5 Awesome Tips for Memorizing Literally Anything The ability to memorize information can be tough. It is especially tough when none of the information you’ve been pouring over seems stick around your cerebral cortex… no matter what you do. Well, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be tough and you can get information to stick around! All you need is a list of awesome tips for memorizing literally anything and you’re memory banks will be full in no time. You’re in luck today because we just so happen to have exactly what you’re looking for. 5 Awesome Tips for Memorizing Literally Anything 1: Record and Listen Give recording the things you’re trying to memorize a shot, especially if you are an auditory learner. There is a lot of value in hearing the information you’re trying to ensnare in your brain out loud and with the touch of a button. It is especially helpful for those who are trying to memorize a speech, song or important information for studying purposes. The ability to hear what you’re trying to commit to memory allows your brain to receive the information in a much more efficient way than trying to read it on paper. You can listen to the recording while taking a shower, cooking dinner or driving to work. Perhaps the most helpful time to listen to your recording is when you are sleeping, though. The repeated playing of information when your brain is at rest can really aid in memorization as it enables you to intercept information you may have missed when you were awake and distracted. 2: Make it Memorable by Making it Dirty Our brains have a funny way of kicking out information it doesn’t deem to be all that important and instead holds on to the things that trigger something significant to us in some way. This is why we may have a hard time remembering what we had for breakfast a few days ago and can vividly remember the guy/girl with the cute butt at the gym last week. So, basically that means butts trump breakfast, right? The guy/girl with the cute tush, who shall now be known as Mr./Ms. Good Booty, really got us thinking about a new way to memorize things. We think you’re going to really dig it and probably get a good giggle out of it, too. Here’s our idea: What if you make naughty associations with the information you’re hoping to memorize as a way to get them to stick? Use that bawdy sense of humor of yours as a tool and not just as a way to crack your friends up! For example, say you’re studying anatomy and physiology for school or work. Naturally you’re going to need to memorize where certain muscle groups are. This is where Mr./Ms. Good Booty comes in. Take a mental picture of this fine human specimen (or a real one if you’re daring! just kidding…don’t do that) and start associating the muscles you need to memorize with the muscles of Mr./Ms. Good Booty, pronto. Sure, you’re technically ogling this unsuspecting gym member without their knowledge, but it’s in the name of memorization and your brain needs all the help it can get. It’s cool if objectifying derriere’s to help your memorization skills isn’t your cup of tea. You can use any bit of naughty humor up your sleeve to get the job done. Surely you can find useful associations for the info you need to memorize by using your favorite swear words or comical nicknames for certain body parts. Of course there is always Urban Dictionary if your dirty side fails you and you need some naughty references. 3: Recall Rather Than Repeat It’s often thought that the fastest road to memorization is through the repeated reading of the important information you need to memorize. This leads you to hours of reading the same stuff until your eyes begin to cross and you feel as though you’re spinning your wheels when trying to memorize something. Talk about frustrating! We’re going to let you in on a sanity saving secret right now…It it is true that reading something over and over again will eventually help you remember it, but the process takes much longer than it needs to. You can blame the slow process on your brain since it is interpreting the new info by only using a select few neural pathways to send what you’re reading into your memory bank. Apparently those other memorization pathways are there just for decoration when using this method. Save yourself the extra time and frustration by firing up more efficient neural pathways by the recall method. Why? It’s an easier, more effective and less time consuming way to memorize information. Here’s how to use the recall method as a way to efficiently memorizing something so it actually sticks around your gray matter: Step 1: Read the information out loud 3 to 5 times. Step 2: Write or type the information you’re trying to memorize 3 to 5 times. Reading and rewriting information allows you to store what you’re trying to recall in your short term memory bank, which is just a short jaunt away from the long term memory bank. Step 3: Read the information one more time and then do your best to write a synopsis of what you’ve read. This is a little test to determine if you’re able to recall anything yet. Step 4: Now you’re ready to transfer all of this information into your long term memory bank. You can grab a buddy or record yourself for this part. Now you or your buddy will read the original piece of information out loud and then follow it up by the synopsis you wrote. Hearing both of things will enable you to see how well your recall is working and pick up on any sections you may need to work on a bit more. Feel free to hit play on your recording or have your buddy read the information to you again. Listening to it a couple more times may seal the deal and allow you to recall everything perfectly. 4: Try Mnemonic Devices Mnemonic devices are excellent tools to use when you’re trying to memorize pretty much anything. These nifty little tools are described as “techniques a person can use to help them improve their ability to remember something. It’s a memory technique to help your brain better encode and recall information.” This may sound familiar to you because you’ve likely used a mnemonic device at some point even if you didn’t know what it was called. Each one of the mnemonic devices is super useful and has its own benefits. However, we have 3 favorite ones that we’d like to share for those times when really want to improve your ability to memorize something and get the information to stick around longer than a nanosecond. Take a look at these awesome memorization tricks: The Method of Loci: Mnemonic devices are so useful that even the Ancient Greek’s were using them to memorize things. One of their favorite ones was the Method of Loci. This memorization technique is super simple and pretty effective. The process of using the Method of Loci begins with you visualizing a place you know very well. For example, you can use your house, workplace, school or your favorite driving route. While you’re visualizing the chosen place, think about all of the objects in this location and apply a word or concept you need to memorize to each one. You’ve now created a mental diagram for yourself that you can call upon whenever you need to recall the memorized information. These convenient associations allow your brain to hold onto things and provide reference points when they are needed with minimal effort. Chunking: Our short-term memories are only able to hold onto somewhere between 5 to 9 things at a given time, which stinks if you’ve got a lot to memorize. Here’s where the chunking mnemonic device comes into play. When applying this memorization technique you will literally snip the information you’re trying to stow away in your brain into sections or chunks. By breaking the info up a bit you’re able to process it in smaller amounts and ultimately retain more of it. Chunking is mainly used when trying to memorize number sequences, but you can use it for anything you can apply it to if it works for your memory. For example, your social security number is nine digit long and looks like this 845193627. That’s not the easiest group of numbers to remember because there isn’t a pattern and they aren’t in numerical order. This is when you would use chunking to help you memorize your social security number for easier recall. You can chunk the number like this: 845-19-3627 (often the way you enter it when filling out a form) or 845-193-627. So, you can see now that it is much easier to memorize this when it’s broken up a bit. Acronyms: This is probably one of the most commonly used mnemonic devices and pretty much everyone has used it at some point or another. Acronyms are excellent little memory tricks and have a way of really sticking with you for the long haul. An acronym is a word that is formed by using the first letter from a phrase or concept you want to memorize. Sometimes acronyms form a word that can be pronounced and sometimes the initials are simply said as individual letters. The use of acronyms is so common that we encounter them all the time. For example, FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and ASAP (As Soon As Possible) are notable uses of this type of mnemonic device. We’re often taught to use this memorization technique in school since it is such an easy and effective way to get concepts to embed in our memories. Do you remember using the acronym, PEMDAS (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) in math class? You probably do and as a result will forever remember the order of operations. 5: Play Teacher One of the best ways to memorize information is to talk about it and recite all of the things that you have worked so hard to lock in your brain. It’s even better if you can talk to someone who doesn’t already know about the topic you’re discussing so you can actually “teach” them the information you’ve retained thus far. This memorization technique will help you see how well things are sticking for you as your “student” will surely ask questions that will require you to root around for the answers. You will know immediately if you can answer them or if you need to go back to that specific bit of information a bit more later. Don’t throw in your teacher’s towel if you struggle a bit during your first round of “teaching” and require a bit more work to memorize things, though. Hit the books again and give it a go again after you’ve brushed up on your week points.