One of the twelve common traits of successful traders as well as businessmen is the ability to learn new things quickly. Teaching yourself new things though requires good memory skills. According to experts, our short-term memory can hold seven items for about 20-30 seconds. The hippocampus then analyses our short-term memories to determine if they will be learned and committed to long-term memory. Although many of these things are ultimately lost forever, we can train our brain to learn things faster and retain them longer.
Here are some study hacks to improve your memory and help you learn new things faster.
Utilize Mnemonic Devices
In business it is highly important to remember the names of the clients and partners that you meet. Sometimes the names become overwhelming but using a mnemonic device can help you recall someone’s name faster. They will be impressed you remembered their name and it will lead to better business relationships.
Mnemonic devices are techniques that help learners recall larger pieces of information. A mnemonic device can be a sentence that you use, or something you associate with a memory to help you better remember it. For example, school children are taught “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” to remember the order that the planets revolve around the sun. Each first letter of each word corresponds to the first letter of a planet.
Therefore, you can remember a group of associates by associating the first letter of their name to a sentence that describes the group or the person. You can also associate objects or other messages to the person’s name to increase recall. The best associations are positive, humorous, or extremely outrageous.
Read the Information Out Loud
There is research that shows that reading out loud can help improve your memory of the material. You can also take it a step further and teach new concepts to someone else. Teaching what you learned to someone else can enhance understanding and improve recall, especially if you have to teach it in multiple different ways.
This is particularly true for any new process you decide to implement in your business. Once you come up with a process or new idea, teach it to someone else and it will help you learn how to use it better. Not only will you memorize it faster, but saying it out loud will give you a different perspective on the idea. The act of speaking about something can sometimes change how we feel about it.
When you exercise, it stimulates nerve cells and allows them to strengthen interconnections to prevent cell damage. The cells also release proteins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which triggers chemicals that benefit cognitive functions like learning. A study in 2010 on monkeys showed that those that exercised regularly learned new tasks twice as fast as those that didn’t exercise.
Many companies now offer free or reduced gym memberships so if your company does, be sure to take advantage of it. Working out once you finish a task or end a meeting with a client can help your mind refresh for the rest of the day.
It’s true that you are what you eat and certain foods can increase your memory. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets on the planet and has been proved to improve memory and attention, and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. To follow the diet, you should replace butter with healthy oils such as olive oil, swap out red meat for fish, eat at least three services of whole grains a day, and a one-ounce serving of nuts per day.
Following these four suggestions will help you train your brain so that you can learn quicker and faster. Ultimately, improved memory will help you in every aspect of your career.
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