1254880_shiny_brain_A good memory is not something we are born with, but it is a learned skill worth improving. We are ever checking the efficiency and productivity of our technology, but forget the value of our own cognitive ability. Improving your memory can help to increase your creativity, problem-solving ability and innovation. The human brain has an uncanny ability to adapt and change – regardless of age. Here are 3 ways you can start to improve your memory.

1. Nix multitasking.

The mind can handle multiple undertakings, but we can only devote our attention to one thing at a time. The “skill” of multitasking is the ability to quickly redirect our focus, but the mind works best by tuning in to only one thing. Memory can be greatly improved by single-tasking. Allow yourself to concentrate on one specific thing at a time and engage with your whole body. Lean forward, direct eye contact, and tune all body language to the sole purpose of the one task at hand.

2. Three points

New information is retained in three’s. Immediately following a conference, collaboration or conversation, take a few moments to summarize the key points into three things. This could be someone’s first and last name and their company name, or list of action items you want to take. As a rule, the mind will recall three points and all else will slide by. Identify the three things you want to retain; you can control what is placed in memory.

3. Explain it to yourself.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Complicated, new ideas can be reiterated in your own mind by explaining it to yourself.   When you hear a new idea or terms that are unfamiliar, look for answers to the questions you can’t answer. The clearer the concept, the easier it is to understand. Repeating or explain to others can also cement the information you want to retain.

To strengthen any of the muscles in the human body, leading a healthy lifestyle is fundamental. Daily lifestyle habits will improve your overall well-being and, most importantly, your brain functions. Physical exercise increases the oxygen to the brain and enhances the helpful brain chemicals. Sleep is critical to both learning and memory; memory consolidation takes place during the deepest stages of sleep. And laughter is the best medicine. Listening to jokes and working out a punch line will activate the area of the brain that is vital to creativity. Implementing these simple tips and some daily healthy choices will bring about your best cognitive function.

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