Tricks to Remember Almost Anything
Whether you’re trying to remember where you put your keys or the name of that new guy in the office, we have a nearly fail-proof system for you. Yahoo! News UK surveyed studies from memory experts in England and the United States to find out the best memory tricks. There are five presented below. In some cases, you may need all five to remember a fact, while in other cases, just one will do fine. Five memory tricks that really work:
1. Replay it in your mind.
To remember something, Chris Bird of the University of Sussex says you should “replay” it in your mind in the order in which it happened. When he asked students to watch a YouTube video and then replay it in their mind for about 40 seconds, they had far better recall of the video a week later than those who didn’t do this.
2. Draw a picture.
This isn’t about your art skills. Jeffrey Wammes of the University of Waterloo recruited two groups of students and gave each group an identical list of words. One group was asked to draw a picture of each word, while the other group wrote each word over and over for 40 seconds. Later, the students were given a surprise memory test. Those who drew pictures of the words recalled twice as many words as the students who had written them.
3. Turn off your smartphone, tablet and PC.
Nicholas Carr, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Shallows: How the Internet Is Changing Our Brains,” says the constant interruptions we endure daily when we check our phones and computers have a profound effect on the way we think and what we remember–and it’s not a positive effect. If you are distracted while you’re trying to take in new information, you’re not going to be able to consolidate the memory.
4. Tell someone else about the thing you want to remember.
If you want your teenager to do better on tests, here’s an interesting trick: He should tell a friend what he has learned. Baylor University researcher Melanie Sekeres found that students who receive information and then re-tell it to someone else immediately are able to recall the details better and longer than if they just re-read it in a textbook–a strategy that could pay off big time at test time.
5. Don’t do the same thing over and over again.
It was once thought that the best way to master a skill was to repeat the act over and over and over. Now Pablo Celnik, a researcher from Johns Hopkins University, says that mixing things up can be beneficial. By slightly changing the task, the lesson is more likely to be remembered.