WATCH In celebration of Memory Day here are 3 memory-related areas that we can boost:
1. SHORT-TERM MEMORY
Short-term memory is the space that you have to hold information for a short time. You can think of it like a holding zone—you won’t keep the information in your short-term memory for long, just long enough till you can transfer the information to a piece of paper, your computer, or even your long-term memory store.
TRY IT: Listen and then repeat these numbers:
Now try it again:
Chunking – or breaking up information into smaller sections- is a great way to remember more
Another tip – Talk fast – Research has found that when we say things quickly, we can remember more information.
2. LONG-TERM MEMORY
Long-term memory is when you have to keep information for a long period of time. Some of this information can be kept for years and years like a memorable birthday; while other memories don’t last more than a week. Think of long-term memory like a library full of books. Some books get read more than others so it is easier to remember which shelf you left them on. With long-term memory, some experiences are better remembered than others because you think about them more.
As we get older one of the first things to go is our long-term memory but we can keep it sharp by keeping information relevant.
TRY IT: In 10 secondS, list as many vegetables as you can
What does this do: These games, known as fluency games, help keep information organized in our brain (this is one of the first things to go in someone with Alzheimer’s )
3. ATTENTION – Sometimes it can be hard to stay alert during a meeting
TRY IT: DOODLE! Grab a pen or pencil and tap into your creative side.
This “doodling effect” keeps your attention from drifting away- so that you still pay attention instead of daydreaming. It is also a great gatekeeper because it doesn’t actually compete for attention resources—doodling doesn’t require much focus or effort—so you can still focus on the task at hand.
Lots of other tips (like doing Jigsaw puzzles, suduko, and spot the difference games) can be found in my book: Training Your Brain For Dummies