Remembering Like a Champion: Techniques Used by Memory Athletes You Can Use Daily

Ever wondered how someone could memorize an entire deck of cards in a mere 12.74 seconds? That's exactly what Shijir-Erdene Bat-Enkh of Mongolia did, setting a world record in the process. But how is such a feat even possible? How can one memorize loads of information in such a short span of time?

Memory sport professionals dedicate years of practice to perfect their memory skills. However, you don't need to be a memory athlete to adopt these techniques. Improving your memory can benefit you in many ways and the strategies used by memory champions can be integrated into your everyday life.

Here are some strategies you can adopt to enhance your memory.

1. Enhance your Focus

Improving your memory can be as simple as honing your focus. The more attention you pay to a piece of information, the simpler it becomes to recall it. By consciously concentrating on the information we want to remember, we can more easily transition it into our long-term memory. As memory champion Nelson Dellis puts it, our brains need to be present to absorb information, and focusing is an effective way to do this.

2. Incorporate Visualization

Visualizing information in the form of images can be a powerful memory tool. If you need to remember a word, phrase, or item, try to associate it with an image. This technique trains your brain to recall specific information more easily.

3. Connect with Existing Knowledge

Linking new and unfamiliar concepts with something you already understand can significantly improve your recall. This technique works because it associates new information with existing memories. It can be used when studying new material, remembering addresses, or memorizing names by linking them with familiar information.

4. Utilize Mnemonics

Remember ‘ROY-G-BIV' or ‘My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas'? They are simple mnemonics representing the colors of the rainbow and the names of the planets, respectively.

Mnemonics are techniques that facilitate memory retention. They have been utilized for centuries to assist students in remembering information, but adults can also benefit from them. The most effective mnemonics are catchy (like ‘roy-gee-biv') or humorous (like an educated mother serving pizzas!).

5. Practice Elaborative Rehearsal

Information only stays in our short-term memory for about twenty seconds. Without rehearsal or repetition, it's likely to be forgotten since it doesn't make it to our long-term memory.

To transfer information to our long-term memory, we need to repeatedly review and recall it. Spaced repetition is more effective than cramming, as it allows our brain to process the information with greater efficiency.

Memory plays a critical role in various aspects of our lives, including studies, work, and practical situations. You don't have to aspire to be a memory champion to want to improve your memory skills. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't limit yourself by thinking you have a poor memory.

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