It is not surprising that in times of constant informational overdose people are used to forgetting even the basics. Even though failing to remember is a natural process that helps the nervous system unload unimportant information, human memory is a cornerstone of intellect and knowledge that requires regular training and improvement.
Anyone who has ever faced the difficulties of student life will confirm that memory lapses are a usual part of the educational process. It occurs at the most undesirable moment, for example, when answering on the blackboard, making a report, writing a test, or an important exam. Nevertheless, there exists an infinite number of different techniques for enhancing memory. Let us consider the simplest but the most effective ones:
1. Make a Work Plan
First of all, estimate how much information you have to deal with and elaborate a written plan for further work. Arranging the topics on virtual “shelves” helps to prepare a brain for memorizing the materials.
However, when a hard deadline is set and there are doubts concerning the grammatical or punctuation issues, students tend to ask themselves “can I quickly find someone to proofread my paper?” and it’s a fairly common thing. Of course, it is more than possible with professional assistance, such as Studyfy, the closest students’ friend.
2. Create Associations and Visualizations
It is easier to remember new things if connecting the unknown with the already possessed knowledge. The skill of coding visual images is quickly trained and automated. In the future, it will not be difficult to restore both images and the meaning that has been embedded in them.
3. Do Not Neglect Building the Proper Daily Routine
Our brain can withstand continuous mental stress for only 40-45 minutes. After intensive studying during this time, be sure to take a 10-15 minute break. However, the break is not meant to play computer games or check what’s new on social media. These 10-15 minutes should be dedicated to relaxation.
4. Find Time for Meditation
Meditation soothes, reduces pain, lowers blood pressure, and increases the amount of gray matter. It also enhances short-term memory. Moreover, the effect of meditation has proved to be beneficial for people of all age groups.
5. Train Your Brain by Dealing With Challenging Tasks
Computer games are probably great, but they are unlikely to improve human cognitive functions. Instead, logic and strategy games will have a positive effect on memory and attentiveness. It is recommendable to consider the following intellectual activities:
- Chess and checkers;
- Sudoku and crosswords;
- Various card games;
- Mobile applications aimed at memory development.
6. Apply the Pythagorean Method at Bedtime
Ever heard about this great mathematician and philosopher? Probably yes. But what about his memory improvement strategy that has been working for thousands of years already? The technique is very simple, like everything ingenious in this world: before going to bed, remember everything that happened during the day, up to minor details which had no visible influence.
7. Read Everything Aloud
It is proved that repeating aloud as well as discussing the studied material with other people significantly enhances understanding and memorizing of the information. Try to imagine yourself as a teacher and explain the studied topic to someone interested in the field.
8. Give Up Multitasking
Even though lots of students try to improve this skill, it significantly reduces the quantity and quality of tasks that can be performed during a given period. Moreover, it leads to the loss of attention and reduces memory productivity.
9. Allow Yourself to Sleep More
Long-term lack of sleep is directly related to memory problems. There is no doubt that healthy sleep is a cornerstone of storing information. According to research conducted by Harvard Medical School, the absence of sleep in the first 30 hours after actively learning new information can nullify all previous efforts.
To make your sleep mode perfect it is necessary to follow a simple rule: go to bed and wake up at the same time, whether it be a weekday or such a long-awaited Sunday. Moreover, forget about working around the clock, despite the fact that it has become a trend to sit in front of the screen 24/7. To keep the acquired knowledge in mind, it is crucial to start learning something new after you have had enough effective rest.
10. Use a Pen More Often
Even though a pen and a notebook are considered to be a rarity nowadays, leaving their value in past centuries, they can help build a strong memory when used regularly. Indeed, students listen more attentively and recognize important information better when they write it down by hand. And for those who take notes on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, the notes become a kind of soulless transcript.
11. Avoid Overeating
It is better to have periodic snacks during the day rather than stuff your stomach to the limit without a chance to breathe freely. Memory deteriorates due to overeating because at this time blood circulation and metabolism switch to digestion with less attention to the brain work. Moreover, obesity is one of the risk factors for cognitive decline.
12. Enhance Your Awareness
Awareness or mindfulness is a mental state in which a person focuses on a situation and at the same time has a good understanding of the feelings and the environment around them. It is used as a part of meditation, but it is not equal to it, as it is rather a habit than a formal practice.
Try to focus more on the things you are busy with right now, turning off the automatic process which is the biggest enemy of awareness.
13. Move Your Body
During physical exercises, the human brain is saturated with oxygen. Any sport also helps build neural connections, improves vascular tone, and reduces stress. Whether it be a morning dance to a favorite song, a session in a gym or at least a few hours walk around the city, any kind of activity will increase cerebral circulation, which in turn will help improve memory and the ability to concentrate.
As we can see, most of these pieces of advice are simple and do not require any intensive effort. However, when implemented comprehensively, they can increase the quality of studying, and influence the memory, giving it a new impulse and creating new ways of thinking. Choose the techniques that are best suited for you, experiment, try different exercises, alternate them and achieve all your studying goals.