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3 Tips to Improve Memory Quickly

3 Tips to Improve Memory Quickly

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    Memory is not something you don’t have; it has little to do with genetics or environment.

    The problem has never been that we have “faulty” equipment; that our brains are broken or don’t work.  The problem has always been awareness.  We haven’t been taught how to properly use our brains.  For most people, it’s a just a muscle that is underused and underdeveloped.

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    It’s turns out that having a good memory has more to do with your strategy than it does with your mental hardware.  The people that have great memories follow a strategic process.  This process is based on the technology of Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP).

    Memory and The Spelling Strategy

    There are an infinite number of ways to learn how to spell.  Most of the average to poor spellers learn phonetically.  That means learning to spell based on the sounds of the letters and words – an auditory strategy.

    It turns out that this strategy is not the most effective way to become a great speller.  The real trail-blazers, the people who consistently produce top scores learn how to spell visually – a visual strategy.

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    3 Tips to Improve Memory

    The spelling strategy is just one example of how visual properties help improve memory.  If you want to improve your memory, start using a visual strategy.  You can start right away with these 3 tips:

    1.    Begin to access your visual cues. Access the visually memorable part of your brain by looking up and to the left.  You see when you look up and to the left you access your visual memory.  These are the pictures, images and movies that have flashed on your mind from the past.  You can do this deliberately right now to find items you lost or misplaced.

    Have you lost your keys or misplaced your wallet?

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    You can find these items in your mind.  Outer world images are stored inside.   Just move your eyes by looking up and to the left and look for your wallet in your mind.   Where did you see it last?

    2.    Another way to use this approach is in conversation. The next time you speak with someone, be sure to play with the visual strategy.

    When someone is speaking to you, start to create pictures and images in your mind.  Listen to people as if they were telling you a story.  And as they tell you their story, build a motion picture in your mind.  Add visual images and pictures to the story.  The richer the pictures, the easier it will be to remember.

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    I’ve used this strategy to avoid taking meeting minutes.  All I did was add pictures to the story I was hearing.  A picture says a thousand words. Some people were amazed at how good my memory was, but there’s no trick to it – just a strategy.  Use it or loose it.

    3.    Practice changing your physiology. Make sure to speak to someone by keeping your head up and shoulders back.  Stand up straight when possible.  This makes it so much easier to look up and make pictures.  And since your memory is accessed through the picture-making magic comes from looking up and to the left, that’s where you want to be.

    Practice seeing the world differently.  Use the muscle between your ears.  You’ve got one of the most precious gifts the world has ever known; your marvelous mind.

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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