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Our brains are powerful things and can handle an unlimited amount of memory. But when it comes to memory issues the issues aren’t the fact we can’t store things, but that we have issues recalling those memories and extracting information from them.
To recall something is actually a lot harder than you might think. How many times have you had moments where you knew the answer but couldn’t tell someone what it was? More than you want to admit right? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
However, some of us have learned how we can boost our own memory and today we’ll be talking about some of those tactics to help you enhance your recall skills.
One of the first tricks to enhancing recall skills is to convert words into pictures. This trick is essential for two very good reasons. The first is that we have a natural ability to process pictures faster than words. The second is that the more senses that we use in our learning process the better we can recall things. To see this in practice say you need to be somewhere at a specific time. Instead of memorizing the words, train yourself to visualize yourself there at that specific time and make it vivid.
Another great tactic is called stacking. This is great for those practicing rote memorization – which is memorization based on repetition. Rote memorization is good if you only have three items but if you have more of them then it can spell trouble, This is where stacking comes in and it’s simply visualizing images on top of images. For example, say today you have a meeting, a dinner date, and you have to file some reports in. Stacking images would be using visual cues to help with that. You can show two people sitting across from one another (dinner date), wearing suits (official meeting), and some papers on the table (file the report).
If all that visualization tricks doesn’t cut it for you, one other good trick is to pull out some sick rhymes. Seriously. Music has a wonderful way of sticking in our heads. If we hear a tune we can remember words to the song and sing along even if it’s been over a decade since we heard it. Rhymes have a way of sticking in our brains all the same so if you create rhymes around things you need to remember you can improve your recall.
Another good memorization tactic is using mnemonic devices. What these are are acronyms or sentences to help you remember specific things. Some prime example– remember the mathematical order of operations known as PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition and Subtraction) or as some may recall Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.
The last trick that can help with recall when you first meet someone is to actually focus on peoples names as a start. Some people have said repeating the persons name and using it in the conversation can help with recall and it certainly does, however one tactic that you can also use is associating first names with items. Again more visualization. The thing is though is that there are a lot of common names used in today’s society. There’s at least 30 commonly used names you’ll find amongst men and women. Start with those by associating an item with those names to help with memory.
There are all sorts of memory tricks out there you can employ. Have you heard of other ones?