Whether you are an average person wanting to reduce forgetfulness, a university student studying for finals, or an academic thrill seeker wanting to perform mental feats, this list will unlock doorways into your own memory that you’ve probably never witnessed before. These 25 fooproof techniques to enhance your memory have been specially listed, from the basic methods that you can learn overnight to advanced methods that may take weeks to perfect. Although we’d love to explain detailed examples of each technique step-by-step, we didn’t want to make a post so long that it would bore you to death. So, have a tab open for Google, and get ready to memorize like you’ve never done so before!
The Dominic System or P-A-O method
This system was invented by memory master, Dominic O’Brien, and it calls on our natural ability to remember famous people. Similar to the major system, each number represents a letter: 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, 4=D, 5=E, 6=S, 7=G, 8=H, 9=N, 0=S. But instead, or forming words, each letter stands for the initials of a famous person. So, the number 15 would equal A.E. or “Albert Einstein.” You can take it a step further and give your Person an Action and Object (aka the P-A-O method). With diligent practice, the PAO method can provide vivid images for even 3 digit numbers. And again, the applications to memorizing numbers are endless!
Actively Paying Attention
Contrary to how most people study, developing a memory does not have to be a slow practice. In order to use our memory to maximum capacity, we need to be conscious of every bit of information necessary. Have you ever forgotten a stranger’s name right after you shook his or her hand? Have you ever forgotten someone’s directions right when they finished telling you? Have you ever forgotten that one fundamental tip that your professor just went over in lecture? These are common instances of a lack of paying attention. Remember, something cannot be committed to memory if you don’t know what it is to begin with. Pay attention when someone tells you to memorize a phone number, quickly convert the numbers into images, review it a few times in your head, and your done! An awareness of your surrounding will allow you to easily convert ideas into memory.
The Roman Palace
This method goes by many names, but it has managed to turn the ordinary memory of ordinary people into extraordinary memory machines. It takes advantage of an ability we’ve utilized even since we were toddlers- our special orientation and natural intuition to memorize location. Take your home for example. I’m sure you can recall every single room without even getting up and walking around. Well, not only can you recall the rooms, you can remember the colors of the furniture, the presence or absence of windows, and even the location of closets. If you have a list of things to remember, just attach those images to areas within your home, and presto! It’s now lodged into your memory for quite sometime. Now, when you recall those items, imagine that you are walking around your home visualizing what’s in each room. Don’t keep yourself limited either; you can use your office at work, your local gym, or even a nearby supermarket. And I cannot stress enough: keep the visuals wacky, so that you don’t forget them!
Journey Method or Method of Loci
Who says that you can only use the Roman Room method in buildings? The entire world is your playground! The method of loci simply acts as a mental journey that utilizes entire neighborhoods, suburbs, cities, metropolises, you name it! This time, you not only attach information to rooms, but also to landmarks along your journey. This concept can even be extended to absolutely any system of location, from full scale countries to even areas of your own body. And yes, you can even make up your own landscapes. If you’ve ever questioned how people can recall thousands of digits or 15 decks of playing cards all in order, then wonder no more. Those feats are possible using the method of loci.
Practice is by far the most important rule of memory enhancement. You may learn a few methods over night, but if they are not practiced they will easily be lost. Imagine learning these techniques in kindergarten, and gradually perfecting them even throughout college. In ancient Greece, it was common for people to have extraordinary memories, and that’s because they had both the time and lack of technology to distract them every waking moment of their lives. So, take a few minutes of your day to turn off your electronic devices. Make the effort to memorize something out of the blue, whether it be a poem, a string of numbers, or a science article. You’ll find yourself reaching a new level of retention and speed to the point where you are creating even your own personalized systems! And, you can start by remembering this: Great memories are not born, they are learned.