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How To Memorise Everything As Easily As Remembering Lyrics

How To Memorise Everything As Easily As Remembering Lyrics

I’ve always wondered why I’m so good at remembering music lyrics. While driving down the highway, I sometimes find it astonishing that I could remember the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” and without hesitation, sing along to it. I can remember catchy songs like this without even trying while my wife sitting next to me has problems remembering the name of the band who sang, “I don’t want to miss a thing”.

The weird thing is, my wife has a memory ten fold better than I have and simple tasks like remembering to take out the trash, bringing along her slippers when fetching her from work or, paying the house conservancy charges, always elude me. Surely there is a way to help me remember daily domestic chores easily like how I remember music lyrics.

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So just how do we remember things like how we can remember the lyrics to hundreds or not thousands of songs? Check out these pointers to help you boost your memory if you’re like me.

1. Repeat and lock it in!

The reason why people remember music lyrics so well is because of practice. For me, I will first hum to a certain song if I like the tune. Then I’ll sub-consciously learn the lyrics (because I’ve never consciously told myself to learn a certain song as it would just seem weird) after listening to it several times and soon enough, I’ll be taking it to my own personal karaoke room – the showers.

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What I’m doing here is practice. If there’s something to remember, we would have to lock it into our heads by repeating it several times. For example, if there are 3 important things you need to do before you leave the house, repeat it in a certain order. “Stove, windows, lights.” And given time, checking these 3 things before leaving house will be second nature to you.

2. Rapping it

The easiest songs to remember are those with words that rhyme. With that being said, I actually have friends that can remember rap lyrics better than songs with catchy tunes because most of the words rhyme so it really depends on which aspects can trigger you to remember a song.

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Studies have shown that making things rhyme will be able to make us recall much easier so why not try to make your to-do list rhyme? If you have a shopping list to remember, create a simple rap song out of items on the list. For example, if you have avocados and detergents on the list, you can create a rap song such as, “I have to buy detergents because there’s too much germs. I have to buy an avocado that comes from San Tiago.”

By linking rhyme items to words such as germs and San Tiago, it’s easier for your brain to pick out the answers because there are lesser cues to consider.

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3. Associations 

Similar to putting everyday items into a rap to improve memory, creating associations to important things can give us an advantage in remembering. Think of your brain as a highway network. To get from point A to point B, you would have to look out for certain landmarks to know when to turn. The more landmarks there are, the easier for your brain to remember.

For example, if there are information you need for an exam, simply associating the information with a certain place you studied in, how you felt and what you could see can help you to remember easier. Like a song, we tend to remember the tune, the voice and the instruments and all these forms the context for us to remember it.

4. Interest

Songs that I remember clearly are usually songs that move me emotionally. Take Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me for an example; I remember this song for it’s meaning and it’s tune which are pretty much more than enough to make me remember it. So if there are things you should remember, the best way to remember it is to take interest in it at the onset or try to associate it with things that would make you take interest in it!

Featured photo credit: Singing via flic.kr

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Lim Kairen

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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