Memorization can be a challenging task, but it can be made easier by employing some tried and true strategies. There are thousands of strategies for improving your memory, but which ones are the most effective? Here are some of the top ways to improve your memorization skills and enhance your concentration.
Break it into “clusters.” Keep in mind that your short-term memory is just that–short. On average, a person can remember approximately seven things. If there is too much information coming at you at once, your brain does not retain it all. It helps to group information into smaller pieces or clusters so that there is a greater likelihood that you will remember the information. For example, it would be much harder to memorize a phone number if you had to remember all 10 numbers in one sequence. Breaking the number up into three clusters greatly enhances your brain’s ability to retain and recall the information.
Repeat and re-teach. Another memory strategy for memorization is to repeat the information multiple times. This can be done by simply repeating the word or data set over and over again or by adding the information into a sentence. For example, if you are trying to remember a person’s name who you just met, try adding it into multiple sentences over the day. An additional memory strategy is to teach it to someone else. Try to get a clear understanding about what the information means and then explain it to someone else. This helps to move the information from your working memory to your long-term memory. It can also help with memory recall since the more you use the information, the easier it is for you to retrieve it.
Visualize it. Another trick for memorizing information is to create visual images that can prompt your memory. If you want to remember that you just met Lily, picture her with a lily in your mind. Some people also like to create catchy tunes to help them remember information. One example of this is Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements” song. He created a song that contains the entire periodic table. It is still song in many chemistry classes today.
Finally, remember to concentrate! If you are just staring at the information hoping that it will magically stay in your brain you will be sadly disappointed. Concentration is the cornerstone of success.