Some things are tough to remember, such as where you parked, and your entire primary school years. Here are a few simple tips that will help jog your memory.
Photo by Saul Loeb/Getty Images
During his testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jeff Sessions was asked questions about his connections with Russia during the US election, Donald Trump's possible ties with Russia, and the firing of former head of the FBI James Comey during the Russia investigation. But — darn that bad memory! — he claimed to not recall many of the events that the Senate asked him about.
If you're ever in a situation like Sessions, here's what you can do.
Everybody forgets things — we forget where we put our keys, we forget people's names, and we forget to grab milk at the store. But some types of memory loss are signs that something is wrong. Here's what to look out for.
Get Enough Sleep
There are many studies about the benefits of sleep and how not getting enough sleep can make people sound really strange when trying to recall things or converse. Use techniques such as keeping a consistent sleep schedule and cutting down on screen time. To maximise on remembering important points, it also helps to study the new information before bed.
Close Your Eyes and Retrace Your Steps
Visualising the scene where you placed your last item or when you met your friend is helpful because it recreates the scene and helps you pick up on details you might have missed. The process is called context reinstatement. For example, if you remember walking into the bar last Saturday, you might also remember having a conversation with a friend there. Closing your eyes also helps recall because is makes your brain focus on one sense rather than having it also process the information around you.
Memory is dependent on three factors: Motivation, observation and mechanics. This is the thinking behind the "MUM" system, which states that we remember things based on how motivated we are to remember the information, how attentive we are to the situation, and how much we recall and repeat the information. As Lifehacker's own Patrick Allan explained of the "MUM" system, "Memory issues are usually attention issues, not retention issues. Be present in the moment, listen, and stay aware of your surroundings as best you can." For instance, be present in the moment when you have important conversations you'll want to recall later.
Make Use of Visual Hooks and Mnemonics to Make It Memorable
Attaching names to faces is difficult, but there are many tricks to make it easier. One is by creating visual hooks that make their names and faces more unique. Another is by associating their name with other things through mnemonics. For example, if you want to remember if Hawaii is a US state, you could reference a mnemonic device such as WOAH C, the acronym for US states in the Pacific (Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, California).