How good is your memory? If you are like most people, your answer is probably "Not good enough!" At one time or another most of us have wished that we could improve our ability to retain facts and information.
Fortunately, with a little work, almost anyone can improve her or his memory. Here are some tips for reaching this goal:
Think about what you want to remember
If you wish to enter information into long-term memory, it is important to think about it. Ask questions about it. Doing so will help make the new information part of your existing knowledge frameworks and will increase your chances of remembering it.
Pay careful attention to what you want to remember
Unless you consciously notice information you want to remember, it stands little chance of really getting “in"— into long-term memory. So, be sure to direct your full attention to the information you want to remember.
Engage in distributed learning
Don't try to cram all the information you want to memorize into long-term storage at once. Rather, if at all possible, space your studying over several sessions-preferably, several days.
Use visual imagery and other mnemonics
You have probably heard the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words." Where memory is concerned, this is sometimes true. It is often easier to remember information associated with vivid mental images.
Give yourself enough retrieval cues
While you learn something, think of retrieval cues inherent in your study material. Identify them and links parts of the study material to these cues. Cues will be easier to remember compared to the entire content and the links you have created between cues and the content will facilitate the retrieval process.
Develop your shorthand codes
To employ the first letter technique, you need to pick up the first letter of each word you want to remember and arrange them to form another word or a sentence. For instance, the colors of a rainbow are remembered in this way “VIBGYOR”- that stands for Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red.