Working memory is something you use when you only need information for a short period of time (short-term memory). An example would be when you are trying to call a service repair shop, you look up the number and repeat it to yourself until you dial the phone successfully. Since you probably won’t need it again you don’t need to commit it to your memory, so it won’t stay there for long.

If it was a number you needed to keep on hand, or one you use often, you must commit it to your long-term memory. But how do you do that?  The answer is to find a memory technique that will connect the new memory with an old one. By associating you are able to remember it for longer periods of time.

Making it fun is one of the best memory tips an expert can give. There are a number of different ways to do that, but adding humor to the lesson always has been successful in getting people to remember something easier. Even better, make up a humorous story – especially if you have more than one thing to remember.

The average person can remember 7-9 numbers at a time, some people are able to remember more at once, but most aren’t able to keep it in their long-term memory. A story that incorporates all the things you want to remember into one unit will makes it easier to remember. 

You can begin by writing down what you want to remember and placing the notes on a table. Now make up a story connecting all the items together – the more humorous the easier it is to remember. Make up a mental image (solidifies the image) and you can even animate it as you process the information into your memory. Here is an example of how it could go:

If the first three objects are an apple, a key and a mobile phone, you could start the story like this:

Person 1: In the orchard, ripe apples were falling from the trees.
Person 2:But the gate to the orchard was locked and John had brought the wrong key.
Person 3: So he called Sue from his mobile phone to see if she could help.

After you have included all the objects into the story, remove the objects from view and see how many of the objects you can remember by retelling the story.

You can even make it into a party game by asking others to help you make up a story using all the items listed on the notes. Let each person adds their bit of wit and wisdom to connect all the objects and then see who remember the most.

This is Ron White, and I am a two-time USA Memory Champion. This memory technique is a fun way to learn to remember objects, and include others in the process.



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