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How To Improve Memory, Remember And Recall Lists

Suppose you need to shop for groceries and you need the following food items:

  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Bacon
  • Cheese
  • Milk
How can you remember this list without writing it down on a piece of paper? For short lists of different objects, the most effective method of recalling objects is to associate the words and combine them to create a chain such as:

Eggs-Bread-Bacon-Cheese-Milk

Then, visualize some funny story in your mind so that the items on the list will be linked together.
As an example, picture yourself entering the grocery with a bag in your hand.


Start with the bag, because it is a list for grocery. It will be hard to think immediately of eggs. Someone appears from thin air, gave you an egg and disappeared again.
Awed, you took the egg and put it in the bag. It cracked and made a horrible mess. This mess is a striking image in your mind that will emphasize the idea of eggs.

 Then the next person came and handed you some bread, because of the egg mess it is not wise to put the bread in the bag so you just hold it in your hand. You tied it in a string and it swirls while you walk.

Now this story will be quite long. However, you should keep in mind that you agree not writing this story on a piece of paper. You are just creating it inside your mind, which is a lot quicker.

In fact it is more vivid and some of the finer details will be very helpful in recalling the list later. The more ways you experience an event, such as appearance, smell or shape will help you to remember it vividly.

Now back to the story. From out of nowhere, you spotted bacon on the sidewalk as you are walking. And you stepped on it. Now the bacon is so greasy and some of the grease messed up your shoes and feet.

Next, you also spotted a cheese on the grass, and you also stepped on it. Now you have a grease and cheese slime on your shoes and feet. When you are at the store, there is no washroom or water, so you just use milk to clean your shoes and feet.

Now, that is a funny story. Have you noticed that we haven’t used the grocery bag at all? If we did, we might find ourselves making similar sequences and it will be very dull.

Our story is very funny on purpose. Now you can stop, look away from this article and think through the whole story again and you can tell it in your own words. You can try it again tomorrow and see if you can still recall the story and remember the grocery list.

Our grocery list is just easier to remember than longer lists that can go about 50 items. If you forget a word in the middle of the list, the chain is now broken and the whole sequence will not be good.

If you also want to recall the 34th president of the United States- its useful if you memorized the names in proper order of their service, which means that you also have to remember the first 33 presidents.

Also, you can memorize longer lists using the peg word system. This system use peg words such as common terms that are pegged to a number from 0 to 9 to help a person in recalling items on the list.

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