"We remember what we understand; we understand only what we pay attention to; we pay attention to what we want." - Edward Bolles
You can learn to remember more effectively if you learn and use the four keys described below. Each one helps you to enter information into your long term memory.
- Choose to remember. Be interested. Pay attention. Want to learn and know. What you want is an important part of learning. When people are interested and want to learn, they learn and remember more effectively.
- Visualize or picture in your mind what you wish to remember. For many people, a mental picture or visualization is clearer and easier to remember than words. For each major concept that you want to remember, create a mental picture and then look at it carefully for a few seconds. Once you've seen it clearly, you'll probably be able to recall it.
- Relate the ideas and information you wish to remember to each other and to ideas and information you already know. When you relate information to other information, you create a chain of memories which lead to one another. When you label an information chain or group of ideas, you create a kind of "file" that makes it easy to locate and remember the information.
- Repeat what you wish to learn until you overlearn it. Say it in your own words. Even though you've already learned something, go over it one more time. Research shows that the time you spend on overlearning and putting ideas into your own words will pay off by making recall easier and more complete.