There are probably as many memory aids as there are things to be remembered. These aids work for young and old alike if you stick to it and practice them every day. Here are some general tips to help you boost your memory:
1. Don’t cram. It is better to sit down once or twice a day to try to remember things than to try to cram ten hours of study in at one time.
2. Pay attention. People pay attention to what interests them. If you must read and remember something, try to find a room where you can read without too many distractions.
3. Be an active reader. If you want to remember written material, read each sentence as a critic would, ready to locate an inconsistency and checking the content against what you already know.
4. Keep a diary. If you have trouble remembering appointments, make sure every appointment is put into a calendar or diary. Be consistent. Keep the diary in the same place, and always enter every appointment. Make it a point to check the diary every day.
5. Keep lists. Always keep a shopping list tacked on the wall, and always add items you need to the list. Keep lists of jobs, things to be done, etc.
6. Write notes. Write reminders to yourself and leave them in a prominent place.
7. Use your senses. If you really want to remember something, use as many senses as possible – smell, sound, sight, touch, and taste – to help impress upon yourself whatever you are trying to remember.
8. Relax. It is always more difficult to remember if you are in a tense, nervous state. Take a few deep breaths and consciously relax your muscles.
9. Make conscious choices. Put extra energy and effort into remembering things that are important to you.
10. Take your time. As we get older, it may take longer to remember something, but often the information will surface if you wait a moment and don’t push yourself too hard. If you can’t remember the details, admit you have forgotten, and don’t beat yourself up over it.
11. Don’t expect too much. If you are nervous about forgetting something, chances are you will do just that.
12. If you are worried about forgetting things, keep a diary to track the things you forget. This will probably show that your moments of forgetfulness are not nearly as frequent as they seemed, and it will pinpoint those areas in which you do tend to forget things.