Tips For Remembering
As a general rule, we process, and are able to remember, seven plus
or minus two, bits of information at time. That is why we are often unable
to remember totally foreign phone numbers, as the area code and number,
totals ten bits of information. We are more likely to be able to process
and remember a local number, because we already know the area code and
first three numbers of the exchange. Those six numbers are processed as
two bits of information to be remembered, and the last four digits brings
the total up to six, an amount that can usually be processed and remembered.
Keep this in mind when processing information to assist you.
When remembering things for later use, group facts you want to remember
with facts you already know. This will help you to recall them later.
Make pictures of what you would like to remember in your mind's eye,
storing them in the upper left hand corner of a make-believe screen. Make
the pictures outrageous, by making them larger than life, or very tiny.
Make them odd colors. Make multiple images of the same thing, giving them
movement. Example: When you set your keys down on a counter, make an image
of them bursting into bright purple flames and burning a hole in the counter
top. When you are ready to leave, chances are you will remember where you
put your keys.
Get curious. Before reading, scan the material very fast, just to
get a vague idea of what the material is about, then ask yourself as many
questions as you can about what you would like to know.
Group subjects and information in ways that make sense to you for
easier retrieval later. Make one subject relate to another.
Try using white noise tapes for better concentration while reading.
Read the material out loud, or walk around while reading. Read it
into a recorder and play it back.
Use your hand to scan the page as you read, keeping it constantly
moving forward so you are not reading the same lines over and over.
Make silly rhymes or sing the information to a favorite tune.
Always repeat names and make an association with what they do or
what they look like. Example: Carolyn the caterer really cares about clams.
Be as visual as you can with your memory. Picture the things you
would like to remember stacked on something you already have in your memory.
Example: Picture the items you would like to remember to get at the grocery
store on different parts of your body, making the images as outrageous
in color and movement as you can. See yourself with purple bananas on your
head, a black carton of milk on your shoulder, balancing three square cans
of soup on the right foot and a bottle of soy sauce on the left foot with
a smoking newspaper stuffed between your teeth and apples popping out of
the left ear while tiny loaves on bread dangle from the other ear.
Learn to take notes the way that works for you. Outline forms work
best for some, while paragraphs work best for others. Drawing a picture
or diagram of an idea may help you remember better.
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