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30 Days to a More Powerful Memory

Book Description

With phones ringing off the hook, constantly changing to-do lists, and increasingly complicated schedules, having a good memory has become more important than ever. Drawing on the latest research from cognitive experts and psychologists, 30 Days to a More Powerful Memory provides hands-on, practical strategies and exercises that anyone, young or old, can use to sharpen their memory -- fast! The book introduces readers to memory-boosting techniques such as mnemonic devices, visualization, chunking and clustering, and mental triggers, and also shows how to: * effectively decrease anxiety levels and combat the negative emotions that can affect recall * create powerful backup systems to help trigger associations * exercise both body and mind, and improve overall health to improve memory * get the kind of restful sleep that will increase one's ability to retain information. The book discusses common myths about memory, clarifying what's true and what isn't. Packed with tips and memory-boosting activities, this guide provides readers with the simple but powerful methods they need to increase their mental agility. AUTHORBIO: Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D. (Oakland, CA) is the founder and director of Changemakers and Creative Communications & Research. She is the author of over 40 books, including A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses (0-8144-7298-2), and A Survival Guide to Working with Humans (0-8144-7205-2). Frequently sought out by the media, she has been interviewed for Good Morning America, Oprah, Geraldo at Large, Montel Williams, The O'Reilly Factor, The New York Times, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Introduction
  3. 1. How Your Memory Works
    1. A Quick Historical Overview
      1. The Beginnings of Studying Memory
      2. Modern Research on Memory
      3. Current Thinking on Memory
    2. Understanding the Process
      1. From Perception to Working Memory to Long-Term Memory
      2. The Power of Your Working Memory
      3. Some Barriers to Remembering
    3. The Four Components of Your Working Memory
  4. 2. How Your Long-Term Memory Works
    1. The Three Types of Long-Term Memory
      1. Episodic Memory
      2. Semantic Memory
      3. Procedural Memory
    2. Encoding Your Memories
      1. Using the Self-Referent Effect for a Better Memory
      2. Using the Power of Context and Specificity
      3. The Influence of Emotion and Mood
    3. Retrieving Your Memories
    4. How Do the Experts Do It?
    5. Remembering What You Experienced
  5. 3. How Good Is Your Memory?
    1. Self-Assessment
      1. Test #1: Assessing Your Memory Skills
    2. Objective Tests of Your Different Memory Abilities
      1. Remembering Random Words
        1. Test #2A: Immediate Recall
        2. Test #2B: Delayed Recall
      2. Recognizing Words with Interference
        1. Test #3A: Immediate Recognition
        2. Test #3B: Delayed Recognition
      3. Remembering Lists and Directions
        1. Test #4A: Lists
        2. Test #4B: Directions
      4. Remembering Numbers
        1. Test #5A: Phone Numbers
        2. Test #5B: Bank Account Numbers
      5. Remembering Faces and Names
        1. Test #6: Faces and Names
      6. Remembering Images
        1. Test #7A: Draw It
        2. Test #7B: How Much Did You See?
    3. Summing Up
  6. 4. Creating a Memory Journal
    1. How to Set Up Your Memory Journal
    2. How to Use the Journal to Improve Your Progress
    3. Sample Memory Journal
  7. 5. Pay Attention!!!
    1. Learning to Pay Attention
      1. Creating a Memory Trigger to Increase Your Ability to Focus
      2. Using a Physical Trigger or Motion to Keep Your Attention Focused
      3. Using Clear Memory Pictures or Recordings to Improve Your Memory
      4. Looking at Things More Accurately
      5. Listening to What You Hear
      6. Seeing Like a Camera; Listening Like a Cassette Recorder
      7. Experiencing an Object
    2. More Tips for Paying Attention
      1. Using Note Taking to Stay Focused
      2. Listening Proactively
      3. Observing Proactively
      4. Increasing Your Ability to Maintain Interest
    3. Prepare Yourself to Pay Attention
  8. 6. Improving Your Health and Your Memory
    1. Sleep on It
    2. You Are What You Eat
      1. Eating a Healthy Diet
    3. Using Herbs, Supplements, and Memory-Enhancing Medications
    4. Reducing or Avoiding Alcohol, Marijuana, Other Drugs, and Smoking
    5. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
    6. A Matter of Mood and Emotions
  9. 7. Decrease Stress and Anxiety to Remember More
    1. Four Steps to Reducing Stress
      1. Calm Down with a Relaxation Technique
        1. Focus on Your Breath
        2. Quiet Your Body
        3. Concentrate on a Calming Image or Sound
        4. Develop a Stress-Reduction Trigger
      2. Understand the Sources of Your Stress or Tension
      3. Decide What to Do to Get Rid of This Source of Tension
      4. Chase Away Any Worries About the Problem
    2. Overcoming Worries and Fears
      1. Come Up with an Alternative
      2. Visualize the Desired Outcome
      3. Remind Yourself You Will Do It
      4. Affirm Your Acceptance
    3. Stress and Memory
  10. 8. Increase Your Energy to Boost Your Memory Power
    1. Using Different Energy-Raising Approaches
      1. Creating Your Own Energy and Enthusiasm (Time: about 1 minute)
      2. Drawing on the Energies of the Universe (Time: 2–3 minutes)
      3. Imagining Yourself Doing Something Exciting (Time: 5–10 minutes)
    2. The Power of These Techniques
      1. Energy and Memory
  11. 9. It’s All About Me!
    1. The All About Me Principle
    2. Applying the All About Me Principle
  12. 10. Remembering More by Remembering Less
    1. Creating a Passwords File
    2. Creating a File for Lock Combinations
    3. Using a Keyword Reminder
    4. Creating a Tickler File
    5. Using a Daily Calendar
    6. Putting Things in Their Place
    7. Placing Reminders Along the Way
    8. Putting Out What You Need the Night Before
    9. Creating a To-Do List or Checklist
    10. Keeping Track of Cards You Collect
    11. Using a Reminder Service
    12. Arranging for Reminders from Other People
    13. Setting Up an Alarm
    14. Putting Up a Reminder Bulletin Board
    15. Carrying a Notebook or Notepad with You
    16. Doing Something in Advance So You Don’t Have to Remember to Do It Later
    17. Creating an Appointments Scheduler and Results Form
    18. Creating a Follow-Up Matrix
    19. Using Post-its or Cards with Reminders
    20. Creating Your Own System
    21. Reviewing Your Reminders
  13. 11. Using Schemas and Scripts to Help You Remember
    1. What Are Schemas and Scripts?
    2. How Schemas and Scripts Can Improve Your Memory
      1. Structuring New Information into Categories to Create Your Own Schemas
      2. Using a Schema to Remember What Happened
      3. Practicing Sample Schemas and Scripts
    3. Using Schemas for Better Recall
    4. Problems with Using Schemas and Scripts
  14. 12. Chunk It and Categorize It
    1. How Chunking and Categorizing Works
      1. Get Chunky with It
      2. Creating Categories and Groups
      3. Creating Categories with Words
        1. Recall Test 1: Word, Words, Words
        2. Recall Test 2: Words in Categories
        3. Recall Test 3: You Create the Categories
        4. Recognition Test #1: Is It a Match?
        5. Recognition Test #2: Group Game
      4. Creating and Using Categories in Your Work and Personal Life
  15. 13. Rehearse . . . Rehearse . . . Rehearse . . . and Review
    1. Using the Review Process Effectively
    2. Rehearsing to Get It Right
    3. Reviewing and Rehearsing with Others
    4. Increasing Your Review and Rehearsal Power
    5. Putting Review and Rehearsal into Practice
  16. 14. Repeat It!
    1. Using Repetition in Everyday Life
    2. Practice What You Repeat
  17. 15. Talk About It
    1. Talk-About-It Techniques
      1. Just Tell It
      2. Mirror, Mirror
      3. Be an Announcer
      4. Discuss It
      5. Teach It
    2. Putting These Techniques into Practice
      1. Share It in a Memory Group
  18. 16. Tell Yourself a Story
    1. Turning Words into Stories
    2. Playing the Tell-Me-a-Story Game
  19. 17. Remembering a Story
    1. Using Review and Rehearsal
    2. Using Trigger Words
    3. Using a Trigger Words Map
  20. 18. Back to Basics
    1. Using the First Letter or Acrostics Method
    2. Using Acronyms
    3. Using Rhymes and Jingles
  21. 19. Take a Letter
    1. The Alphabet System
      1. Choosing Your Words
      2. Building Image Associations
      3. Playing the Learn Your Letters Game
  22. 20. Linked In and Linked Up
    1. Using the Continuous Link System
    2. Playing the Linking Game
    3. Using the Chain Link System
  23. 21. Find a Substitute
    1. Using the Sub System to Remember Single Words
    2. Using Substitutes to Create Links
    3. Practicing the Sub System
    4. Playing the Sub Words Game
  24. 22. It’s All About Location
    1. Using the Loci Method
    2. Working with the Loci Method
    3. Using the Roman Room System
    4. Applying the Loci and Roman Room Methods
  25. 23. Be a Recorder
    1. I Am a Camera
      1. I am a Still Camera
      2. I am a Video Camera
    2. I am an Audio Recorder
    3. Charting Your Progress
  26. 24. Record and Replay
    1. Record It Well
    2. Play It Again, Sam!
    3. Using the Replay Two-Step
    4. What Do You Want to Recall?
    5. Keeping It Light
    6. Going Even Deeper
    7. Practice the Technique
  27. 25. Body Language
    1. Using Your Body to Learn Short Lists
    2. Playing the Body Parts Game
  28. 26. Let Your Intuition Do the Walking
    1. How and Why the Intuitive Process Works
    2. Tapping into Your Unconscious Powers
      1. Recalling a Name
      2. Recalling a Phone Number
      3. Recalling Where You Put an Object
      4. Recalling a Route
      5. Recalling Information from a Book
      6. Recalling a Scene from a Movie
      7. Recalling a Situation or Event
  29. 27. Remembering Names and Faces
    1. Remembering Names
      1. Pay Attention
      2. Repeat and Rehearse
      3. Mention Anything Special about the Name
      4. Create a Visual or Mental Association with the Name
      5. Clarify How the Person Wants to Be Called
      6. Make the Name Meaningful to You
      7. Get a Business Card
      8. Reflect and Review
      9. Use the 4-Point SALT Method
    2. Remembering Faces
      1. Notice Distinctive Features
      2. Notice Personal Qualities
      3. Use Associations to Connect the Name and Face
      4. Find a Place for the Face
    3. More Than Just a Name and Face
      1. Remembering Information About a Person
      2. Playing the Name Game
  30. 28. Remembering Important Numbers
    1. Turning Numbers into Sentences
    2. Playing the Number Sentences Game
    3. Using the Number Shapes System
    4. Using the Number Rhyme System
    5. What’s Your Number?
  31. 29. Walk the Talk: Speeches, Presentations, and Meetings
    1. Don’t Try to Memorize It All
    2. Create an Outline or Mind Map with Key Words or Trigger Words
    3. Use a Visual, Peg, or Link System to Help You Remember the Trigger Word
    4. Decide Which System to Use to Help You Remember Your Speech or Presentation
    5. Use Rehearsal and Repetition to Put Your Trigger Words into Long-Term Memory
    6. Using a Relaxation Technique to Overcome Anxiety
  32. Notes
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 6
    5. Chapter 9
    6. Chapter 11
    7. Chapter 12
    8. Chapter 18
    9. Chapter 19
    10. Chapter 21
    11. Chapter 22
    12. Chapter 24
    13. Chapter 27
    14. Chapter 28
    15. Chapter 29
  33. Resources and References
    1. Books
    2. Tapes and CDs
  34. About the Author