If you have been described as having the memory of a goldfish, then that is not a good sign. Furthermore, if you keep forgetting that your sunglasses are on your head, or worse, that your keys are in your hand, then you are really in need of this list of memory tricks. Save yourself the frustration of forgetfulness and start using these 8 ways to compensate for a terrible memory.
1. Sing a song
Even if you have a terrible memory, you will be surprised by how well you are able to sing along to that song on the radio. You may even have that song you absolutely hate stuck in your head right now; no matter how hard you try, it has made a permanent home in your head. With the addition of a melody, the brain has a better ability to retain words. Take a tune you love and replace the lyrics with whatever it is you are trying to remember
2. Acrostics & Acronyms
You probably know what “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge“ stands for, as well as the FBI’s full title. Come up with your own acrostics and acronyms. The letters do not even have to make sense. The mere act of narrowing down your list to a few letters that you can string together is an incredibly helpful way to remember.
3. Mental pictures
The mind does better with visual memory than with auditory memory. Rather than try and remember simply what you hear, create visual pictures in your mind for the words and/or tasks that you are to knock off your to-do list.
4. Set an alarm
Your alarm clock is not only good for getting you up in the morning. If there is something during the day that you need to be prompted about, set your alarm for that time. You most likely will forget to check the calendar on your phone during the day, so this is a great “third-party” assistant for your memory.
5. Password relief
Nothing is more frustrating that typing in the wrong password a bunch of times and then getting blocked from your account. Thankfully Safari and Google Chrome have password manager systems that will keep a hidden log of your usernames and passwords. Use these tools or keep a logbook of passwords near your computer to save yourself the frustration.
6. Tell a story
A similar effect to song lyrics is the use of story. Everyone loves a good story. Go back to your childhood days and recover that highly imaginative mind. Create a story around the list of items or the tasks that you need to remember. The more vivid and ridiculous the better. Make your avocados eat a fish that is filled with bread to remember those three simple grocery items.
7. Write it down
Researchers have shown that students who take notes have a far better retention rate than those who simply sit and listen. The act of writing something down causes your mind to process the information and engage at a deeper level, thus strengthening your neural memory connections. Post-its are still ever-popular because they are so effective. Carry some small post-its or a notepad with you wherever you go.
You are probably very familiar with the old “string on the finger” trick that your grandparents swore by. The idea behind it is to create a novel trigger for you to remember what the task you intended was. Some people will put a little toy in their pocket, so that when they pull out Spiderman they are reminded about that phone call they need to make.
Give your brain a good piggy-back with these memory techniques today. You may even be surprised by how your memory gets stronger in the process.