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4 techniques to nudge your memory

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Who needs a good memory, with all the tech gadgets to help you?

Technology helps, but a good memory will serve you well when you need to recall someone’s name, or make a mental to-do list.

Here are four memory techniques to practice and improve upon:

1.  Chunking. There’s a limit to how many random items your short-term memory can retain. Scientists say that humans do best when re­­taining no more than five to nine items.

“Chunking” allows you to organize items into meaningful groups.

For example, with a random series of numbers, like “4, 1, 3, 4, 7, 2, 1.” Chunking into groups —“1, 2, 3, 4” and “4, 1, 7”—makes the job easier.

2.  Find a trigger. A common trick, this one involves attaching some meaning or gimmick to someone’s name. Example: Fred might be a speedy talker, so he becomes Fast Fred.

3.  Word association. Remember “Roy G. Biv”? You likely learned the colors of the color spectrum through this word-association tactic.

Next time you need to remember two unrelated things, create a mental association between the two. To remember that Fishmongers seafood restaurant is on King Street, for ex­­ample, you might imagine a fish wear­­ing a crown and a king’s robe.

4.  Visualize. Creating a visual picture in your mind can firm up a memory. For example, you might create a mental walkthrough of the grocery trip you need to make after work.

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