The billowing lettuce sails of a wholemeal bread pirate ship glide the vessel over an ocean of orange juice. The captain – complete with carrot peg-leg – looks out from atop the toothpaste mast over a school of eye fillet fish and dark chocolate stingrays.
That’s your 7-item grocery list memorised! There are some great mental techniques which can help you recall long sequences of information, after just a quick minute of practise.
Check out Scott H. Young’s Seven Tips to Stop Forgetfulness
Give your brain a rest! Writing it down or taking a photo is still the best way to keep important things on your radar.
Like the sailing of the pirate ship above, linking words by associating them together with metal images is great for remembering long chains of separate information – the more ridiculous the more likely you are to remember!
The link technique for advanced players! It helps qualify items in a sequence, when order matters for example a phone number.
When you can remember something while doing another thing, you can put a trigger out to remind you of that thought again later. Say you’re drifting off to sleep and you remember you need to return that library book tomorrow, placing the book in your bedroom doorway will ensure you have to come across that thought again when you wake up tomorrow.
At a meeting and you just can’t remember your colleagues name who you just met? Best thing to do is to say it out loud – as soon as they introduce themself, say their name and use it a couple of times (casually!) until you’ve got it down.
Ask someone to remind you – not only because it shifts the responsibility, but because the act of talking about it with someone helps to wedge it in your memory.
Sometimes it’s more messiness than forgetfulness. Having a diary schedule or step-by-step plan is like a spring clean for the memory!
If you’re concerned that you’re needing to use more and more techniques like this to support your memory, it may be a good idea to take our Memory Quiz and get more information about early memory loss, and a new clinical research trial.
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