The better your focus, the better your memory works. How good your memory is, determines how easily you can retain and recall information when you need it. Boosting your focus is one of the first steps towards having a better memory. This article outlines practical strategies to boosting your focus and improving your memory.
Boosting your focus
Self-discipline is the ability to control and motivate yourself. It is what helps get you to work on time or to sit down and study. Self-discipline is often characterised by consistency and structure. It is something that can be created and encouraged.
However, to be efficient and effective self-discipline requires the added ingredient of being able to focus. Focusing is the ability to concentrate fully on something. How much you are able to absorb and then recall later will depend on how well you are able to focus your attention. Therefore, being able to focus is important as it directly impacts your memory.
Focus is something that can be learnt and improved over time. It isn’t something that just occurs. Rather you need to proactively implement strategies to assist you. Minimising distractions can also assist with improving your concentration.
Five pro-active strategies to boosting your focus:
- Break bigger tasks into smaller tasks: How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. One of the best ways to stay focused is to break a task into less daunting tasks, which you can more quickly tick off. This has a two-fold advantage of helping you to concentrate better as well as gauge how successfully you working towards completing your bigger task.
- Set deadlines with rewards: Set timeframes for tasks and find a way to reward yourself when you tick them off on time. Rewarding yourself for each smaller task may help your focus. Alternatively, you might find it more incentivising to reward yourself once the overall task is completed. The trick here is to figure out what works best for you and then implement that as a reward strategy.
- Visual reminders: Think of a word or phrase that could help you refocus when you find your mind wondering. Write it down and put it somewhere where you can see it when you get tempted to check Facebook or your phone.
- Work within your rhythm: Everyone has an optimum working time during their day. This is where you find it easiest to focus, recall things and are most productive. Schedule your most challenging tasks for this time and use your less productive times for breaks or easier tasks.
- Schedule screen-free time: Set aside time every day for something non-screen and non-work related. Think about what you derive enjoyment from. Joining a sports club, cooking, playing board games and gardening are all great ways to relax away from a screen and your work space.
How to improve your memory
Memory is the mental ability to retain and recall facts, information, events or impressions and being able to recognise previous experiences. There are a number of factors which impact how well we are able to do this. One of the primary influences on memory is concentration.
How well you can concentrate will determine how well your brain processes information. Some explain concentration as a process of imprinting information into our brains to assist our memory later. Thus, how well the information is processed, or imprinted in our brains, will determine how easily and how much of the information is able to be recalled later when we need it.
Studies show that there are ways to boost your memory no matter what age you are. This is because scientists have discovered that when it comes to your brain, it has an amazing ability to adapt and change. This is called Neuroplasticity and it is the “muscle building” part of your brain. The more you use it the stronger and better it gets. Essentially, what this means is with the right stimulation you can improve your memory.
Three ways to bolster your memory
- Mental gymnastics: To be most effective a good brain workout needs to be linked to a new and challenging skill, that also requires you to get progressively better overtime. It’s best to pick something that’s enjoyable and you can gain satisfaction from as you practice. Perhaps think about learning how to juggle, sketch or play a musical instrument.
- Pay attention: When you trying to learn something new, take the time to learn it. Often, we so quick to want to know something, we forget to take note of what we learning. Link the new information to something you already know and make sure that you understand the nitty-gritties of what you want to remember before moving on.
- Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to boost memory. You don’t need to be an endurance athlete – find something that you enjoy doing and do it regularly. New research has shown that even a small bout of exercise can help boost your memory.
Focus and Memory are linked. Boosting your focus and improving your memory will assist you with remembering and recalling information when you need it. This makes life less frustrating and enables you to improve your all-round efficiency and effectiveness.