101 ways to improve my memory - PLEASE

101 Uses For is popular and let's hope it stays that way. Our second book is presently called 101 tips for self sufficiency; we will certainly dip into this section for ideas. So post away and let's try and get at least one thread up to 101.
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Thomzo
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101 ways to improve my memory - PLEASE

Post: #54054 Thomzo
Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:12 pm

Hi
This isn't a joke. I've been meaning to post this request for ages and keep forgetting.

And before any clever clogs checks out the birthdays register - it's nothing to do with my age, I've always had an awful memory. My ex used to call me SFB, short for "sieve for brains".

I forget everything and have to write it all down. The trouble is, I can't always identify the stuff I need to remember so don't write down everything I ought to. And even if I do write it down, I then forget I've done so.

Are you getting my drift so far?

I am trying to eat more oily fish but object to paying a fortune for more vitamins.

Is there a more natural way to improve my poor sieve head?

Zoe
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Post: #54055 the.fee.fairy
Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:16 pm

Read Derren brown's book. He's got some good advice.

Or, keep lots and lots of notebooks! And cheat sheets that you can refer to.

i've got a few notebooks stashed in different places with stuff in them that i have to remember. And by using cheat sheets, you can train your memory to start remembering important things.

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Post: #54058 Thomzo
Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:25 pm

Hi Fee
I've just googled him and come up with three books: Absolute Magic, Pure Effect and Tricks of the mind. Any ideas which one?

Cheers
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Post: #54060 the.fee.fairy
Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:31 pm

i think its the second one, but i will check and get back to you.

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Post: #54070 Muddypause
Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:30 pm

I've got a couple of books about this. I'll get back to you when I remember where they are.

Mean time, the name Tony Buzan springs to mind and might be worth Googling, though I'm not sure if he does exactly what you're after. I expect Amazon will have a stack of books if you search for 'memory'. Most of them seem to be about some sort of mnemonic system. Personally, I think we forget a lot of stuff because we didn't pay proper attention to it in the first place.

The ancient Greeks (possibly) used to mentally plot a route through a building they knew well. F'rinstance, imagine a route through your home - it might go something like

Front door
Hallway
Foot of stairs
Top of stairs
Door to room 1
Inside room 1
Door to room 2
Inside room 2
etc.

Make the route as long as you like, and involving as many places as you want, but take the time to memorise the exact route, so you can retrace it again and again.

So what's the point of that? Well, now imagine that you have a shopping list to remember. Mentally visualise each item on the list at each point of your route. Make the visualisation as vivid as you can - if you can imagine the item moving about and doing something daft, so much the better.

So, waiting at your front door is a loaf of bread. When you open the door, inside the hallway is a jar of ketchup. At the foot of the stairs is a bottle of milk, and at the top of the stairs is a packet of tea. Waiting outside the door of room 1 is a newspaper, and inside the room is a bag of apples. Etc. When you want to remember the list, just retrace your route, and there will be all the items.

Or you have a Christmas card list, and all the people on it are waiting at each place on your route.

You can use the same route repeatedly - for some reason, one list won't get mixed up with the next one.
Stew

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Post: #54108 colhut
Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:52 pm

I was going to sugest Tony Buzan, he has a book called master your memory. I have read it, really interesting stuff and I suspect that if you practice it (thats where I went wrong :wink: ) it probably works !
How hard can it be, how long can it take. What could POSSIBLY go wrong

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Post: #54110 Andy Hamilton
Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:40 pm

The association thing does work, I used to use it when I lived in Nottingham all the time. The trouble is the route I used to use was on the way to a job I was sacked from and that was 7 or 8 years ago. I think it may have improved my memory in the long run tho.

The other good tip is to stop reaffirming that you have a rubbish memory. Start telling yourself that you have a good one, keep telling yourself until you believe it.

Couple the two or variations of the two together and you are onto a winner. Associating a song with a list of things you have to remember is also a good one. For example to the tune of this charming man by the smiths - I would buy some bread later on but I have to buy some butter, this apple juice its .... well you get my point even if you don't know the song.
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Post: #54354 Thomzo
Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:55 pm

Thanks Guys.

I've read all the different methods of remembering lists and can do it if I try hard enough. My problem is more that if someone tells me something I instantly forget it, or I walk upstairs to get something and forget what it is I went for.

Or I think, "I must do that in the morning" and forget. If I can write it down then that's the only way but I can't always write it down.

The most embarrasing thing is other people and their lives. I just don't recognise people that I've know for years. Also, I forget important details of my friends lives. Birthdays and so on go in my diary but I just forget that they are going into hospital for life saving surgery, or that they're about to move house and things like that. :oops:

I think the paying attention thing might have something to do with it. I'm really easily distracted and I'm sure that's why I forget what I've gone upstairs for.
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Post: #54358 wulf
Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:15 pm

Remember that some things don't need to be remembered! I've heard a story that Einstein once surprised his students when asked how many yards were in a miile (or something similarly factual and everyday) - he responded that he had no idea as he didn't bother to fill his head with things he could easily look up.

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Post: #54377 Masco&Bongo
Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:29 pm

I have a little notebook in my handbag, and one by the bed, and one in the kitchen and one in the living room, and a magnetic shopping list pad on the fridge.

I keep a calendar in the kitchen and a paper diary in my bag, and my Outlook calendar at work.

I find the notebooks are useful for "last minute thoughts", like the kind of thing you remember as you're washing up, or about to fall asleep or in the middle of your favourite programme.

I write down all sorts of things, from things I need to do (e.g. buy and post X's birthday card, call dog trainer) to things I might have seen on TV and want to remember later on (e.g. variety of veg, recipe, product) and shopping list items.

I then tear off the page in question, clip it into my diary and "action" it when I get to work/do the shopping/have lunch.

Seems time consuming, but if you're like me, and can forget what you've walked downstairs for, it works!
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Post: #54380 Thomzo
Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:44 pm

wulf wrote:Remember that some things don't need to be remembered! I've heard a story that Einstein once surprised his students when asked how many yards were in a miile (or something similarly factual and everyday) - he responded that he had no idea as he didn't bother to fill his head with things he could easily look up.

Wulf


Hi Wulf
Yes, I'd heard something like this. Apparently he couldn't remember his own telephone number so he had to look it up. I'm the same so I keep telling myself that I'm in good company and it makes me feel better.

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Post: #54382 Thomzo
Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:46 pm

Masco&Bongo wrote:Seems time consuming, but if you're like me, and can forget what you've walked downstairs for, it works!


I bet it's not as time consuming as forgetting everything. I will have to get more into writing things into notebooks and my diary and so on. I keep forgetting to look in my diary so I shall write a post it note to remind me.

At least I don't feel so bad now. I'm obviously in good company.

Zoe
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Post: #54398 Muddypause
Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:36 pm

Thomzo wrote:My problem is more that if someone tells me something I instantly forget it, or I walk upstairs to get something and forget what it is I went for.

Well I suppose you could try living in a bungalow, and see if that helps. But actually, what makes you think this is not perfectly normal? I mean, it is, isn't it?

If I can write it down then that's the only way but I can't always write it down.

My whole life is contained in a growing heap of spiral bound notebooks. I buy them in bulk now, and use them for everything - work and personal details. They are my medium term memory. Sometimes I deliberatel don't put things in them, and this seems to focus my mind into remembering them - but I wouldn't dare to do without them altogether.

The most embarrasing thing is other people and their lives. I just don't recognise people that I've know for years.

I have a similar problem on the phone - "Hi, it's Jane" - "Oh, hello Jane; how are you?" I say, completely unable to figure out who the hell Jane might be. I've now got one of those magic phones that tells me who is calling before I pick the reciever up - I'd be lost without it.
Stew



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Post: #54467 Thomzo
Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:09 pm

Oh Guys. Thanks for making me feel so much better. Andy, you were right. I don't have a rotten memory. Just a normal one!

Notebooks everywhere, that's obviously the answer.

Cheers
Zoe
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Post: #54518 Wombat
Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:01 am

A mate of mine swears by ginko (the herb, that is) and says it has helped his ability to remember things and to concentrate.

"Dat be a bloody good one by ginko!"

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