Do you have hard time remembering names, phone numbers and perhaps important dates? When you leave home, do you turn around or have the urge to turn around to make sure you locked the door, shut off the appliances or you left something you have been planning to bring? If your answer to these questions are mostly yes, you are in being in the ally of forgetfulness. Don’t fret! forgetfulness is curable! Here are some tips for you.
Talk to yourself
Yes, you read it right! Don’t be shy. Give yourself an aural as well as a visual image to remember. If you leave your car at the end of the parking lot, under that huge oak tree, go ahead and say, “I’m leaving my car at the far end of the parking lot, under the huge oak tree/” Say it out loud. This is another way to reinforce memory.
Wherever and whenever possible, jot down on paper what you need to remember. Our short term memory has limited capacities – there’s only so much space available. By making lists, you not only are assured of remembering what you wrote down, it also frees your mind for more important things.
When pencil and paper are unavailable, you will have to list things in your head — but don’t do so randomly. If you are on your way to the grocery store and you know you need 20 items, you’ll probably never remember all 20 unless they are logically grouped. Think: five vegetables, four paper goods, three fruits etc.
Make a silly story
If you’ve got several items to remember and you’re afraid you never will — no problem. Just make up a tale involving your items. Say you’re on your way to the market and you need pork chops, apricots, milk and break. Tell yourself of a story in which pig is drinking milk, in a wheat field, under the shade of an apricot tree.
To remember names, think of faces
Perhaps the most difficult memory task we’re faced with is remembering the names of people we’ve just met. The trick is to etch in your mind a permanent association between the name and the face. Better yet, find a prominent feature on the face and focus in on that. If Buff Luziniski, that new guy in the office, happens to have a long nose – visualize a tiny man skilling down that long nose. Imaging that little man losing those skis.
Outline your thoughts
Many college students become intimately involved with a pink, yellow, or green highlighting marker. But you don’t need a highlighter to outline your thoughts. You can do it mentally. Select what is important and what is not. You are far less likely to forget what you read.
Read, read and read
If your problem is forgetting words, it’s probably because you don’t use them enough. As a senior interpreter at the United Nations, he must store an enormous vocabulary in his memory and keep it ready to pull out at any moment. In english alone, there are as many as 200,000 words available, although fewer than 5,000 is typically used in a daily basis. So if you can’t seem to find the right word, your vocabulary is likely to be a bit rusty.
Solution? do as much reading as you can. A good fiction, particularly classics of english language, such as those of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen or Somerset Maugham is recommended.
People generally aren’t very good at knowing how good they are at remembering. It is very common that someone may think he remembers something, but he doesn’t. You’ve probably experience this in the middle of an exam. The way to make sure it doesn’t happen again is to give yourself a quiz before the exam. A practice test will let you know if you have it down or not.
Stress and anxiety can clearly disrupt memory performance. You need your consciousness to encode things. Anxiety eats that up. IF you are a forgetful person, it may be that your mind could use a vacation.
“Chunking” is like categorizing, but you do it with numbers. If, for instance, you had to remember the numbers 2,0,2,4,5,6,1,4,1,4 you’d probably have a rough time of it. Remembering (202) 456-1414 us quite a bit easier. Phone numbers come naturally chunked, as do social security numbers.