Many people wish they had a better memory for revising and learning, but through using only a few tricks you can vastly improve your memory. The mind has a phenomenal ability to store and recall huge amounts of information. Anyone can improve their learning abilities and their memory; check out these 8 ways to remember absolutely everything you learn below.
1. Summarize every paragraph you read
After you have finished reading a paragraph, write a small summary of the paragraph in the margins of the page. This means you have to process the paragraph, make sense of it in your mind, then rephrase it in a way you can immediately understand.
2. Pace yourself
If you put yourself under pressure to learn a lot in a small amount of time it is very unlikely that you will succeed. The pressure will make you feel stressed and you may struggle to stay focused. Set realistic goals that you can actually stick to so you only have to worry about learning.
3. Remove all distractions
The world we live in is filled with distractions, from social media, to your phone, to an open-plan office. You will learn best if you shut out all distractions, so switch off your internet and mobile and sit in a room alone. It is also helpful to switch off any music, or replace it with music without lyrics. It isn’t enough to say yes to learning – you also need to say no to the distractions.
4. Use repetition
Write down everything you learn at least three times. This may seem excessive but it means you are far more likely to remember everything. Writing out facts will help you to recall them quickly, and it will help you to realize what you already know so you can focus on the facts you don’t know as well.
5. Use visuals
Many people are unaware of the link between vision and memory, but you are much more likely to remember something if you associate an image with it. For instance, if you are introduced to 10 new people over a telephone, you may only remember a name or two. However, if you were introduced to the same people at a party, you are more likely to remember more people because you have an image associated with them.
To help you to remember everything you learn, visualize what you are learning about happening in front of you. The image will stick in your mind, making it easier for you to recall the information.
6. Learn about things you enjoy
It is much easier for us to remember things that we enjoy rather than things that bore us. For example, it is very likely that you still know all of the words to an engaging song you haven’t heard for years. If you are learning about something that you find dull it will be tough for you to become genuinely interested, but it is likely you can actually make it interest you.
Ask yourself these questions; why do I find this dull? How can I make it interesting? Will learning this benefit me? Can I use this knowledge to improve my situation?
7. Make sure you get enough sleep
How much sleep you get will determine how well you learn and remember things. Instead of staying up all night to study, make sure you get a full night’s sleep so you can be refreshed before you start learning. This means you are more likely to stay focused and remember what you learn.
8. Connect what you’re learning about with something you already know about
The more mental connections you can attach to a piece of information, the more likely you are to remember. When you learn something new, try to link it to something you already know. This will make it easier for you to recall the information.