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Wouldn’t it be great if you could experience memory improvement …
… almost on auto-pilot?
Here’s the good news:
Even if you don’t use elaborate memory techniques and mnemonics, the following 5 ways will help you improve your memory almost without effort.
1. When Darkness Falls …
Go to sleep with the sun.
Seriously. What have you got to do after dark anyway?
Netflix? How boring.
Drinking in bars? How destructive to your memory!
(I know because I’ve learned some hard lessons around that. Learn more about how perspective memory helped me remove alcohol from my life.)
Playing Scrabble? Well … okay. That’s at least halfway good for your brain.
But the reality is that we’re killing our memory by stating up late and waking up early.
And when you kill your memory, you murder something else too:
You Murder Your Intelligence!
And as with all acts of murder, you will get caught and you will be sentenced to life in the prison of stupidity and forgetfulness.
Mark my word.
Next to getting more sleep, it’s essential to …
2. Keep Your Brain Moist As The Soil Of A Mighty Rain Forest
That’s a fancy way of saying, drink lots of water.
All too often we forget to imbibe the world’s mightiest drink.
Oddly enough, some people don’t even like it. This strange, but true fact is responsible for forgetfulness around the world.
But it doesn’t have to be you.
And if for any reason you struggle to remember to drink deep from the tap in your kitchen, the solution is simple enough.
You can create a visual mnemonic by placing a big fat bottle of water on your desk. Or you can print out a picture of a bottle of water and stick it on the wall or window directly behind your computer. This is a great way to start establishing a memory that leads to positive habit change.
In addition to this …
Use Every Bit Of Technology You’ve Got To Remind You
Smart phones …
Dumb phones …
Computer calendars …
All of these of these come equipped with programmable alerts. Most of them can be set to repeat every hour on autopilot.
It’s easy enough to ignore these alerts, however, so it helps to get theatrical. Instead of “drink water,” program in something like:
Drink Water Or Else All The Cats On YouTube Will Suffer One Thousand And Seven Deaths!
If that doesn’t get your attention, I’m not sure what else will!
3. Funnel Words Into Your Mind Like The Wind Shapes The Desert
One of the beautiful things about living in Berlin is that they still have bookstores all over the place. Not only that, but you still see people reading books too.
Here’s a quick guide on how to read a book:
Buy a book. No, it doesn’t have to be a book by me. 😉
Whatever you read, by all means read on Kindle or some other digital reader, but I recommend also holding a physical book in your hands once in a while. As this article suggests reading books instead of Kindles can improve your memory, concentration and good looks.
Reading in general helps improve your memory because you hold the details of a story in your memory over an extended period of time. You also retain and maintain details about characters, objects and locations.
But you can also deliberately memorize elements of the books read by using memory techniques. For example, instead of relying on bookmarks or dog-earing pages, you can memorize the number of the last page you read before pausing. This provides you with delightful memory exercise.
Speaking of which …
4. Get Your Fat Butt Into Gear
Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your memory. It sends oxygen rich blood to your brain and brings fitness to your entire body.
You can also use your exercise time to reminisce over the books you’ve been reading. If you’re not a reader, you can play movies you’ve seen beginning to end in your mind (link to breaking bad movie post).
And if you use Memory Palaces (you do use Memory Palaces, don’t you?), then what better time to practice Recall Rehearsal than when you’re out and about, huffing and puffing and sweating up a storm?
Exercise also improves your mood, and when you use memory techniques, your mood improves even more. Nothing feels better than combining jogger’s high (wiki link) with the edification of recalling foreign language vocabulary. Or mathematical equations, song lyrics, professional terminology, or whatever else wets your whistle.
5. Stop Rolling Like A Stone And Gather A Bit Of Moss For Once In Your Life
Meditation makes everything in life better, including your memory.
The problem is … most people have been misled by weird definitions.
For example, many people think that they’re supposed to sit like a stone. And like a stone, they’re not supposed to have thoughts.
No, dear Memorizers. No, no and a thousand times no.
As the great Alan Watts pointed out …
Sitting Like A Rock Is Boring, Useless And An Utter Waste Of Time!
Instead of eradicating thoughts from your mind (which is technically impossible), don’t bother doing anything with them.
Watts most famously said that the best way to practice meditation is to sit just to sit.
Don’t “try” to do anything. Just sit there on the floor. Let your mind wander. Be mindless as you sit and float around in fantasies about the future, alternate versions of the present and strange wishes about an alternate version of the past.
Maybe not the first time, but eventually you’ll wake up from the mindless fantasies that have your mind the vice of your grip. It’ll go something like this. When you’re sitting there, all of a sudden you’ll say …
Holy Moley! I’ve Been Sitting Here On The Floor Lost In Thought And Didn’t Even Realize It!
Nothing will prepare you for the enlightenment that follows. It might not last for long, but the edification you feel will stay with you and bring a completely new shape to the contours of your day.
Not only that, but the experience will be hard to forget. And then the more you meditate, the more you’ll remember that you’re seated on the floor, sitting just to sit. Your periods of mindfulness will lengthen and you’ll take these levels of awareness deeper and longer into your days.
And the more mindful you are throughout the day, the more you’ll pay attention. And the more attention you pay, the more naturally and effortlessly you’ll remember the events and facts you experience as you go through life.
How To Be A Memory Scientist In The Laboratory Of Your Mind
You’ve now had just a taste of some of the ways you can increase your memory by barely lifting anything heavier than a book or a bottle of water. In the case of sleeping more and practicing meditation, you don’t have to lift anything at all.
Go ahead and give these few simple techniques a try. Keep a memory journal as you experiment so you can analyze the results. By measuring what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, you can create a picture of your daily life and how your memory serves you throughout.
And analyze every Memory Palace you create. By taking time to go through them, you’ll deepen your familiarity with each and every one. Memory Palace work, even without memorizing anything, is great mental exercise. This practice will help you focus your mind tremendously.
The Easiest Way To Experience Massive Memory Improvement Is …
… do daily memory drills. An easy and compact way to do this involves a tiny set of objects known as playing cards. All you need to do is mix them up and use the Magnetic Memory Method to memorize them in ever knew arrays of random order.
And if you want to learn how to do that, then I invite you to join the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass. But start by grabbing my Free Memory Improvement Kit in order to make sure that the Masterclass really is something for you.
If the Masterclass is something for you, then I want you to join it.
If the Masterclass isn’t something for you, then I don’t want you to join it.
Nothing could be simpler than that, dear Memorizer.
And so until we touch base again, never forget to keep yourself well-rested, well-hydrated, well-read, fit and fully meditated. Oh, and of course, always …
Always keep yourself Magnetic.
I was just curious as to whether or not you have live classes to help students develop their own memory palaces. Please let me know..
Thanks for stopping by, Michael. I really appreciate your interest in the Magnetic Memory Method.
I do sometimes hold live classes. The last one was in London at the beginning of July 2015 and we focused intensively on Memory Palace creation. We recorded the entire event.
Also, Grand Master of Memory and World Memory Champion Mark Channon gave a 90-minute talk on how to form the habits of a world class memorizer. It was great.
If you’re interested in the videos, please let me know. 🙂
I really liked your article. Actually, I face this issue where i forget smaller details like people’s or places’ names, how the conversation went with the other person the other day, where did I last put my vehicle? Things like that, and because of this, it becomes quite hard to express myself or to share experiences with others.
So then what happens, suppose I wanted to share my experience regarding a very interesting event that may have happened a day or before or so, I start sharing that experience, but I hinder a lot and so, the person starts loosing interest in it. Or, maybe sharing the story of a movie or a novel etc. Basically, it is quite hard for me to share my experiences with others in such a way that the other would listen and enjoy. And i am struggling with these things for a long time now.
Your article was really helpful and i think my issues would be resolved to some extent, if I follow these steps religiously.
Also, if you could provide article on how to express yourself and what daily steps could i take to try n improve on the “experience sharing” department, it would really be a major help. I will follow these steps and will update you on the improvements I have experienced. I am quite positive that i will :0. Thank you in advance :D.
Great to hear from you, Utkarsh.
“How to express yourself” is a great topic that I can speak to on a future post, podcast or YouTube video to be sure.
For now, just speak. Don’t try to be perfect.
For example, I didn’t exactly know how to express myself on this recent video about how to get the best answers on Quora, so I just put the camera on and let it roll.
I had to practice in order to get there, but that’s how you get anywhere: Practice.
Hope this helps and look forward to your next post!
I read your article recently and it was something I really needed, I have much to say but on a personal level, do you have an personal platform where I can talk with you sir.
Thanks for letting me know you appreciated this, Shah.
Please use the contact page to get in touch about matters you do not want to write about here.