It goes without saying that most people would like to improve their memory. Mnemonics are memory aids that can quickly help you to remember a list of items, ideas or concepts. This can come in handy both in your personal & business life – how great would it be to remember up to 10 shopping items without having to write a list? And how great would it be to stand up and recite 10 topics during a work presentation?
Dale Carnigy championed the mnemonics technique and I’m going to teach it to you today.
Simple Life Strategy: how to us mnemonics to power your memory
1. There is a bit of initial homework involved. First you must identify & memorise each number from 1 – 10 with a rhyming object or image like below. Because the words rhyme with the numbers it’s really easy to memorise them. You don’t have the use the below objects – you can choose any you like as long as they rhyme with the numbers.
1 > gun
2 > shoe
3 > tree
4 > door
5 > hive
6 > sticks
7 > heaven
8 > gate
9 > time
10 > hen
2. Next you take the list of items you want to remember and you link them to the object/images above (I’ve highlited my list items in pink below). It’s important to have some fun with this bit. The more creative you get, the easier it will be to remember your list! Our brains like absurdity and so the more weird or unusual you can get with how you link the number to the item, the better! For example:
1 > gun – milk (visualize a gun shooting milk)
2 > shoe – tuna (visualize a shoe filled with tuna, or a tuna fish wearing shoes!)
3 > tree – tea (visualize tea bags hanging on a tree)
4 > door – oranges (visualize an orange door)
5 > hive – cheese (visualize mini flying cows buzzing around a hive, and cheese dripping out of the hive)
6 > sticks – coffee (visualize a huge stick stirring a gigantic cup of coffee)
7 > heaven – asparagus (visualize bunches of asparagus nestled into floating fluffy clouds)
8 > gate – toothpaste (visualize a gate made out of 3-stripe toothpaste)
9 > time – chocolate (visualize a clock made out of chocolate
10 > hen – avocado (visualize a hen laying avocados instead of eggs)
You get the idea! Wondering how & why this works? Our brains can store more than 3 times the number of images than they can words. So it’s much easier to recall a word if you link it to an image. You can also apply mneumonics to acronyms too like this:
If you wanted to remember all 9 planets in the solar system in order of proximity from the Sun then this is how you would do it: (I actually used this method when studying my GCSEs would you believe!)
1. list the planets in order like so:
2. Then take the first letter of each planet and form a sentence like this:
My Very Easy Method Just Set Up Nine Planets
Or you could get creative with something like this:
My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Noodles
Just remembering the first letter triggers your memory to remember the name of the planet. Plus it’s much easier to remember one sentence instead of nine separate words.
I use both of these techniques and they really work. In-fact I still remember the order of the planets because of mneumonics and this is something I learned over 15 years ago! So give it a go!
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