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Simple Ways to Be Better at Remembering

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/smarter-living/simple-ways-to-be-better-at-remembering.html

nytimes.com

Simple Ways to Be Better at Remembering
When the sum total of human knowledge rests an arm's length away in each person's pocket, why do we have to remember anything anymore? On an average day most of us check our smartphones 47 times, and nearly double that if we're between the ages of 18 and 24, which might explain why some of us have such a hard time processing the information we take in to form memories.

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47/times a day

...is the number we check our phones  on a daily basis. 

And nearly double that if we’re between the ages of 18 and 24. 

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We’re no longer weighed down by having to retain trivial data, since all the information we need is one click away, and so we are left with greater cognitive space and with a hard time process...

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2 kinds of memories

2 kinds of memories
  • explicit, created through conscious experience;
  • implicit, which form when past experiences affect us, sometimes without our knowledge.

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Memory is a recontruction

It's not a photographic recording and it changes over time: our brains are forever rerecording those memories, making them far more error prone.

Recalling a long-term memory brings it back in...

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Repetition

Repetition

The repetition of tasks (reading, or saying words over and over) continues to be the best method for transforming short-term memories into long-term ones. To do that, we have to retrain our minds t...

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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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Cue Words That Tease Memory

Certain 'cue' words have the ability to make us remember the first time we did something, which is more often than not in our growing years, or as a young adult.

Example: the word 'Driving...

The Reminiscence Effect

The Reminiscence Effect or the Reminiscence Bump is something found in every middle-aged or old person: a person's memories of the formative years (15 years to the late 20s) are more easily recalled and fondly remembered.

First Time For Everything

The 'First-Time' Theory states that our first job, first kiss, and other things that happened to us for the first time, have an extraordinary effect on our memory, leading to greater and more elaborate cognitive processing.

Example: The first year of college, with its many firsts that a person goes through is more easily remembered than the last years.

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Memory cues

Memory cues

They are objects or events that help trigger an action or a memory of that action. 

They can be either intentional (a reminder on our phone) or unintentional 

Different types of memory cues

  • Internal memory cues are patterns of thinking that help trigger a specific memory. For example, mental imagery, which involves visualizing a certain scene happening, can serve as an internal reminder of an event that happened.
  • External memory cues are objects or events that trigger a memory that they are associated with. For example, a glass of water next to your bed is an external reminder to drink water when you wake up.

Example of exernal cues

  • To remember to floss your teeth, put the box with the floss on top of your tube of toothpaste.
  • To remember to take a pill each morning, put the pills next to whatever you usually eat for breakfast.
  • To start the day by writing, put a piece of paper with a reminder on top of your keyboard.
  • You can use your watch as a reminder to take things easy, so that every time you look at it you remember to relax a little.

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