CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUL. 25, 2013
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5 Tips to Improve your Memory

There comes a time when you hit a mental roadblock and can’t remember the simplest piece of information on time. It happens to almost everyone - you know the word, you have used it many times, but at the moment when you want to use it, you can’t remember it for the life of you. Has this happened to you during a meeting at work? Or while out lunch with your colleagues? If this scenario sounds familiar then you are not alone, there are so many people who experience the occasional brain blank, in which they are unable to recall a information that they have already consumed.

There are a few ways to improve your memory and give your brain a boost. This is important because you should always try to exercise your mind by testing memory and recall time. Here are 5 ways that can help your get a sharper mind:

1. Sleep

“There is nothing like a good night’s sleep” - there is a reason that this saying is so popular. People who have a poor sleeping pattern in which they only manage up to 4-5 hours of sleep are likely to have a poor memory. Sleep deprivation and lack of rest make your brain go into passive mode, i.e. it has been switched on for too long and starts sparking up the fuse.

Make sure you get a good 7-8 hours of sleep every night to rejuvenate your mind and boost your memory. A well-rested brain will be able to have a shorter recall time, being more active and creative as well. Sleep is one of the basics to keep your brain young and memory active, so make sure you don’t skip any hours in your bed!

2. Diet

Spending hours in the office can make you lazy cook and have a laid back lifestyle in terms of health. The best thing about memory boosting food is that you don’t have to cook it - you just have to stroll down to your local store and stock up. Here are some of the most basic brain foods that you should be snacking on during work hours:

  • Apples - packed with the antioxidant quercetin, apples prevent your brain from inflammation - remember not to remove the skin!
  • Chocolate - the antioxidants found in this yummy snack improve blood flow in your brain - giving it the kick that it needs.
  • Blackberries - the anti-aging properties of blackberries ensure that your brain is protected against inflammation, similar to apples.

3. Focus

Writing a press release, while on the phone to your colleague discussing a meeting agenda and checking incoming emails on the side? It is time to stop. Multitasking is great - it’s a skill that everyone should master because it makes you efficient and productive, however there is a limit to it. If you are mixing 5-6 stews with the same ladle, the taste of one or two of the dishes is going to get ruined. It is expected to happen, and that is what happens in the workplace.

Try to focus on one or two things at a time, instead of 5-6. This will ensure that you are focused on the task at hand and that you don’t make mistakes. This is one of the worst traits that people have as they think that multitasking makes them more productive - this statement is true, but to an extent.

4. Exercise

The most obvious way to improve your memory and health is through exercise. While it is the clearest solution, many people avoid this option because they cannot be bothered to make the effort. There are certain physical exercises that you can do that don’t require a lot of exertion, some of which are listed below:

  • 20-25 minute walk around the block
  • 5 minute jog
  • 60 minutes yoga routine

These options are simple yet effective. Exercising your body will automatically exercise your brain, therefore improving blood flow and boosting memory. Start with 3 times a week, and then try to do exercise every other day (if not daily).

5. Test

When we are in school, our memory is constantly in check because of the various pop up quizzes, tests and exams. As adults, we have the privilege to steer clear of this stress of exams; however we forgot that these are the tools our whole life has been based on. If our brain has been trained to retain information and then be tested for 20 years of our lives, and then we just don’t - it is bound to get loose in terms of memory.

Download apps on your phone, or take a course online - anything that tests your knowledge and memory. Take 10-15 minutes out of your day to practice your memory and make it stronger - Good Luck! 

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