If we’ve learned anything from shows like Suits and movies like Limitless, it’s that having perfect recall is a genuine superpower. Though you may not yet be able to pop a pill that perfects your memory, there are a few tricks you can employ to boost your brain’s ability to hold onto valuable information. From tutoring online to music and mnemonics, here are five unique ways to recall more of what you learn:
1. Teach to learn
One of the best ways to lock information into your long-term memory is to flip the script and go from student to teacher. Not only do you have to recall the information, but you also have to transform it in a way that allows the person you’re teaching to understand. They may ask you questions you hadn’t thought of, and the whole process will do wonders for expanding your understanding of the subject matter and locking in the core concepts.
If you don’t have a friend or family member willing to be your pupil, consider signing up to be an online tutor. Tutors are in demand for almost all subjects, and if you find a paid position, you’ll be able to make a bit of pocket money while improving your memory.
2. Sleep on it
Instead of mindlessly scrolling Facebook before going to bed, maximize your memory by revising information you’re hoping to lock-in. This could mean going over class notes, listening to a language course, or revising a speech. As you drift into deep sleep, your brain will go to work locking this information in.
As a bonus, scientists have found that daytime naps can also help boost your recall. Swap your afternoon coffee for a quick nap, and you can fit in an extra memory boost while saving yourself from the insomnia that often results from afternoon post-caffeine crashes.
3. Wake on it
To lock in the power of sleeping on your study material, be sure to revise the content soon after waking as well. Your brain has only just left the super-suggestible dream state, meaning you are in the perfect frame of mind for taking in and storing data. By revising your notes before and after sleep, you’re sending a clear message that the content is important.
4. Sing about it
There’s a reason why we teach the basics to children through song and a reason why you still remember those childhood jingles. Music seems to become sticky when it meets the human mind, so any information you attach to it will stick too.
Pick a tune, and use it to sing the information you need to remember. The more creative you get with this, and the more fun you allow yourself to have, the better it will work.
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat
Though the tactics above are powerful, they can only do so much if you let them slide after a day or two. If you want to commit something to memory, you have to take that concept literally and commit to it.
Since you probably have various sets of information you want to be able to recall, it may be worth setting up a revision schedule that ensures you cover everything. Some subjects, like languages, are best studied daily. Other subjects can be revised every few days or on a weekly or monthly basis.
There are many books you can read, courses you can take, and tricks you can employ to improve your memory. However, the tips above form a strong foundation in which all other strategies can fit.