Remember sitting for an exam way back in school? You have the answer in your head, can quite see it but can’t locate whatever ‘folder’ you stored that information in! No matter how hard you try, it keeps escaping you.
Or you keep meeting new people and almost every time you do, their names escape you immediately. The list of incidences where our super memories fail us are quite a number, speaking from experience.
It doesn’t get any better with scientists suggesting that the average human brain is by far much more powerful than the supercomputers in existence. One stands to wonder where all this supremacy flies to with time, as things keep escaping our minds. You hardly go a single day without hearing someone complaining about a forgotten ordeal or an errand they had pre-planned.
Mastering the brain is a trick everyone out there deserves to know, regardless of age, gender, race or profession. You just don’t want to be caught in embarrassing moments after forgetting the simplest of tasks or something along those lines. Nevertheless, we managed to gather these simple hacks just for you that are sure to work, only if you vow to follow them religiously.
What’s more, they are all natural alternatives thus eliminating the need for using drugs to boost memory. Pick the ones that work best for you and if possible, apply them all.
1. Pause: It’s Not a Life-Death Situation
Consider these examples: you have a garden and have the alternative to either dedicate 90 minutes a day to water it or 30 minutes three times a day.
Still not getting the point? Let’s use an everyday scenario. It is a common thing to have three meals a day at different intervals, rather than having one heavy meal every single day. Catching the flow?
Overloading information may work against us in the short and long run. It is a pity the society has promoted workaholics for so long. They believe we should only take that much-needed rest at the end of the day.
That’s them, not us! You want to take casual breaks to cool off. If possible, take a nap for an hour or two. Just like a computer, this reboots your thinking tool, and you are in a much better position to work effectively. You do yourself much harm by ignoring this.
2. Refine Things a Bit
Ever heard of people associating madness with doing the same thing in the same way but expecting different results? Kindly believe that! So, if whatever you’re doing currently isn’t working for you, STOP.
You need to apply different techniques to accomplish such tasks. Ph.D. holders call this re-consolidation; where existing memories are recalled with modifications using new knowledge. If the human is a car and the brain is a motor, then you just supercharge the motor and grease it afresh. You are looking to master information faster, why not approach this from a different angle?
3. The Paper Concept
Technology has now made it possible to totally eliminate papers and books in general. Things are all done digitally now – be it taking notes or writing business proposals or even as simple a thing as reading the Bible. It’s all available on your screens and at the touch or word of mouth. Haven’t you heard of paper-free companies? Convenient, right?
No! We know you don’t want to hear this, but well…
Given a choice, going back to the good old days where books were the order of the day would sound like a much better option. But we have to go with the changing times. The point is, noting things down on paper acts as a much better memory booster than putting it all online. What’s worse, some have resulted in transcribing their works eliminating the need to type down.
This lazy trend is sure to relax the brain as it tends to be inactive for long. The transcribed or typed information isn’t processed the same way it is when written down on paper. Research shows better performance from students who took notes on paper than those who used a laptop. To say the least, this is detrimental to learning!
4. Periodic Review
Yes, you learned something yesterday and have read about it today and clearly understood all concepts. Do you stop there? Research by Cepeda N, 2008, showed the power of periodic review as compared to cramming. Take another review after three days, then the next after four. Continue extending that time interval but only if you are sure you have the full understanding of all concepts. In that light, set aside time to do occasional personalized tests that rate your current standing. Not only do you work on your short-term memory through this repetition, but you also elevate your long-term power of recall.
5. Leap to the Forefront
You think sitting at the back of the class makes you look cool? A 1988 research by Rennels and Chaudhari studied the performance of students, both when the seating arrangement is chosen by the teacher and the students themselves:
- Backbenchers: 68.1%
- Middle rows: 71.6%
- Front rows: 80%
It was surprising to find even the ‘motivated’ students scoring less when placed in the back. Seating at the front has its fair share of advantages including a clearer view of the board alongside the teacher’s full focus. It removes minor disruptions, a characteristic sure to be found at the back.
6. One Hurdle at a Time
A mistake that students make which works to their disadvantage: assuming the power of multitasking. You find a student listening to the instructor with an earphone in one ear, a phone gripped secretly and still taking down notes! Even a robot tends to complete a task at a time. Don’t assume superpowers you don’t have in reality. If you’re studying, do just that; switch off all sorts of distractions and finish what you have to. There will come a time for those distractions on your break when you’re done. Otherwise, you are at a high risk of sabotaging your own success.
7. Knowledge Shared Is Knowledge Gained
Generosity should not be practiced with material things only. The immaterial things often make the biggest impact. This is because they cannot be taken away and cost nothing. Rather than losing, you gain when teaching others what you’ve understood.
Play the role of a teacher and use different techniques. With understanding dawning on your students, your triples. It is no wonder experienced teachers give out notes and explanations sometimes without reference. Answer all questions that may arise and if you both don’t know the answers, take time to do the research together.
Argue out the facts as best as you possibly can until you reach your answers. If possible, use your own self-made examples to explain points. This works more for you than for your recipient. In fact, you can just share knowledge from wherever you are. It doesn’t require one to be seated in class in front of heaps of books!
In summary, preview your work from time to time creating questions as you read and summarize. Let your learning be fun, and you can use materials that have pictures and illustrations to understand this better. You can turn to the web for further learning material that’s broken down into simpler, better-explained concepts. A lot of repetition creates a block that’s usually hard to bypass.
Therefore, do not overdo your study time and stress your learning process. Seek to build yourself from others, your mentors especially, as you build others. Do not be selfish with all that you’ve gained; you stand to lose nothing.
Having drawn a clear roadmap for you, engage with us in the comment box and tell us what you liked most about this piece. Was this article helpful?