Tips For Remembering

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Group subjects and information in ways that make sense to you for easier retrieval later. Make one subject relate to another.
  6. Try using white noise tapes for better concentration while reading.
  7. Read the material out loud, or walk around while reading. Read it into a recorder and play it back.
  8. 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.
  9. Make silly rhymes or sing the information to a favorite tune.
  10. Always repeat names and make an association with what they do or what they look like. Example: Carolyn the caterer really cares about clams.
  11. 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.
  12. 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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