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7 Tricks to Improve Your Memory
4. Stop Multitasking
As you probably know, multitasking is term used for those who are trying to do several things as the same time; usually as quickly as possible.
Research shows that the mind needs approximately 8 seconds to commit a piece of information to your memory. This is why if you are talking on your cell phone while carrying in your purse and briefcase, when you set down the house keys, you simply can’t remember where you left them.
An undistracted focus would be called mindfulness. After taking a mindfulness class, students improved their reading comprehension and memory capacity and they stated that they experienced fewer distracting thoughts.
When you find that you are trying to do 3 or 4 things at the same time, stop. Take a moment and focus your attention to the main task you need to complete. Remind yourself that these other tasks can be done immediately after you finish this one. Find out 14 habits of the super-organised.
5. Play with mnemonic devices
These memory tools are also called mnemonic devices. These help you remember words, concepts and information. Mnemonic devices help your brain to organize information into easy to remember formats. For example:
Acronyms (like PAW for “Pull All Weeds”)
Rhymes (if you need help remembering names you might try Jude Was Rude)
Visualizations (you might try thinking about fruits and veggies so you remember to go to the market after work)
6. Learn a new skill
Try engaging yourself in meaningful activities that will stimulate your brain. These have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia and stress related diseases. This activity should be something that’s meaningful to you, in other words, it should hold your attention.
Studies have shown that even simple craft activities such as crocheting or knitting were connected with lower odds of having mild cognitive impairment. In another study, it was found that those who took part in demanding activities such as digital photography improved the memory function in older persons.
The key here is to find something that is mentally stimulating for you. Something that requires your complete attention while giving you a sense of satisfaction. Try building a new garden; learn a new musical instrument, or building model ships or airplanes.
7. Play those brain games!
Like your muscles, if you don’t engage your brain with new information, if you don’t give you brain its own “workout” it tends to degenerate. That old saying of “use it or lose it” applies to your brain as well.
One great way to challenge your brain is to use brain games. You can play many of these online through websites such as Lumositt.com. There is also another program called Brain HQ which has many different brain exercises that not only work your noggin’, but it also tracks and monitors your progress over time.
Try to spend at least 20 minutes per day playing brain games. You need to enjoy this task, however, otherwise it simply becomes another “chore” you try to fit into your day and some of the benefits will be lost.