Driving somewhere can be fun and exciting, but once you turn around in circles, your idea of a good time starts crumbling down. When you can’t remember directions and addresses, you start to panic and stress out. In times like these, your memory fails you and can make the situation even worse. By remembering these strategies, you’ll avoid getting stuck in this situation.
1. Map It. Draw a picture map in your brain of where you’re going. Remember significant markers like a tree, a corner, or a store. Visualize how the main roads run from north to south, or east to west. Now, you have an idea where the main roads are and how they branch out into side streets. Most importantly, you know how to get back just in case you do get lost.
2. Actualize It. Before going somewhere, plan your activity ahead by studying a map. You’ll have a better idea of where you’re going and you know what to expect. Or if you have an appointment some place you’ve never been, drive to that place the day before. You can more likely remember where you’re going, and this saves you time from searching.
3. Make It Real. Although directions are not exactly tangible, make them as real as possible. Associate the street names with your senses like a scene from a garden, or imagine the representation of the street name like “Lover’s Lane.” Make the street name more significant by connecting it to a memory or a sense. For example, “Mahogany St.” in your mind is “a shady street lined with trees; went cycling with Cousin Rose last summer.”
4. Repeat It. You can’t memorize something if you won’t repeat it. Repetition helps you remember, just like when you’re memorizing your ABCs. Repeat the directions aloud so you’ll hear them and write the directions on paper so you’ll see them. You now have an audio-visual aid to help you practice and retain your directions.
5. Acrostics. Make simple sentences out of the street names. You can even connect the street names to form a story. Your story doesn’t need to make sense, just as long as it helps you remember the directions.
6. Link It. “The more you link, the more you learn.” The more you relate certain information with what you have already known, the more you will remember the information. The key is to attach one direction to another. If you already know how to get to the main road, just connect the side streets through linking them through your mind, whether you turn left or right.
7. Sing It. Have you ever wondered why you can memorize songs more easily than poems? Songs or rhythm can actually help your memory. Try rhyming the directions or addresses or singing them to your favorite song.