Training tips from a memory champ
Your day-to-day life may not require you to memorize long strings of numbers, or the precise order of a deck of 52 cards.
But, here’s an easy way to incorporate one of Dellis’ go-to memory training techniques—called the “loci method”—into your everyday routine:
- First, think about your grocery list for the coming week. It may help to write it down and try to make each item as simple as possible (i.e. mozzarella cheese as opposed to Sargento brand, 2% milk mozzarella cheese). Let’s say your list has ten different things on it: grapes, bread, mint frozen yogurt, laundry detergent, dog food, bananas, milk, toilet paper, ground turkey and a gossip magazine.
- Once you have your list finalized, sit down and close your eyes. In your mind picture a place you’re very familiar with. Dellis suggests using your house.
- Picture yourself going about your regular routine—getting out of bed in the morning, brushing your teeth, waking up your kids, going downstairs to make breakfast, etc.
- Next, begin adding in the items on your grocery list into your mental montage. The key part of this step is to add the items in a crazy, emotionally-charged (in other words, memorable) way.
For example, imagine that when you get out of bed in the morning, your floor is covered in grapes. Whenever you step on them, the grapes squeal in protest. With your feet covered in sticky grape jam (what an annoying way to start the day), you stalk to the bathroom and furiously wipe them on your bath mat, which, as it turns out, is made entirely of bread. You grab your toothbrush and scoop some mint-flavored frozen yogurt onto it and begin to brush your teeth. After polishing your pearly whites, you walk into the hallway, where the dirty clothes in the hamper start pestering you about switching laundry detergents. The last few washes have been very unpleasant for them. And so on.
By populating a familiar setting (your house) with outlandish, emotion-driven objects and occurrences, you’ll be able to more easily remember everything you need at the store, no list required.