The best strategy to make the most progress in life is to make optimal use of your time. The best way to make optimal use of your time is to do everything as efficiently as possible.
This means doing things properly and fixing problems once instead of fixing them ten times. This means taking one trip to town and combine your errands where possible.
I’m talking about using your grey matter as best as possible. It is the best tool you have in your toolbox. Even without becoming smarter or raising your IQ, you can become a lot more efficient by merely focusing to improve your memory.
I could give you countless examples of how useful it can be to remember a phone number or a name when you are in need of something quickly. Or how about just remembering a lot more of what you hear or read?
Little snippets of information or cold hard facts can be very useful in your daily activities. For example your microwave broke and you need to get a new one. A new model at the store costs $500, but thanks to your sharp memory you remember your friend told you about a big 50% off sale they are having at Wallmart.
The cost of forgetting something can be very expensive. Even something as simple as forgetting to pay bills on time can lead to big penalties and interests being charged.
You may think that your memory sucks or is equivalent to that of a goldfish (3 second memory span). However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot significantly improve your memory and thus avoid a lot of costly mistakes in your daily routine.
Here are some simple exercises that you can start using today to improve your memory.
Simple Tips To Improve Your Memory Today
Your brain is like a muscle, so the more you use it, the stronger and more efficient it becomes. However, if you don’t train it enough, it’s going to let you down from time to time.
Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to start improving your memory today:
The Strings Method
The strings method is a simple technique you can use to easily keep multiple thoughts or ideas in your short-term memory. This is especially useful when you have a lot of errands to run but don’t have things written down on a list.
What you do is give every thought that you want to commit to memory an icon the size of your palm. For example if you need to book a plane ticket, you imagine an airplane. All these icons you will tie with imaginary strings to your left or right shoulder, in a similar way that a bunch of helium balloons are tied to a vendor stand.
Learn To Control Your Thoughts
A very good way to improve your memory is to learn to control your thoughts. Every single moment of the day you have dozens of random thoughts running through your mind. The problem is that these thoughts are often not related to each other or even to what you are doing, so they only serve to distract you and confuse you.
You can improve your memory by being able to control which thoughts you allow to run through your mind and which ones you block out.
A great exercise to learn how to control your mind is this:
Every night before you go to sleep, sit down in a quiet place with no distractions and place an object of your choice in front of you (I like to use a pencil). Then, for 5 consecutive minutes, try to focus all your attention on the object in front of you.
You’ll notice that the first time you attempt this, you’ll not be able to concentrate on the object in front of you for more than a few seconds without a random thought popping into your mind. However, with practice you’ll be able to increase that time of pure focus until you get to a point where you can focus on the object for a minute or longer without being distracted by any other thoughts popping into your mind.
When you master this, your memory and your focus on all other activities you do in your daily routine will improve greatly.
As mentioned earlier in this article, your brain is like a muscle that gets stronger with training.
A very simple and effective exercise to improve your memory is one that’ll take you no more than a couple of minutes per day.
Every night before you go to sleep, sit down in a quiet place and try to recall everything that you did during the day. It helps if you write it down on a piece of paper. Try to be as specific as possible. Write down what you had for breakfast, the tasks you worked on, who you spoke to, whether you checked your Facebook.
By doing this exercise every night for a few weeks, you’ll really train your brain to pay closer attention to everything that you do and experience. This will help you with all sorts of other memory tasks like remembering numbers, keeping track of errands you have to run, remembering people’s names and so on and so forth.
Your Sleeping And Eating Habits
When you are tired or you are low on energy, it becomes very difficult to think.
Your brain has a minimum level of energy it needs to remain operational, and the more rested you are and the healthier you eat, the better your brain can function.
It’s recommended to get 6-8 hours of sleep per night although this does vary from person to person. What is more important is that you sleep according to a routine, preferably at the same time every night of the week. This way your body is more efficient at repairing and resting your brain and muscles because it knows that it has a fixed time when this happens.
If you sleep late one night and early the other night, it really confuses your body’s natural rhythm.
When it comes to diet, it’s important that you get a balanced range of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fiber. The more natural your diet is, the better it is for your brain and memory. The less sugars, artificial ingredients and alcohol or tobacco you consume, the better it is for you.
Even without doing the above exercises for improving your memory, simply adjusting your sleeping and eating habits can make a world of difference to your memory and your brain’s functioning.
To Sum Up
Just as your body needs exercise to stay fit and strong, your brain is in need of exercise too. Repetition and practice will greatly improve your memory and your ability to use your memory to make your life easier.
These simple exercises listed above will serve to help you improve your memory, but you need to commit to doing these exercises every day for a period of a month at least.
Changing your diet and sleeping habits can also make a big difference to how good your memory works. When you are tired and not well-nourished, your brain simply functions at a lower capacity.