5 Ways to Build Your Memory Power

March 1, 2005

Do you sometimes have trouble putting a name to a face? If so, here are five ideas for improving your memory. Try them now, before you forget!

1. Slow down and listen. A lot of people rush through information, rather than taking time on the front end to be clear on what they’re trying to remember.

2. Manage your stress level. Stress is the No. 1 killer of memory. Just take a breath and tell yourself, “It will come to me.”

3. Think visually. Pictures are the language of your memory. If something is really important to remember, try to tag it with a visual representation.

4. Have a system. You need a way to organize information in your mind. The system could be anything—mental file folders, word associations, visual associations, or storytelling. A story in The Washington Post detailed how White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card employs a “mental kitchen”: top-priority items are on the stove, long-range items are stored in the freezer, and so on.

5. Use spaced repetition. The difference between short-term and long-term memory is spaced repetition. If you review information an hour, a day, and a week after your initial exposure, you’ll have improved recall.

Source: Eric Plantenberg, president, Freedom Speakers & Trainers, Madison, Wis., http://www.deliverfreedom.com/