Forget Me Not

Let me paint the picture for you. You’re leading an annual meeting with some of the most important executives of your company. There’s a lot of info that you need to be on top of because these execs will ask questions in a way that would have FBI interrogators running. You’ve gone over that facts and figures, but how can you can ensure that you won’t blank out? How can you know that your memory won’t fail you? Regardless of whether you’re memorizing things for a speech, a presentation, a test, or an important meeting, forgetting vital information on the spot is a real fear. Well take a nice breather, because I’ve got a few tips and tricks that that have been psychologically proven to increase memory!

Elaborative rehearsal
It’s pretty obvious that the more you repeat and practice information, the more likely it is that you’ll remember it. But research shows there’s a major difference in how well information sticks in your brain based on the way you rehearse it. Repeating the stuff over and over might help a little, but certainly not in the long run. Instead, it’s best to practice something that psychologists call elaborative rehearsal. This is when you force yourself to put thought into the information when you’re trying to memorize it. If you teach the info to someone else or put thought into creating a silly rhyme, you’ll be much better off than just memorizing the info like a robot!

Self-reference effect
If anyone ever told you that the world doesn’t revolve around you, they’re wrong…at least when it comes to your memory! Self-reference effect shows that when you relate information back to yourself, you’ll remember it a lot better. This can entail anything from remembering sales numbers by birthdays of your loved ones, or recalling a key fact by tying it to a childhood memory. Either way, if you find a connection between the information and yourself, it’ll stand out in your memory. Sometimes it pays to be a little self-absorbed 😉.

Encoding specificity
This is a fancy term for the fact that you’re more likely to remember information if you learn it and practice it in the same space that you’ll need to recall it! Aspects of your environment become retrieval cues for your brain, which helps you remember the information you need.  Memories are context bound, meaning that when you’re learning or encoding information, you take in stimuli from your environment and those stimuli become part of the memory…in non-nerd terms, learn and practice information in the same room and at the same time of your presentation, meeting, or test!

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Blanking out? Pshhh, haven’t heard of her! What are your memory tips and tricks? Share with us @anjeclothing !


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