Growing up, you probably thought that there are people that are just born with a great memory and you are not. In reality, though this is only partially through as you could improve memory because it is a skill.
Improving your memory is an essential part to increase productivity and make sure that things will be in order especially if you are in charge as a manager.
Even if so, it is not like the only thing that requires you to have the full capacity to remember and execute tasks is just by being in a managerial position of some sort. In fact, it something we need otherwise we would move through senselessly and with no current direction to what we the next step is.
Personally, I have always been envious of people who has an amazing memory. They could remember those key points that your professor enumerated for you in the lecture, nonchalantly remember the name of the person you just met a while ago or remembering astonishing things like numbers, symbols, and a list of things.
At one point or another we most likely found ourselves in an embarrassing situation because of a faulty memory. Like that one time you had lapses about the task your boss just told you a minute ago, or going inside a room just to forget what you are supposed to do, or even that instance wherein you left your phone or important document back at home.
But there is always good news for all of us, because surprise, surprise you could improve your memory in so many ways. For simplicity’s sake though I will share some of them for you which you could do now.
What is the Memory?
First before anything else, when learning something what you want to do is to know what it is not only will this give you a depth of understanding of the subject but it will give you a primary boost when you have something to back up your knowledge about.
Just read through this part, otherwise if you wanna dive in head first, I encourage you to just scroll down a bit and you will see that big heading “5 Ways to Improve Memory”.
Memory is the process that helps us remember, store, and access data and information through the collection of sensory organs that we have throughout the body. The eyes, the skin, the nose, the ears, and the tongue does all the gathering for us and helps us store them for future use and past recapitulation.
It is a tool for survival and adjusting ourselves to the situations that happens around us. I am not memory expert but hey both you and I are part of a team and is striving for the same goal here. So hang on tight and I will explain things further.
The following types of memory are the things we will be focusing on about:
- Sensory Memory
- Short-Term & Working Memory
Sensory Memory is the memory that are from your sensory organs, under this there are other branches of memory. There are 5 main senses of the body (touch, taste, hear, sight & smell) which if you assume is connected here, well you just got it right. Although only three were extensively researched about:
- Iconic Memory – as the word suggests this type of memory is linked to the visual sensory system of the body which forms the pictures and icons that travel to our brains. Iconic memory has a duration of 100 ms. Iconic memory is noticeable is when we see “light trails.” This is the phenomenon when bright lights move rapidly at night and you perceive them as forming a trail; this is the image that is represented in iconic memory.
- Echoic Memory – the sensory memory which is connected to auditorial system. Our hearing, where we sense the sound of different objects produce. One thing to also note is that it is a big source of sensory memory, for at least 3-4 seconds only. This is when music is played in the mind a couple of times and gets stuck in your head which helped you caught that LSS (Last Song Syndrome).
- Haptic Memory – on the other hand is connected to the sense of touch. It records pain, itch, and pressure. The memory for the haptics lasts for at least 2 seconds and travels to the short term Memory.
Short-Term Memory also includes working memory helps stores stuff for a brief period or help recall things that happened recently. To differentiate the two, the keypoints you would want to think through about short-term and working memory are:phonological loops and rehearsal and chunking.
What happens is that before say the information from the nerves travelled to the part of the brain that process the short-term memory it would go firsthand to the working memory wherein it will help retain phonological and visual loops like symbols, numbers, and sounds that are associated with the memory.
After that part there should be a rehearsal and chunking of information for it to become a short-term memory which we know decays easily in a brief period.
Rehearsal is the process of attaining the information maybe let us say it loops inside your head. One example is when the music you are hearing keeps looping around inside your memory.
Chunking is when the brain processes the data collected into smaller pieces to read it and remember much easier.
Long-Term Memory is the next step from short-term and this is the secret to having the sharpest mind when having something stay in your brain. It is described as something encoded into the brain that will stay there for months and years on hand.
For the brain to do so it needs to be encoded. Encoding is the part that converts the short-term into the long-term memory after that there is Consolidation which stabilizes the memory trace after initially gaining it.
The Science of Memory is a mysterious part of the human brain up until now the scientists and philosopher’s are still relatively clueless as to what are the deepest machinations behind the power of memory. Right now, we are limited to what we know but we could use this as the basic foundation for improvement.
There are 3 critical stages of processing the memory: encoding, storage, and recall.
1. Encoding – our brains are very sensitive to sensory and semantic encoding.
Research suggests that we remember things better and retain them longer when we associate meaning to them. For example, you are practicing a song on your guitar and you have to perform in front of the whole school so chances are you will retain the memory much better.
Another one is if you take your first ever trip to Paris, you remember the sight of the Eiffel Tower (visual sensory), (olfactory sensory) the smell of coffee from the cafes nearby and (auditory sensory) the thumping of the footsteps from tourist and locals.
If you attach meaning and factual knowledge to something you want to remember it is a sure shot that you will retain them longer.
2. Storage different areas of the brain has different processes to store those little bits and pieces of information.
This is where the cells and nerves in the brain fire those synapses.to each other to trigger temporary or lasting connections.
Things at work here are the short-term and long-term memory of the brain. Both are integral part to pave your way to become a memory champion or just impress other people by how sharp you are.
Short-term memory for example, is when you order for lunch and remember what you choose on the menu before you told it to the cashier girl. After that you would probably forget about it after a couple of minutes or hours when it is no longer relevant to what you are doing.
Long-term are those memories you withhold after a few days or after many years after the event. Like when you first rode a bike, had that very first dinner with the person you fell in love with.
The two will decrease in age because your brain loses cells, so make sure you take care of your brain health by following this. Or you could instead exercise your brain by doing memory activities and using it regularly.
3. Recall – Finally, this when you retrieve the information you have.
Repetition helps in strengthening the connections that your neurons have already established; however, one thing you have to be careful about is that every time you reproduce it, it is not exactly the same thing as before.
In other words, our brain creates false memories, that is why there are a lot of cases like this because your own awareness of the situation mixes with the facts as The Human Memory said:
“Memories are not frozen in time, and new information and suggestions may become incorporated into old memories over time. Thus, remembering can be thought of as an act of creative re-imagination.”
5 Ways to Improve Memory
These are 5 ways to improve memory and boost productivity. If you ask me one of the things you could do improve productivity is to become a memory master or something of that sort.
Because not only does it saves you time and energy it also improves your self-confidence that you will do the right steps of tasks or is actually doing what is needed to be done at the right time. Memory Lapses are annoying time wasters and impedes your way to acquire success.
1. Sleep on It.
Remember the saying to sleep on a problem or sleep on it to remember something.
Turns out sleep is an integral part not only in maintaining your health and mood but also make sure the brain is processing things the most optimal way.
There are bodily processes that the body executes when we put ourself to sleep known as ‘resetting the brain’.
The New Yorker has also explains to hit the hay at a regular time because we need to maintain the Circadian Rhythm of the body which helps maintain equilibrium.
I cannot stress this enough but sleep is considered easily as the therapeutic and regenerative strategy of athletes to maintain high performance. As Dr. Matthew Walker a neuroscientist detailed in this video on how to improve sleep, you may also check out this for further explanations.
2. Used Spaced Repetition
You know how you can study for a test or learn something new, like interesting facts from a book, and then immediately forget what you learned? Unless we actively work to retain that information, chances are we’ll lose it–in a matter of days or weeks. That’s the natural exponential nature of forgetting, as depicted by the forgetting curve:
If you want to remember something for the long term, such as vocabulary in a foreign language or facts you need for your profession, the most efficient way to learn that material is spaced repetition. As Gabriel Wyner explains in his excellent book on learning languages, Fluent Forever, “At its most basic level, a Spaced Repetition System (SRS) is a to-do list that changes according to your performance.”
Richard Feynman a renowned American Physicist who was also known for his Feynman Technique had also accompanied spaced repetition in order to effectively remember something in the long-term.
As they say practice makes progress, so start this now by trying to remember the numbers in pi (π) or just trying to mentally exercise your brain through vocabulary.
A healthy diet will ensure as always a healthy body and a healthy mind that will supercharge your memory boost and productivity.
This is one of the most straightforward things you could do just as much as having a sleeping schedule or working out a sweat at the gym.
Eating too much added sugar has been linked to many health issues and chronic diseases, including cognitive decline.
For example, one study of more than people found that those with a higher intake of sugary beverages like soda had lower total brain volumes and poorer memories on average compared to people who consumed less sugar (2Trusted Source).
Cutting back on sugar not only helps your memory but also improves your overall health.
Nothing beats the nutrients you feed to the body and mind to help the brain’s strengthen those neural pathways and synapses inside the brain.
When you feel sick or tired, your body is inflamed, which sugars and fats usually cause that is obesity and cholesterol is really bad for the body.
By that I mean not only the physical workout but also the memory workout.
Regularly train yourself to remember things and try out different memorization hacks that works out such as
Also do not skip out that physical workout because that will always help the blood pumping in to the brain and releases chemicals and neurotransmitters that will help you feel good, think better and all in all better mood.
5. Keep Stress in Check
Stress is one of the top potential killers of brain cells and cognitive prowess.
Prolonged times of Stress will negatively affect not only because it inhibits your mood to magnify the negativity in your life, it increases the chances of anxiety/depressive disorders, and increases the inflammation in the body.
Stress is another kind of inflammation in the body but the difference is the place or region the inflammation is present in.
Most likely in the brain, around the heart and your glands that secretes those hormones which regulates your mood and emotion.
You could watch this to see the explanation of Dr. Rhonda Patrick on how to reduce inflammation caused by stress and unhealthy eating.
Try these things out and comment down below what do you think about the 5 ways to Improve your memory.
Did it work for you? How was your overall experience? When will you try it?
I would love to hear your opinion about it and share your thoughts about the subject. One thing I may add is to check out Jim Kwik the memory guy who has been consulting celebrities, entrepreneurs, and people alike that wants to improve speed reading, memory and brain acuity. You could start with this Podcast, that I personally confide in to learn memory improvement.
As always, just contact me in one of my social medias below my avatar if you have any questions or a story to tell.