Remember This

Carrying out everyday tasks and activities such as driving and exercising, performing well at your job, and maintaining satisfying relationships is possible due to your capacity to remember.

Whatever your age, you can take action to improve your short- and long-term recall skills:

Exercise your brain. Try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand or putting on your shoes with your eyes closed. Stimulating little used areas of the brain can improve its functions, including memory.

Review often. Until you have crucial information fully committed to memory, revisit it daily and then at less frequent intervals. This can be more effective than cramming just before it’s needed.

Write it down. Jotting down directions, speaking them aloud, or otherwise layering the ways you interact with information can enhance recall.

Sleep well. A tired brain’s functions, including memory, do not work as efficiently.

Exercise and quit smoking. Both improve oxygen delivery to the brain.

Explore mnemonic devices. These clues help you remember information by associating it with visual images, acronyms, and rhymes or by “chunking” data into smaller groups (for example, memorizing a 9-digit Social Security Number is easier because it’s broken into 3 small sections).

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