Having a great memory is a wonderful thing, it’s impressive to friends and colleagues when you can recall the name of a random character in an obscure ‘80s film or the previous order sheet of a client. A poor memory on the other hand can lead to embarrassment and possibly even insulting someone.
While perfect recall or a photographic memory is beyond the reach of most of us, the least we can do is to practice or implement techniques which will improve our ability to remember. That’s why the good people over at Quid Corner have put together this infographic with some very helpful hints about how to start boosting your powers of recall today.
The brain has a finite number of items it can remember in a particular sequence. That’s why it makes sense to break larger blocks of information or figures into smaller ones and try to memorize them individually. For example, a large block of 16 figures, such as on your credit or debit card, could be broken down into four smaller chunks of four numbers each.
Another method is known as PQRST, which stands for:
It involves following an ordered sequence of actions to make sure you are committing the information under study to your long-term memory. By building on each step with the next one you are helping your brain to build stronger links between the pieces of information you wish to remember.
This technique was developed thousands of years ago by the ancient Greeks and is still one of the most powerful today. It involves the use of places or loci that you can recall extremely well, where you deposit the items you wish to remember. This would usually involve your house or somewhere you have spent a lot of time. To retrieve the information you want, you follow a sequential path through it noting the things you imagined there. Take the water cycle for example:
Kitchen: Evaporation is the steam rising from a boiling pot
Living room: Condensation as clouds forming in a corner of the room
Bedroom: Precipitation as rain falling against your bedroom window
Front of building: Infiltration of water into the ground through gutters down the side of the building
Bathroom: Surface runoff from an overflowing sink or bath
Visualizing things that will stick out in the mind is also the theory behind Linking, whereby one creates memorable links between pieces of information. With a to-do list for example one might imagine typing a report and sending it as a message on your phone, then using the phone to call a client, when finished with that you put your phone in your pocket and take out your wallet to remember to pay a bill online.
Of course, having an amazing memory won’t happen overnight but with some practice it can become a very effective tool in anyone’s life. Try out the tips for yourself and find which ones work best for you and get started out on the road to total recall (or something closer to it at least).