Convert Info Into A Picture
Because most information–a name or series of numbers–is abstract, converting it into a related image helps your brain latch onto it. If you park your car in row B13 of a parking garage, for example, you may imagine a birthday cake with 13 candles. When you return later, your mind will draw up the information faster.
Store Info In A ‘Memory Palace’
You need to be able to retrieve the information that you’ve stored in your brain quickly and easily. One technique is creating a “memory palace,” in which you imagine a space–like your home–and populate rooms with the images you’ve assigned to pieces of information. Then when you mentally walk through the space, you’ll be able to recall the information you stored there.
Connect Info In A Story
The brain remembers stories better than fragments of information. So connect the dots. If you’re trying to memorize information for a test, come up with a story that will connect the various piece of information.
Do Something Wacky To Activate Memory
Especially when you’re busy and doing something routine, it helps to break that routine with a memorable action. So when you put down your keys or purse, and know you’ll have trouble finding them later, say something strange out loud (“yee-haw”) or do something out of the ordinary (stomp your foot). You’ll remember the action, which will remind you of the location you set down your keys.
Get Multiple Senses Involved
One of the most common problems for people is remembering names. One trick is to associate a distinguishing feature with the sound of the name. If someone’s name is Brian (which reminds you of “brain”) and he has fluffy eyebrows, visualize his brain coming out of his eyebrows.
For the memory to work optimally, it needs to be well rested. Sleep about eight hours a night, every night.
Eat Brain-Strong Foods
Eat foods full of antioxidants and Omega 3 DHA, like fresh fruit and fatty fish.
Neurologists say the single most effective way to boost memory is through regular physical exercise.
Make An Effort
Be present in situations in which you’ll gather important information. When meeting someone new, make the effort to learn their name by confirming that you’ve heard it correctly, asking for the spelling or history, and then using it in the conversation.
If you have a big event that requires tapping your memory, like giving a speech or presentation, work up to it slowly rather than cramming. By reviewing the material progressively it will be stored in the cortex, a more protected, longer-term part of the brain.
As posted originally on Forbes