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When I get time, I listen to music, or read books. If any is left, I blog!

Sunday, 19 March 2006

Train your Memory


Imagine, you have a list of items to remember. The method suggests linking the items to specific locations familiar to you, and then using the imagery of that association to recall the items.

For instance, you are planning to do your shopping after office hours. As you travel to the office, you start thinking of the items, hoping it would remain in your memory till evening. How will you ensure it?

Think of the walk-way you take everyday from the suburban station to your office. Draw a mental map of the path along with selected landmarks namely, the book stall, the vending machine, the snack-bar, the traffic signal etc. Number of landmarks chosen will equal the items in your shopping list. Next, associate each item to one of the chosen landmarks. If you visualize the picture of this association, the landmarks would turn into ideal retrieval clues!

Far-fetched may be your initial impression! Try it a couple of times; you would realize its potential.


Use this technique to remember long numbers, such as a Telephone or Credit card number. The idea is to group them into 3 or 4 easy-to-remember chunks. For example, let us assume your credit card number is 3767850214254007. Break it into five small chunks like 3767  850  214  254  007.

What you are attempting to do is to discover some familiarity, at the same time compress its unwieldy size to manageable units. The first chunk 3767 is rhythmic. Third and fourth chunks namely 214 and 254 are same except for the middle digits. The last one 007 would 'bond' easily to your memory! And what extra effort do you need to remember the second chunk? Try it out.


In olden days, clothes used to be hung on wall mounted pegs for easy storage and retrieval. Mnemonic uses the same technique. Select a series of easy-to-remember words.  Words which rhyme with numbers would be good pegs such as: Bun (1); Shoe (2); Tree (3); Door (4); Dive (5); Fix (6); Heaven (7); Wait (8); Wine (9); Pen (10) and so on. Now, visualize hanging each bit of information you need to remember, on to these Peg-words. See how easy is the recall!

PQ4R Method

When you have to remember certain portions from a text book, try this 6-step technique:

Preview or scan through the section to be memorized.
Ask key Questions relating to the portion previewed.
Find answers to these by Reading the text carefully.
Spend time to Reflect on what you have read.
Try to Recite the portion.
Wind up the exercise with a thorough Review.

The PQ4R method slows down your reading, but helps you retain what you read.


Keep in mind these great words by Luis Bunuel, a Spanish film maker:

"You have to begin to lose your memory if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as intelligence without the possibility of expression is not really intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing."

My post ends here. But your journey begins...

Click below to read:

Part - 1 (Absent Minded Professor)

Part - 2 (Why Do You Forget?)

Part - 3 (Mnemonics - It Is All Yours)

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