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Bringing All of These Memory Aides Together

Memory and learning are closely related concepts. Generally, we learn and process information by means of our brains. Memory is a recall mechanism that enables stored information to be brought to a conscious level.

Newly acquired information goes into our short-term memory. If we review that information, it has a much better chance of making it into our long-term memory.

Our ability to learn and remember does not disappear (assuming there are no physiological problems). Learning is a lifelong activity, as is remembering. As we grow older, the ability to recall is still there. It may simply be a little slower. You can keep your memory in "good health" by taking care of it, by coaxing it a bit, by massaging it. Memory aids include:

  • Review and more review. Review newly learned material immediately, later the same day and periodically thereafter.
  • Pace yourself by reviewing and studying in short spurts -- 15 to 20 minutes at a time, followed by brief breaks. Six or seven 15-minute sessions will be more beneficial than one two-hour session.
  • Group information for ease of retention and recall. Work with short chapters of a book, or divide long chapters into short sections.
  • To enhance your memory, use mnemonics, draw pictures, use rhymes and similar games. Remembering a picture or a jingle is easier than recalling words and sentences.
  • Use all of your senses to increase retention and memory. See it, hear it, write it, touch it, even smell it if possible. Involve your total being in the learning activity to enhance your memory.
  • Schedule your activities. Write them down. Then live by your schedule or plans. You'll find that you forget less and remember more.
  • Time control and management also will help you be more organized and will serve as a memory aid.