Useful techniques to turbocharge your memory
We often have students ask how they can best improve their memory in the lead up to exams, and we’ve put together our top five techniques below.
Organise your study space
There’s a lot of truth behind the adage “tidy desk, tidy mind”. When your study space is organised and tidy, you can feel more at ease and in a better frame of mind to focus on the task at hand.
Setting yourself up for a productive study session can help you relax and stay motivated – key elements to improve your memory and concentration.
Speak to someone else
If you’re struggling to memorise a collection of information, discussing the information with someone else can help. Think about having a conversation with a colleague about a topic you’re currently studying. Not only does have a conversation with someone else force you to articulate what you have learnt, it helps you identify parts that don’t understand.
Psychology Today suggests: “When you try to teach someone else you have to recall (or restudy) the information in an organised way and you add the benefits of self-generation and activity too.”
The benefits of mindfulness are well researched and promoted – it can help calm your mind, reduce stress levels and even help you be more creative. But what you may not know, is that mindfulness is also great for your memory.
Some studies have shown that frequent meditation can strengthen the cerebral cortex (the part of the brain that deals with functions such as learning, concentration and memory).
If you think mindfulness could work for you, there are many great apps to begin with, such as Headspace, Buddhify and Insight Timer.
Get a good night’s sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, you brain can’t function at its best. You can find it harder to balance your emotions, work productively and think creatively. And, the area of your brain that relates to memory crashes.
This article from The Conversation highlights a study that showed “when people are deprived of sleep for even one night, their ability to memorise new information drops significantly.”
If you are having trouble sleeping try some of these techniques to improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
We all know that regular exercise is good for your body, but did you also know it helps your brain stay sharp? Going for a walk, going to the gym or playing team sports stimulates the growth of muscle cells, keeping both your mind and body in good shape.
According to a recent study about memory, even just 20 minutes of exercise can improve your memory function.
If you have an exam, think about going for a walk beforehand to boost your memory and brain power.