to recall information. That means using your internal senses of touch, taste, hearing, seeing, and smelling to create more vivid memories. This makes recalling things more fun and dynamic.
5. Journal your experiences - If you want to keep a particular experience alive in your memory, use journaling as a great way to do that and engage those memories and keep them sharp. By describing and thinking through your experiences you are reinforcing those connections in your mind. Journaling has also been proven to be effective before test taking to avoid the “choke “factor.