If you’ve ever tried to memorize information, you know it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. We often think that the information goes into our heads, and it does – sort of. But the issue arises when we forget the information, leading us to repeat it over and over again. Sometimes, even after repeated attempts, we still forget. It’s frustrating, right? The endless repetition becomes a stressful task, and it’s generally what happens without a proper memory system in place.
What we need is a system, an approach to store that information.
Let’s try a little visualization
Imagine your head as a storage cabinet or your computer filled with various folders. When you store information on your computer, you know exactly where it is because you’ve put it into specific folders. But when it comes to our brains, it’s not the same. We read or learn information and try to store it, but it’s like trying to file it away in the wilderness of our brain – without any specific location.
Repetition, while being a memory strategy, is weak and not reliable. Yes, there are some people who have mastered the art of repetition, but it’s not a guaranteed success for everyone. So, what can we do?
Folders in your Head
The answer lies in creating small storage blocks or ‘folders’ in our brain. Imagine being able to store whatever you need into these blocks of information, whether it’s ten things or a thousand. Sounds incredible, right? Let’s break down how this can be done.
One way to create these mental folders is by using the ‘Method of Loci’ or ‘Memory Palace Journey technique.’ This method involves walking through a familiar location or spot and adding points of interest as locations to store information in.
How it Works
For instance, let’s take your house as the main location. You can create multiple points of interest in sequential order. Starting from the front of your house, you might have a fence, a door, a window in a specific bedroom, a bed, and some drawers full of clothes. Now, these locations become the folders in your head where you can store information.
To memorize something, all you need to do is associate the information with these locations, using memory principles to make things more memorable. For example, you could visualize your fence made out of chocolate or a mobile phone being thrown at your door. This involves delving into creativity territory and using your imagination, which makes it easier to remember.
Now, to recall the information, all you need to do is revisit these locations in your head. The fence, the door, the window, the bed, the drawers – all these locations in your head hold specific pieces of information that you can recall whenever needed.
In essence, the power of this method lies in transforming abstract memories into spatial ones. By attaching information to locations you’re familiar with, you’re essentially leveraging your brain’s natural ability to remember places and spaces.
This technique can be employed to memorize a wide variety of things – from simple lists to complex information for exams or speeches. It’s a powerful tool that can transform the way you remember things.