How to Improve Your Memory When you Have a Really Bad One

Affiliate links below.

If you’re anything like me, then you, my friend, have a poor memory. It happens to the best of us. We begin as sponges when we are really young, but as time, age, and stress take their toll, we become a little less elastic in the memory department.

There are many reasons we want to remember things. Studying, gaining knowledge, completing daily tasks to make sure our responsibilities are met – these are all very important.

I’ve experimented with many ways to remember things. It’s not a fool-proof list. After all, it’s possible to forget to check that list you wrote for the sole purpose of remembering. However, when combining these techniques, it will help in your efforts to remember those small details that life demands of us.

Here are my tips on remembering when it’s the last thing your brain naturally wants to do.

# 1 – Make a List

If you have trouble remembering what to buy from the grocery store, making a list is a classic way to remember those items. All you need is a pen, a piece of paper, or you could even use your phone and use a notes app. If using a list to organize your daily activities, it’s easy to check those items off once they are completed.

A planner is really good for this if you prefer the old pen and paper. The Simple Elephant Planner is perfect for this, and even comes with sections for mindmaps, vision boards, goals, and affirmations. If you are looking for a health-positive planner, this one is it. It offers an easy way to view tasks for the week, with weekly goal setting. It’s different, and will make your task recording process more engaging.

# 2 – Apps

There are certain memory apps that can send you reminders about what you want to remember. These can be helpful when you have a tendency to forget things at certain times of the day.

Probably my favorite app for this purpose is Remember the Milk. This app is great because it not only functions as a reminder app like the classic ones that come preinstalled on the phone, but it can be shared across multiple devices and those items can be shared with others. So if you have family members that you want to send a reminder to, or if they want to send a reminder to you, they can do that. You can even set the level of immediacy to low, medium, or high if there are items you need to get done sooner or later.

# 3 – Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Sometimes the process of repetition can help us remember things. I once read somewhere that it takes six times of concentrated repetition for us to remember things.

If you are creative and don’t mind the sound of your own singing voice, one thing to try is a recorder. Make up a catchy song about it – similar to a children’s nursery rhyme – and sing it into a recorder, with multiple repetitions. Not only will it get stuck in your head, but you will remember it. Which is the most important part.

Now, you can use the recorder on your phone, or if you are more hands on and don’t want to save a ton of files on your phone’s memory, you can get a classic recorder with a built in usb to hold multiple files. The Sony ICDUX560BLK Stereo Digital Voice Recorder with Built-in USB is perfect for this, and is ultra sensitive to your awesome vocal pipes.

# 4 – Memory Palace

If you are a creative individual, then this technique is for you. If you’ve never heard of a memory palace, then you’re in for a treat. Basically, a memory palace is a ‘building’ that you create inside of your mind. It’s like making up a fantasy world for a book. You create the building, the rooms, and what function each room will have.

When you need to remember something, think of an item with a unique quality that you can associate with that memory. Then, stick the item in the room that matches that function (i.e. name room, daily tasks room, long term tasks room, science room, math room – you can create a room for basically anything.)

A great book to learn this technique is How to Build a Memory Palace by Sjur Midttun. There are also plenty of free resources available to learn this technique on the internet.

# 5 – Video Games

There are many video games out there that can help improve memory. Lumosity is one game that claims to do this. It is backed by science. They claim:

Lumos Labs conducted a randomized study of Lumosity brain training, and participants were instructed to train five days per week, for fifteen minutes each day. After ten weeks of training, Lumosity users improved more than the control group on our assessments of working memory, short term memory, processing speed, and overall cognitive function. Additionally, Lumosity Mindfulness exercises guide users on how to relax and focus.

Any video game that requires memory of location, items, or quests can also be very helpful to improving working memory.

# 6 – Mnemonic Devices

I’ve never had much luck with Mnemonic Devices, but that doesn’t mean you won’t. Basically, it’s where you create an acronym and assign words to it that you want to remember. I feel this technique can be limiting, but can be useful for small list items such as remembering a small list of tasks or elements that you want to learn.

For example, My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Of course, Pluto is no longer a planet. So, she only served us Nine. Nine what? We no longer know. Pluto being a planet has forever been erased from our memories.

If you’ve found this list helpful, please share with your friends!

This post contains affiliate link(s). If a purchase is made through an affiliate link, there will be no extra cost to you. The website owner may earn a commission for purchase(s) made through affiliate links. For the full advertising and commission disclosure, please see here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *