Einstein once said,
I never memorize anything I can look up.
My youngest son heard me say that one day and now he says there’s no point in memorizing the multiplication tables.
I need to save my gray matter for things that are important. He says.
Memorization is not that hard. It’s as blissfully simple as finding patterns and anchoring information with things you can relate to.
Take names. Are you like me and as soon as you are introduced to a new person you shake hands and say Hi Mr. Blah Blah and then forget his name just as soon as it rolls off your tongue? Why does that happen?
Because memory formation is an energy-consuming process.
In order to remember a new name you will have to make an effort: repeat the name, say it again, and make an association in your mind to go with the name.
Take this fella – his name is Mario. I say the name Mario, notice his mustache and make the connection with this guy:
The only problem is now I think every dude with a black stash is named Mario.
Or have you tried to memorize a phone number or an address with no success? Forget spending money on how to books or wasting your time on workshops. Amaze yourself and soon become a power networker, win friends and influence people with these 3 little memorization tricks. Facts, quotes, poems, names, number sequences, commercial jingles, or how to do the Macarena. Nothing is impossible.
Most people remember images best. Images are concrete, and serve as mental hooks to store and receive information from your long term memory. However, for this to work, you need to know how to FOCUS. You have this glob of facts or words, and you have to take time to convert this to pictures. Lets try a trip to the grocery store. You need to pick up milk, bananas, coffee and dog food. Convert the list to an image. Your dog trips on a banana peel while pouring milk into his coffee. Of course it’s silly. All the more likely you’ll remember it.
I’ve been learning Spanish on Memrise. They have you select a meme to help you memorize your phrases and new words. For Hablo I have the word written over a simple drawing of a girl shouting Ha! while her companion is blowing a bubble.
This refers to the strategy of breaking down information into bite-sized pieces so the brain can more easily digest new information. It works better with four, maybe five bits.
In nursing school I memorized the bones of the face with a mnemonic F.P. Tose which was enough to trigger my brain to remember frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, sphenoid, and ethmoid.
How about numbers? Say you wanted to memorize the number 67812398422. It will be a challenge if you tried because most people can recall only about 6 digits, and after that it gets tough to remember more. Instead, break it up. Group them into 2 or 3 digits. That big number is way easier if you try it like this: 678-123-984-22 How many numbers in a row can you recall?
- Sing it
I loved using this technique when my kids were little and they needed to learn grammar rules or lists. Make whatever you are learning into a catchy jingle. Use an original tune, a nursery rhyme or favorite song. Music helps us remember words. That’s why it is easy to learn the words to a song rather than learn the words to a story.
Memorizing is good for the brain, and doesn’t have to be a chore. Just remember, if you want to make something memorable, you first have to make it meaningful.