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How to Build a Stronger Memory

https://hbr.org/2020/06/how-to-build-a-stronger-memory

hbr.org

How to Build a Stronger Memory
Three exercises.

4

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Smartphones: A Memory Replacement

Smartphones: A Memory Replacement

The smartphone has partially replaced our memory, helping us recall information like birthdays, deadlines, contact details and to-do lists. These are the things we relied on our memory for, but now instead of training our memory, we are training it to rely on the external tools and apps.

As we rely on our smartphones, we are getting increasingly forgetful, which is not good for any successful business or personal relationship, where you need to show that you value and remember them.

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How Your Mind Registers Information

To use your memory, you need to figure out how your mind registers information. It can be in writing or audio/visual format. It’s important to leave technology behind and focus on the individual or group in front of you.

  • When we get introduced to someone or meet them for the first time, repeat their name often in your conversation.
  • Do not hide behind your laptop taking notes during a meeting.
  • Make it a game to remember people's names as you walk by the office.

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What We Avoid Doing Might Help Us

The boring, routine work that is often delegated to others is a memory-enhancing goldmine.

Repetitive tasks like organizing information, digitizing an old contact list, inputting information manually on a laptop or PC, which leaders would normally delegate to others, can aid us in recalling information and memory consolidation.

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New Information

Though it sounds counterintuitive, prioritizing new information instead of important information helps us recall better. Example: Looking up or googling the people that you meet online helps us retain their names and other details.

Prioritize remembering what is in front of you and in the current context.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Science of Memory

  1. Encoding - the stage when the brain consciously acknowledges information based on our senses. When we attach meaning or factual knowledge to any of this sensory input, that'...

Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Memory

  • Get a good night's sleep or take a power nap after learning something new, to help retain and retrieve memories better. Sleep deprivation and acquisition of too much information will not help you save those memories.
  • Get moving, to improve the flow of oxygen-rich blood in your brain and to trigger neuron growth and new connections in the brain - critical for memory.
  • Improve your diet. Fats from food can build up the brain, resulting to poor blood flow.

Mnemonics

Any system or device designed to aid memory:

  • patterns of letters or words (common mnemonics)
  • ideas (memory palace)
  • associations (chunking)

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Deterioration Of Memory

Deterioration Of Memory

We cannot be expected to hold on to all the information we have accumulated in our lives, at all times.

As we age, memory slips usually become common and can be embarrassing as well as stre...

Factors That Lead To Forgetfulness

Insomnia, anxiety, depression and various mental health issues can lead to memory loss, as well as a decline in other cognitive skills like attention, language, and executive function.

The many memory-related problems are absent-mindedness, blocking of a certain piece of information, fading memories, and incorrect recall.

How To Manage Your Memory

... by a set of criteria and habits known as DANCERS:

D: Disease Management by maintaining your weight along with blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
A: Activities like walking, swimming or exercising at the gym.
N: Nutrition of the body, with focus on whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.
C: Cognitive engagement and challenges to your brain.
E: Engagement, social interaction and avoiding isolation.
R: Relaxing your mind, by yoga and mediation
S: Sleeping properly, adequately and in a fixed schedule, while avoiding electronic devices in those hours.

Connect & Link (The Link Method)

This memorization technique involves creating associations between items in a list and assigning images to each connection to help you memorize better. 

For instance, your account...

Make a Story (The Story Method)

This approach is really similar to the Link Method. While you create a bunch of different images between each two items using the Link Method, you combine everything into one big picture with the Story Method. This technique helps you memorize the sequence of the images and hence the order of the items. 

Associate Objects with Familiar Locations (The Loci Method)

You can use this memorization method by associating terms or list items with familiar locations. 

Make these images as absurd, comical, sensory (e.g. can incorporate sounds, smells, tastes), and vivid as possible for best results. This is a centuries-old method started by ancient Romans and is still used today by many World Memory Champions.