Jill, like Jack and Jill. I’m told I speak fast, especially by my Southern friends. I’m learning to be more purposeful, patient and slow when I speak. But it’s a process. Apparently, on the phone, my name often sounds like Jo since I probably say it quickly. So I now give an association with my name: Jill, like Jack and Jill.
Association is the simplest and most common memory technique. Where’s the milk at the store? In the refrigerated dairy section. Milk = dairy which needs refrigeration. Bread and butter, black and white, snow and January (not March!) and so on. Simply mentioning a typical association to my name helps others remember it.
We use common connections all the time. But when taken to the next level, we can transform this easy technique into a powerful memory booster.
What is the red-headed boy’s name, someone asked me the other day. The first time I met this boy, his name sounded like a famous person, so I purposefully made a mental association between the two seemingly unrelated people. They are now forever linked in my brain. So using this connection, I easily came up with his name.
Lost your wallet or keys? Associate where and when you last used them and look there. It’s the go-to technique when pulling something out of memory, but making connections are also great for putting new information into memory.
If trying to remember random numbers or an address, associate the numbers together somehow. Odd or even, a pattern or math equation can link them together. I remembered the boy’s name by using an association created when the information was brand new to me. Pay attention and do this with anything. Connect new information with something already in your memory. The more associations made, the more paths to retrieve it later.
Associations can be words, numbers, patterns, visual, auditory or linked to any of our senses. The possibilities are limited only by our imaginations. Best of all, they only need to make sense to us!
Focus and have fun associating new and old information to boost your memory. You’ll discover many fun connections in life while remembering a few more things along the way!