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Published on October 10, 2018

11 Best Tactics for Improving Your Memory Within a Month

11 Best Tactics for Improving Your Memory Within a Month

Over time your memory slips little by little, and the moments where you forget people’s names or can’t remember where you left your keys become more and more frequent.

It’s a natural process, and doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with your brain. You just need to keep it active with regular exercises and stimulating activities!

With these 11 quick and effective tactics on improving memory, you’ll be able to remember more and learn new things a lot quicker in no time.

1. Stop multitasking

Being able to do a lot of things at the same time may seem like a really cool skill on paper. In reality though, multitasking for your memory is more of an annoying distraction than anything else.

Switching back and forth between two things disrupts your short term memory, making it near impossible to retain useful information. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention.

Be mindful, and try to focus on one thing at a time. When you’re trying to concentrate on multiple things at once, you’re not going to remember them nearly as well as you would if you paid attention to just one of them.

2. Don’t type – write it down

Writing something down instead of typing it can help you remember it later.

Multiple studies have suggested that writing something down by hand uses more parts of your brain than simply typing it.[1] It’s a lot more engaging and stimulating for your brain because it has to process and analyze the information before your write it down.

So if you want to make sure you remember something, don’t reach after a keyboard – pick up a pen!

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3. Use the power of visualization

A great way to remember something is using your brain’s power of visualization.

Let’s say you’re trying to remember a simple to-do list of your tasks for the day. Imagine you’re in your house, and the tasks you need to do are located in the different rooms of your house.

So later, when you want to recall the items on your list, you can simply picture yourself walking through your house.

If you know that you take in information in visual form better, use it to your advantage! Create your own visual cues – draw charts or figures on the margins of your notebook. Even something as simple as using a highlighter can be enough to help information stick in your mind.

4. Study a new language

It’s probably fair to say that not a lot of people will learn a new language for the sole purpose of improving their memory.

Even a very basic knowledge of another language has been shown to have a tremendously positive effect on your memory.[2] It’s easily one of the best ways to keep your memory sharp!

And you don’t even have to become fluent. Just learning the pool of the most commonly used words is enough to flex your memory muscles.

5. Enjoy music

We all listen to music, but not all of us realize that it’s not only enjoyable, but also very beneficial.

It seems like an entirely passive thing, when it’s actually one of the few activities that can engage both sides of your brain at the same time. Listening to music has a very positive impact on your memory, as well as your attention and coordination.

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But you can take it a step further – learn to play an instrument, learn to sing, or dance to your favorite music. All of it is good for your memory and your brain in general.

6. Take regular breaks form your tech

Smartphones, tablets, laptops. They have become such essential parts of our everyday existence that often our entire professional lives revolve around these devices.

And as incredibly useful as they are, they are massive attention hogs. For some reason, it’s difficult to concentrate and think clearly when you know there’s an unanswered email sitting in your inbox, and you have yet to even check your Twitter timeline today!

Resist the urge to constantly reach for your phone and check your notifications if you’re serious about improving your memory.

7. Get quality sleep, always

With the crazy rhythm modern life has, getting a good 8 hours of sleep every night may seem like a rare privilege.

But the truth is, a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to not only to your mental health and general well-being, but your memory as well. Your brain needs sleep to consolidate memories, and grow new cells.

Even taking a quick nap after learning something new will dramatically improve your ability to retain that information. And consistently getting enough sleep will ensure that you’re always at the peak of your mental abilities.

8. Meditate to avoid stress

Stress often goes hand in hand with work and studies. That’s just sad a fact of life.

Another fact about stress is that it’s not very good for your memory. When you’re stressed, you’re a lot less inclined to take in new information and a lot more likely to forget whatever you’ve learned later.

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Meditating has been proven to be a fantastic way to reduce stress. It has numerous other health benefits like increased focus and attention, mood enhancement, and of course memory improvement.

Even as little as two minutes of meditation per day could go a long way towards improving your memory, so there’s literally no excuse not to try!

9. Pay attention to your everyday diet

Any balanced diet consisting of healthy foods can have a positive effect on your memory, but there are certain groups of foods that have especially great benefits.

Leafy greens, seaweed, berries, nuts, olive and coconut oil, avocado and turmeric are all extremely rich in brain-enhancing components like unsaturated fats, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

Adding them to your grocery shopping list and incorporate them into your daily diet will not only help strengthen your memory, but provide you with numerous other health benefits.

In addition to eating more healthy foods, consider avoiding trans fats and sugar, as those have been proven to have a negative effect on your memory as well as your health in general.

Depression, poor memory formation, low attention span, and learning disorders are among just a few things that their consumption have been linked to.

And of course, remember to stay hydrated. Your brain is 73% water, so even the slightest dehydration can have adverse effects on your concentration and memory.

10. Try light exercises

A healthy diet is highly beneficial for healthy brain function. Combine it with regular exercise and you’ve got yourself a seriously killer combo.

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Regular physical activity, even something light like jogging or power walking, boosts the size of the part of your brain that’s involved in memory and learning.

So get yourself a pair of comfy sneakers and get going!

11. Try brain training games and apps

There are literally thousands of free brain fitness apps and games available. Exactly how beneficial they are for your overall brain function is somewhat debatable, but the best way to know for sure is to give a couple of them a try.

Even if you’re not a big on games, trying a few free memory training apps is super easy and will not take too much of your time. Give them a week or two, and if you see the befits – great! If not, there are plenty of other great ways to keep your mind sharp on this very list!

The bottom line

Good memory is not something everybody has, but it’s something you can absolutely develop and improve throughout your life.

Hopefully, our list above will serve as a good first step towards becoming a true memory champion!

Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

Reference

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Arina Katrycheva

Marketing advisor, productivity expert and technology enthusiast

How to Improve Your Brain Memory Naturally: Foods to Eat And Skip 11 Best Tactics for Improving Your Memory Within a Month

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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Encourage Your Employees

When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

Offer Rewards

Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

Give Autonomy

Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

A To Do Scheduling System

Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

“The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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Ask If They like What They’re Doing

If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

The Bottom Line

Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

More Resources About Team Management

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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