I don’t know about you, but I find that my memory is not what it used to be. I don’t know whether it is the aging process, the information overload that we all face, the incredible pace of the day’s activities, or a combination of all of the above….and perhaps more. A recent article in the New York Times offered a couple of tips to help you to improve your memory.
One, take a mental walk. Known as the Journey Method, it uses visualization and is helpful when you have to remember a list. Talk a mental walk through an environment that you are familiar with and visualize each item on the list in that environment. For example let’s say you need to remember five items on a grocery list – milk, cereal, chicken breasts, soda, and of course, a Hershey bar. Let’s say you use the environment you encounter when you get home at the end of the day – walking from your front door into your kitchen. See yourself opening the door, tripping over a container of milk, landing face first in a bowl of cereal. You get up, hang your coat in the closet and there is a chicken crowing on the hanger. You close the closet door, pass the kitchen where there is a large bottle of soda on the counter, and a Hershey bar is balanced on top. Now, when you get to the supermarket, just take the mental walk from your front door into the kitchen and visualize all of the scenes that we just conjured up. Remembering the list should be relatively easy. Make the images that you use a little whacky. It will help them to be recalled more easily.
Second option, picture the numbers. Associate numbers with an image, and tie what you want to remember to each of the images. For example one/bun, two/shoe, three/tree, four/door, five/hive. Then, using the list we have above, see a bun with a container of milk laying in it, a shoe with cereal (and a spoon) in it, a tree with a chicken in it, a door that is propped open with a soda bottle, and the bees in a hive protecting that cherished Hershey Bar. Now, as you get to the supermarket just go “one/bun – milk laying in it. Two/shoe with cereal in it, three/tree with a chicken in it…..etc.
These two should help you to remember when the ‘remembering gets tough’.
Now if we can only remember these two tools.