Some instances are easy to laugh off. Forgetting an appointment or misplacing one’s keys can be filed under “being forgetful.” But a leaky memory isn’t funny when those misplaced dates and items are of great importance, or when the forgetfulness becomes chronic. Fortunately, there’s good news for sufferers of poor memory: it can get better. With the right techniques, it’s possible to train your brain and improve your memory.
Try these tips:
Use imagery: Memory athletes (yes, it’s a thing) use this trick to make words stick. Next time you’re trying to remember an important date or someone’s name, picture it as an over-the-top image. For example, imagine “April 20” exploding out of a confetti cannon.
Resist the urge to Google: Anything we could ever want to know is just a couple of taps away. But constantly using a search engine to remember facts and figures that we’ve forgotten is making our brains lazy. Next time you’re stuck, wait it out and work your brain to remember.
Create a memory palace: A memory palace is a real physical location or route that is familiar to you, where you can “store” words and dates to remember later. For example, if your memory palace is your jogging route and you want to remember your credit card numbers, you might imagine your Visa number scrawled on the bench you stretch on and your Mastercard number posted on the billboard you pass by on your run.
Practice: As with physical exercise, consistency is key. Practice recalling directions, phone numbers, and important dates in the shower or during your commute.