Brain Hack: 6 Tips To Remember Anything & Everything

Brain Hack: 6 Tips To Remember Anything & Everything

A tonne of people have a terrible memory. Shopping lists, birthdays of mates, test numbers — it all doesn’t seem to be in the brain. However, memory is not as deep as you might imagine. You can recall almost everything with the right technique.

Nelson Dellis is the US Memory Champion and Grand Memory Grandmaster for four years. Among his feats, 10 000 digits pi are memorised, over nine decks of cards are shuffled, all after just hearing hundreds of names once.

1. Start With strong Pictures

Let’s begin with a fairly easy memorising task: the world’s seven wonders. Dellis suggests that you memorise them, starting by translating each object into a picture that is easy to remember. Others are going to be easier.

Brain Hack: 6 Tips To Remember Anything & Everything

For instance, you may just want to imagine a wall for the Great Wall of China. For Petra, you might go to your own pet’s picture instead.

It is extremely efficient to use juicy mental images like these. You want to create large memories, “says Julia Shaw, a University College London psychologist and the author of The Memory Illusion: Recall, Forget and the Science of False Memory. You want to test out imaginary pictures that you can almost sense, smell and see, so that they are as real as you can.

Behind all of this, there is science. “Strange and maybe gross or emotive pictures are sticky,” Shaw says.

When they are looked at the mind, the investigators noticed that the amygdala (an essential component of the brain for emotion-processing, stimulates other components of the brain to store memories) encourages other parts of the brain to store memories.” That’s why strong emotions make it more likely that memories will stick.

2. Demonstrations of subject

Demonstrations of subject

One more useful way of learning a topic inside is to take advantage of the subject demonstrations. Displays illustrate how something works and that you imagine the idea, unlike just reading or listening to a description.

If you research photography, architecture, public speaking, negotiations or a useful new technology, you can increase your retention rate by watching videos that show what you are trying to understand.

3. Re-do the space

One way is to replicate what you want to hold for a certain period of time — to replicate what you do. For instance, read a book and enjoy it again after a month, read it after three months and after six months again, then after a year again, instead of putting it off.

Spaced repeat effects exploit the spacing effect, a memory mechanism explaining how our brain learns best when information is dispersed over time. If you fail to give ample time for new neural connexions to solidify, learning something new drives out old knowledge.

4. 50/50 Rule

Dedicate 50% of your time to something new, and the rest to express or clarify to others or the public what you have learned.

5. Pay Attention

Brain Hack: 6 Tips To Remember Anything & Everything
Brain Hack: 6 Tips To Remember Anything & EverythingPay Attention

It should not be too hard to recall sieve strange images for the wonders of the universe, but you may need a little more inspiration when you memorise 10,000 digits of pi. “I’d say this mantra to myself. I want to remember this, I want to memorise it, “says Dellis. “It’s an easy mantra, but I’d concentrate on my work and make me remember better.”

6. Split Method

Split Method

With very large numbers like pi – or a long sequence of cards, for example, it also helps to break things up. Dellis turned each five-digit chunk of pi into an image that he could easily remember. “Words are easy, you see a word and it typically evokes some kind of imagery in your mind.

But things like numbers, or cards or even names are a little trickier,” he says. “And those have systems that we’ve developed and learned so that whenever we see a name or a number or a card, we already have an image preset for it.”

For Dellis, the first five digits of pi after the decimal point are represented by Sam Neill wearing an Iron Man suit (“It’s just the way it goes” he says).

The second patch is represented by an image of his friend dressed as the emperor from the movie Gladiator, with his thumb down.

Brain Hack: 6 Tips To Remember Anything & Everything

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