How to Maximize Your Memory


July 20, 2008   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Students (of all ages) might have more on their minds now than ever before — from work, to school to all of the other distractions pulling at them. So how can they be expected to concentrate, focus, memorize and execute the educational materials they have in front of them each night?

It’s difficult, especially in a plugged-in world that places daily demands on people to not only increase their knowledge base professionally, but to also update the blogs and social networks they’ve established.

Here are some tips on how you can maximize your memory, focus and concentration whether you are a student or someone just working on adding skills to their worklife.

    • Write more things down: Seems like a no-brainer, but keeping an extra piece of paper nearby when you are in class or at home will allow you to keep a note of what you just learned. By transforming those moments into your own you, they will have more meaning to you.


  • Review regularly: Just think about how much information you look at or listen to in a typical day. That’s why you need to give yourself a daily time set aside just for reviewing. This can be at night, when you can take 10 to 15 minutes to look over your notes and any material that you were given.



  • Just breathe: One of the best things you can do for your memory is to increase the flow of oxygen to your brain. Get rid of the sleepy haze you may have come over you in the morning and at night as you get to the end of the day. The best thing to do is to take part in some physical activity to start your day. Also have some water with you all the time to help you stay alert and engaged.



  • Write even more things down: With this, you need to write down all of the thoughts that don’t have anything to do with what you are working on. It may end up looking like a mess of random thoughts and to-dos, but by writing them down you are clearing them out of your mind and resisting the urge to do them right now. This keeps you on the task at hand and allows you to have an action list for when you have free time.



  • Don’t multitask: If you are on the computer or have your phone nearby, you may be tempted to multitask. In addition to doing your work, you may want to send emails, update your Facebook page or look at other websites. DON’T! Put your focus on the one thing you are studying, and complete it in a shorter amount of time with longer lasting results.



  • Mind-meld for memory: One way to memorize new facts is to take the new idea that you have and associate it with something that you already know. A place or an anecdote will create a relationship in your mind that you can go back to.



  • Chop up for memory: Another way to help your memory is to chunk information into smaller pieces to make them more memorable. It’s logical that a smaller piece of knowledge is easier to remember than a large stretch of information.



  • Go back to your childhood for memory: There is a reason everyone remembers the ABC song or the orders of colors on a rainbow. As children, we were taught mnemonic devices to remember things. That still works! Use short phrases or poems to help memorize long lists or facts. That create keys to open up the memory, like the first line of a poem or a tune, which comes in handy later.



Written on 7/21/2008 by Jason Womack, who writes about travel, exercise, and productivity at his blog

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