Do you want to have a better memory and recall? Improving your memory and recall can benefit you in many ways. You can study more effectively for your exams, perform better in your daily tasks, and get ahead in life. These are great benefits. Knowing the best tools and approach to improve your memory and recall will get you to your goal faster!
How to improve memory and recall? You can improve your memory and recall by using these strategies – mnemonic devices, repetition, chunking, spaced learning, and writing things down. These strategies alone can help you to improve your memory and recall. To improve further, you must know the role of exercise and sleep in your ability to improve your memory and recall. It is important to get adequate exercise and sleep. Exercise improves your spatial memory, which helps your mind to better encode information into your memory. As for sleep, it is a phase whereby your mind consolidates the memory. After a good night sleep, you should find improved recalling from your memory.
With so many things you can use to improve your memory and recall, it can be difficult to understand all of them. Therefore, we have included brief tips about each of them to help you out.
A common memory trick is the use of mnemonic device. You can use a catchphrase or acronym to remember pieces of information.
For example, a biologist trying to remember taxonomy of life. The biologist can use the catchphrase, “Kids prefer cheese over fried green spinach”, to remember the first letters of “Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species”. Through the interesting catchphrase, the biologist can easily recall the taxonomic sequence.
The best way to get proficient with anything is to repeat it. Likewise, this is also one of the best ways to remember something. By repetition, an idea can be moved from the short-term memory into the long-term memory. Therefore, it is useful to repeat the names of people, important dates, or other forms of data that you need to remember.
Chunking is a method that is gaining in popularity. This is an idea of grouping several related information together, thereby making it easier to remember.
Here is an example of using chunking in remembering a phone number. A long phone number like 2224341140 can be difficult to remember. If you applied the chunking method, you will group the numbers as such, 222 434 1140. Now, as small chunks of information, it will be easier to remember and recall in the future. This memory improvement method was used in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Results have shown that patients using this method are better able to remember small pieces of information.
Developed around the forgetting curve, spaced learning takes advantage of the spacing effect to improve memory and recall. This works by reinforcing your memory and recall ability at intervals spaced out over a few days. Thus, as an information is partially forgotten, it is further reinforced, which strengthens it.
Overtime, spaced learning helps to fill in the gaps in your memory until you can recall an information flawlessly.
So, if you want to use spaced learning, you can plan your initial study on day 1 and a follow-up session 3 days later. This is just a rough example, if you want a more precise spaced interval suited to your learning needs, you should read the works by Piotr Wozniak. His works will provide you with the details on finding your optimum spaced interval for learning.
Reinforce through writing
Writing things down is a good way to improve your memory. However, it is not about just copying in writing what you have learned. You should try to write the ideas’ learned in a unique manner. This can be in the form of a flow-chart or mind-map where you find association between complex ideas.
Research discovered that many benefits from writing come from the combined use of two senses. These are from sight of the content viewed and the act of writing things down. Together, these senses make the learning more memorable, which improves memory and recall.
Exercise can improve your memory and recall through strengthening your spatial memory. This is because a better spatial memory can help you form patterns to remember ideas effectively.
Besides its memory and recall benefit, regular exercise can also slow down the aging of the brain.
Importantly, you should not overdo your exercise. You should keep your exercise within your ability. This way, you can safely get the benefits of exercise.
As an added benefit, remembering something after exercising can be beneficial. Your alertness after exercising can help you to better remember.
So, stay healthy and exercise regularly.
Sleep is an important part of improving your memory. From several studies, participants that slept at least seven hours each day is more likely to recall information than people with inadequate sleep. This shows that getting adequate sleep of at least seven hours helps to retain information in your memory.
The science behind sleep has shown that it plays a role in the consolidation of information in your brain. It helps you to remember better from memory. In fact, if you have just studied for 30 or 40 minutes, it may benefit you to take a short 20 or 30 minutes nap to allow your brain to store that information. Give it a try and see how well it helps you.
There are many strategies you can use to improve your memory and recall. The most important of them will be exercise and sleep that directly influence the quality of your memory storage. The other strategies can be used in combination or alone to help you improve your memory and recall.
Leave a comment below and share with us your experience with these strategies for memory and recall. Also, if we have missed out on any strategy, please share it in a comment, as well.
How do I test my memory and recall? You can test your memory and recall with quizzes, games, or Leitner flashcard system. These tests focus on challenging your memory on its recall ability. While built from the same premise of testing your recall ability to gauge your memory, these tests do differ in their scope. For example, most quizzes and games are designed to test your short-term memory recall ability. In contrast, the Leitner flashcard system is designed for long-term memory testing, which is suited for exam studying.
How fast can I see improvement in my memory and recall? The improvement time taken for everyone is unique. Some might see instant improvement in their memory and recall by using mnemonic device. In contrast, others might find it difficult to utilize the memory improving strategies, and might take a few days of practice. Thus, the fastest improvement in memory and recall can happen in minutes, while some improvement in it will take days or months.