Friday, December 16, 2011

Who Wants to Remember Things Fast and Easily?

Think about these: Why is it so hard to memorize history but so easy to memorize lyrics to a song? And why is it much easier to remember celebrities on TV than the great heroes, emperors and idols in history?

You might be thinking that remembering something is easy, but as you can probably attest from the above examples, it’s not particularly "easy" either.

Training up your memory is key. The brain is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

Here are some mnemonics that will help you to remember things, especially those things that you would normally have a hard time with:

1. Acronyms

We always easily forget the name of organizations or institutions that are unfamiliar to us. If you want to recall those names easily, try to form letters into a phrase.

Examples of companies which apply this skill to let people from all over the world recall their names easily include: "LV" for Louis Vuitton and “CK” for Calvin Klein. The tip is to capitalize the first letters of what you want to remember and spell them out into a word or phrase, which will be easier to remember.

2. Rhymes and Rhythm

Rhyming is one of the most effective ways to remember disparate things. Conversely, converting a Chinese poem into a song makes remembering it justa piece of cake. (I used to form lyrics out of our Chinese History studies and sing whatever tune I come up with.)

3. Word Games

Spice up your life by inventing funny phrases out of words difficult to transcribe to mind. Can't spell the word “Arithmetic”? Form “A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream” into an image and recall it back taking only the first letters of the words in the phrase.

As for names of colleagues, you can also imagine something which is relevant to the person. For example, if her name is Blair, then try thinking of "a girl with a black hair" and add it into your reference list.

Other Suggestions

Improve Your Posture

Information goes from the outreaches of the body to the brain and back. The spine carries the crucial nerve supply from the brain that allows the body to function. This explains why we can have a better learning and feedback when we sit up straight than lie down studying in bed.

Jot Notes Down

If you're all grown up and outside school, don't be embarrassed to keep writing down the important information on your notebook. Don’t be embarrassed to read it verbally, even in a crowded public place! By hearing your own voice repeatedly, you will just be surprised later that you've memorized hundrdeds of words you've previously found abstruse.