I was a skilled crammer who could retain thousands of words at the same in my brain and recite them all without omitting a single word. Great! Was the compliments that kept trolling in and at that instance, I felt like a genius. However, something was off. I discovered that once the aim of my cramming was accomplished, a few days later I wouldn’t be able to recall the things I claimed to have read. This method of reading gained a negative effect on my memory, academic, career, and everyday life. Hence, I went on a quest on how to improve memory retention without cramming.
However, cramming has its advantages, but they are short-term, with lots of disadvantages. Moreover, instead of cramming try understanding and applying the steps on how to improve memory retention which I will share in this post.
How To Improve Your Memory And Retention capabilities
1. Mnemonic Methods Helps Improve Retention Ability
These are techniques used in remembering things easily, includes Personal interpretation: Create your abbreviation for information and ideas you want to retain permanently in your memory. Perhaps, you can be more creative by changing them into songs. For instance, I read a cookbook guide on how to bake a cake. I needed a way of remembering the major ingredients needed, so, I made my abbreviation as follows; FEBS which means F=flour/flavour, E= eggs, B=butter, and S=sugar/salt. Trust me, it works like magic you should try it out.
Connect them with real-life experience: Most times people find it so hard to retain things for a long time because they only read words and information as fiction. To enhance your memory capability always relate things to real-life experience which has happened to you or someone else.
Restructuring: This implies that you group similar words and information, to avoid mixing up ideas in your memory. Also, break words down into similar categories to aid your remembrance and don’t crowd your brain with unnecessary information.
2. Focus Enhances Memory Capability
Do you want to master how to improve memory retention? If yes, avoid multitasking your brain when reading stuff you hope to remember forever. Learn to set your attention to one thing at a time and ensure you have understood it properly before hopping onto another.
Eric Phillips once said “Learning how to rein in your thoughts and focus is going to help you to achieve your goals in life. Without focus, you can never achieve anything. Hence, to improve your retention ability become more focused.
3. Visualizing The Concepts Fast Tracks Memory Retention
When learning about something new get your imaginative faculty at work and exercise them in picturing what you have just read. It’s easier to recall images of things no matter how long it might have happened.
4. To Improve Your Retention Ability Continuously Engage in Repetition
Repetition is another step on how to improve memory retention and shouldn’t be like cramming. The more you read words over and over again your brain becomes conversant with those words. Oftentimes unconsciously they begin to reply to your remembrance without struggling to recall.
5. Healthy Diet Boost Your Assimilation Ability
Medically, nutritional diets help enhance memory retention. Such as beans, tomatoes, blueberries, milk, oily fish (contains omega-3 fatty acid), Seeds, and nuts (walnut, peanut, almond). Click here to learn more about food to avoid.
6. Exercise and Rest More Often to Increase Your Retention Ability
This step might sound ridiculous to some people, but it works. Regular exercise helps to keep the brain alert and sensitive to new incoming knowledge. Likewise, rest eases the stress from the body including the brain. Both combined are effective tactics to combat forgetfulness irrespective of your age.
7. Avoid Certain Medication That Hampers Memory Retention
There are drugs that, when taken, reduce the retention capability of the brain and affect its reasoning. They include Quazepam for anxiety, clomipramine for depression, hydrocodone, and hard-drugs like marijuana, and lots more.
8. To Enhance Your Memory Enjoy The Act of Meditation
Always keep your mind fixed on that which you intend to remember and dwell on it for a long time. This exercise helps you study and understand that phenomenon. As you fix your mind one fact at a time your brain adapts as you continue.
9. Reading Out Loud Improves Retention Ability
Oftentimes, the human brain seems to understand what is being read but in a real sense, we communicate what we want to the brain not what is written. Hence, there can be the omission of words, but when you read-out-loud you become conscious of every word as you come across them.
10. Taking Short Notes Helps to Active Your Brain Retention Ability
Reading directly from a book or the internet is bulky and large for the brain to assimilate all at a time. Instead of forcing yourself, make short notes on what you need to understand. Do you know that writing also boosts your retention capabilities? As you write your brain becomes familiarized with what is taken down.
Age is not a factor when it comes to improving memory retention. The more you practice the steps listed above you expand the speed rate at which your brain retains information, events, ideas, and phenomenal permanence. As for me repetition and mediation were my favourite steps in improving my retention and living above cramming.
Furthermore, do you have other methods which have helped you improve your memory retention? feel free to share in the comment section below.