Saturday, 28 March 2015

Mind-Hacks: How To Memorize A Long List

Using Mnemonics

Once you've learned the following technique it can be great fun to test it out with a relative or friend. You and your friend or relative should get together and write down on paper a list of 100 items. At first these should be completely random items, not similar items like a shopping list would be.

Each item should also be a physical object which you can see. For example, a teddy bear, ashtray, headphones, television set, mug or cup, cloud, car, mobile phone, etc. In fact, you should try not to make any of the objects too similar to each other at first, as this will help you get some practice in.

The secret to this technique is to visualize each image separately, then link them together in order. In order to show you show to do this I will use the following random list and I will use just five words in for this example:

1. Teddy Bear

2. Ice-Cream

3. Umbrella

4. Cloud

5. Frog

Starting with the first item you need to visualize that object, really imagine it clearly defined in your mind and then link it to the next item. In this example you can do this by visualizing the teddy bear sat holding an ice-cream therefore linking them together.

It's also a good idea to make the visualization amusing in some way to make it more distinct and memorable therefore you could also imagine ice-cream all over the teddy bear's face from where's he been munching on it. The imagery doesn't necessarily have to make sense, as long as it's distinct and memorable then it should be fairly easy to remember.

The next step is to then link the second item (the ice-cream) to the third item (the umbrella). So, when you visualize the teddy bear (1) he's sat holding an ice-cream (2) in one hand which he has all over his face from munching on it, you then look to see what's in his other hand, an umbrella (3). The umbrella is sheltering him from the rain which is pouring down from the cloud (4) above, on top of the cloud there's a frog (5) jumping up and down, maybe he wants some of the ice-cream!

The only thing you really need to remember when using this technique is the first item on the list, as you obviously need to be able to start somewhere. Eventually, using this technique, you will be able to recall over 100 items from a list several weeks later with ease.

[ Image from Pixabay - Public Domain -  http://pixabay.com/en/puzzle-learn-arrangement-components-210785/ ]

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