Optimising your memory is a skill we can all learn.
Students, adult learners and employees all have the need to memorise something at one time or another. Students may need to memorise maths facts, poetry, or text for information heavy tests. Adult learners and employees often have the need to memorise facts for meetings or to give presentations. Each of these different memorisations can be done using different techniques. The trick is to figure out which technique or strategy works best for you or for your specific requirements.
Memorisation isn’t nearly as difficult as you might otherwise anticipate. The issue is that most people only try to memorise by reading the same text over and over again.
The brain works to retain memory through the use of neurochemicals, transmitters and synapses. These chemicals produce pathways in the brain. The more the pathway is used the strong the signal in the brain. Consider your phone number, because it is a set of numbers you use on a consistent basis they very easily come to mind when you want to recall them.
Other numbers may not be memorised quite so easily – such as you drivers license. This is a number you may write down infrequently so the chemical pathway is much weaker. The crucial point here is that the more you use the information the more firmly it is ingrained in your memory.
Here are a couple of techniques that will help you determine the method that works best for you:
- For a lot of information try this 4 step process:
- Using your computer type in any fact that may appear on the test or you may need for the presentation.
- Take your notes to a quiet room and read the first sentence aloud. Now repeat it without reading it.
- Repeat this with the second sentence; add on a new sentence until you have memorised every sentence in your notes.
- Now take a nap – new memory is fragile and research shows that sleep will help them to be retained.
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