30 Tips to Improve Your Memory
- Get plenty of sleep. Lack of rest will have a negative effect on your memory.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Studies have shown that a 2% decrease in hydration can lead to a 20% loss in energy. Since your body and your brain are inter-related, you need to keep your system hydrated to improve your brain’s efficiency.
- Try to eliminate or reduce any stress you are currently feeling.
- Make your learning experiences social. Learning things with other people will help you retain the information and experiences better.
- Try to teach someone else about something you just learned.
- Read before going to bed.
- Try to make as many connections to previously learned information as possible.
- Review information learned while walking and discussing the information with another person.
- Talk with mentally stimulating people. This can be mentors, family or friends.
- Keep body in tune with proper nutrition. Consume memory-boosting vitamins. Also consume salmon, folic acid, natural sugars and vitamin B12.
- Make it a habit to study in your most comfortable environment.
- Use associations to help you remember specific information.
- Avoid memorizing information if you are in pain, on medication or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Avoid multitasking. Our brain is not that great at performing two similar tasks. Try doing one thing at a time unless one of those tasks can be done without conscious mental processing.
- Play instrumental music (no lyrics) ideally performed at 60 beats per minute.
- “Download” information that you gather through note-taking (try mind mapping), oral-repetition, audio recording.
- Pay attention to the most important information or it will be discarded from your working memory within 18-30 seconds.
- Relax. It’s difficult to retain information when you are tense, nervous or stressed.
- Review what you already know about a topic before learning more about it.
- Reduce or eliminate auditory and visual distractions. Your brain works most efficiently by accepting only one dominant sensory input at a time.
- Avoid cramming. Practice over time rather than attempting to learn everything in a single session.
- Review information by visualizing it.
- Remember random verbal information through verbal repetition (the phonological loop).
- Make it a habit to repeat very important information 3 times: once within 10-20 minutes, again within 48 hours and one more time at the end of a seven-day period.
- Have a scent or fragrance with you while you study. Bring that same scent with you to the test.
- Take small breaks or naps to help the brain connect and reflect.
- Use mnemonic devices to memorize multiple pieces of information.
- Use the “10-80-10” rule to connect old information to new information. Devote 10% of your time to reviewing old information, 80% of your time to learning new information, and 10% to preview new information that is coming next.
- Get organized. You are much more likely to forget things if your notes are unorganized.
- Eliminate distractions to achieve better focus. The more you focus, the more you’ll remember.
Don’t forget to check out the new Iris Memory Improvement Course.
Paul is the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading and memory courses. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide at institutions that include: NASA, Google, HSBC and many Fortune 500 companies.