The most effective memory technique you're probably not using is retrieval practice.
Retrieval is calling to mind material you've heard, watched, or read, instead of re-hearing, re-watching, or re-reading the material again.
Retrieval works amazingly well because the challenge of learning and remembering is not with putting information into your brain. This is quite natural and easy for the brain to do.
The real challenge is in getting it out.
To illustrate, if asked to recite lyrics to your favorite song, you may find it challenging to do. I bet, however, if the song is playing, you can sing along to the tune with no problem.
Have you ever read a book or article only to realize you had read it before? As you’re reading, memories of the plot, characters, and more slowly begin to surface.
You may believe you have poor recollection of childhood memories, though as soon as you look at an old photo from childhood, everything surges back like you were there yesterday?
These examples illustrate that memories can be in your head, but seem like they are lost and forgotten. You can’t get them out when you want or need them out.
The reason you can’t the information out is because you haven’t practiced getting it out.
Retrieval helps you practice getting information out!
Every attempt you make to pull information out, the quicker and easier the brain is able to ‘retrieve’ it.
You may be thinking this technique will likely require time and effort. With an already full schedule like yours, how can you fit another activity in your day, specially one on a regular basis.
Well retrieval may require a little effort, but like anything, only in the beginning. Though it definitely doesn't require time.
I'll talk about that next week.
In the meantime, make sure to check out my memory improvement book, which you can learn more about by clicking here.