You have probably experienced reading a book and a day or two later don´t remember anything about it. Or you have read a book and later read it again and remembered all the details. This is one of the most important memory skills that we have. It is called encoding because it means to store information in the brain.
What do you remember?
This is a question that we ask ourselves all the time. In general, we are able to remember what we do and what we see, but not what we hear or read. We can remember some of the facts we learn, but not all of them.
So what could we do to remember better? Is there any trick to achieve a better recall of all the information we get?
How to remember?
1.We remember things that we are interested in. That´s why we learn what we like to learn. We are more likely to remember something that is interesting to us. On the contrary, we are more likely to forget something that is not interesting to us. This is called selective memory.
To become interested in something, remember your why. You need a reason that YOU want to learn something. The answer is your motivation And don’t believe me when I say this in an overly serious manner – it’s simple - if you are not intrinsically motivated by what you’re doing, then you should find a different way to apply yourself.
2. We also remember things better when we think about them in different ways.
There are different ways of thinking about things. Get creative and generate links between the things you are learning now and the things you have already learnt.
3.We remember better when we engage our senses. Of course you can use smell, touch or taste, but hearing and specially seeing are the most effective senses for the majority of the people. How can you make your content more engaging and memorable? Use relevant images. Although many authors claim that strange images are better remembered, in my experience you tend to forget those images that does not make sense. The best image is the one that links to something you already know.
4.We remember better what is linked to other things.
One of the most effective ways to remember things is by linking. When you learn a new thing, you can link it with an old one. That´s why you will remember it better.
Think about the thing you want to remember.
Ask yourself what other thing you do know that can relate to this.
Think about the connection and the best way to strenghten it.
For instance, at the end of the Dunkerke movie, the troops returning to England know about the Churchill discourse about fighting in every place against the germans. If you keep that image in your mind, you will then remember easily that both things happened one after another. That may be useful for situating both in time.
We can resume all those things in this one rule. We remember what is meaningful. Make things meaningful and you will remember them much better.