It’s hard to keep track of everything at work—you might forget a password, misplace a tool, or forget to return that phone call. Don’t you wish there was a way to improve your memory? While there isn’t one magic solution, there are some things you can do to help you remember things more easily. These tips will not only help you remember to pick up milk next time you’re at the grocery store, but will also give you ways to help your kids study for school, and could even make you better at your job.
- Use mnemonic devices. Mnemonic devices are memory techniques that give our brains clues to help it remember. Acronyms, abbreviations formed from the first letters of words, are helpful. “Every Good Boy Does Fine” is an example that music students use to remember the notes of the treble staff, EGBDF.
- Pay attention. This one might be common sense, but it is important. Concentrate on what you are trying to remember. Use all of your senses—try to say the information out loud, visualize it, etc. Repeating and paraphrasing what you are trying to remember is also helpful. Reducing multitasking also encourages you focus on what you are trying to recall.
- Make it Meaningful. If you’re trying to remember new information, make a connection with something that you already know. Relate it to other things in your life that you are already familiar with.
- Organize. If all else fails, staying organized can go a long well in helping to keep track of things. Writing things down and categorizing information helps to reinforce learning.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise positively affects many areas of the brain by increasing chemicals that help brain cell health, promoting growth of new blood vessels, and more. In addition, exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which are both known to cause problems with memory.
- Sleep well. When you’re sleep deprived, your brain doesn’t work as well as when it’s well rested. Sleep is essential for memory consolidation at the end of each day. It plays a significant role in learning and memory.
- Keep stress in check. If you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, you’re more likely to forget things. Chronic stress significantly reduces your ability to recall memories and remember facts.
- Learn something new. Just as exercising your body is good for you, exercising your brain also improves mental health. Give your brain a workout by learning something new, engaging in a hobby, and thinking through a challenge.