5 Tricks To Help You Remember Everything

5 tricks to help you remember everything 

tricks to help you remember things

Making and keeping a living in 2016 is a fast and furious task, and you may feel like you’re constantly trying to keep on top of all the little details in order to get by. But remembering those details of your life can be mind-boggling! Work deadlines, family gatherings, doctor appointments, birthdays, bills, car inspections, walking the dog — are you forgetting something?

If you feel you can’t remember what you even had for breakfast this morning, it may be time to start utilising some memorisation techniques to boost your brain power. Here are five to get you started.

1. Mnemonic devices. 

Probably the most recognised memory techniques, mnemonic devices can be your most powerful tool for recalling facts. It’s essentially coding words with certain phrases to make it easier for your brain to latch on to the important information. There are a few devices you can use, and you likely know a few already.

Rhyming is probably the first and easiest technique to employ when actively trying to memorise information. If you have ever forgotten how many days there are in June and gone through the rhyme, “Thirty days hath September,” you’ve utilised a mnemonic rhyming device.

You can also use acronyms to recall lists of information. Whether you agree or not with the planetary demotion of poor Pluto, you probably remember the phrase, “My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pancakes” to help you remember the order of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune — and Pluto. If you’re ever stuck with a list of items you need to memorise, using an acronym is the way to go.

2. Mind Palace. 

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock had it right with this technique. Using a “mind palace” — otherwise known as the method of loci — can help you store information more effectively. This is another kind of mnemonic device, though it is a little different in that instead of word play, it relies on visualisation.

You can practice this technique by starting off small, such as with a grocery list. Visualise a place you know well, such as your home. As you walk through your house, visualise an item on your list in each room. For example, a giant milk carton greets you as you walk through your front door. An orange dances in the dining room and a loaf of bread skips down the hallway. Finally, you see a carton of eggs spinning in your kitchen and then a bottle of wine sings out on the back porch. Now, when you are out at the store and try to recall those items, you’ll be much more likely to remember them as you walk through your mind palace!

3. Get some shuteye!

Getting your beauty sleep isn’t just about keeping your body fresh and ready to go. Sleep is just as important for your mental health to make sure you’re getting a good eight hours every night. If you make a habit of recalling or studying information you wish to retain right before going to bed, your mind will retain that information better by the morning.

In 2010, a Harvard study concluded that dreaming can actually help improve your memory by reorganising the information you’ve recently learned. Even napping helped to boost their subjects’ performance!

4. Leave physical reminders. 

Everyone remembers writing note cards for studying in school. There’s a reason those cards work so well. Having physical reminders or tools can help immensely with memorisation. Writing out your note cards and also having them read out to you by a friend encourages your brain to use two types of learning — auditory and reading/writing — which then optimises your ability to retain that information.

Another example of a physical reminder is the old string around your finger technique. While some people may be afraid of forgetting why the string is on that finger in the first place, you are actually more likely to remember something with that physical reminder than if you hadn’t used it in the first place.

5. Chow down on some brain food. 

Nothing stops productivity like an empty stomach. Since your brain is an active, functioning part of the body, it needs fuel in order to operate. Brain energy comes from many sources, but some of the best sources are whole grains, oily fish, nuts, seeds and broccoli.

Often neglected for tastier options, water is just as important for your brain. In a recent study, women who were even mildly dehydrated found a change in their mood and concentration. Less concentration means less information retention! It’s important to sip on water throughout the day — even if you don’t feel thirsty at the moment — and average around 64 ounces of water daily.

Start incorporating these tips into your everyday life to stay on top of all the tasks your busy schedule demands!

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she's a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. You can find her tweeting on her coffee breaks @SarahLandrum