How to Sharpen Memory by Practice
Develop your own strategy. Practice makes perfect as the good old saying goes. Imagine your neurons as cables that send in signals from your brain to your senses, and vice versa. Use them. They are present in your body for a reason and that is to convey message.
Also, be efficient, organize your thoughts. Imagine if you cram in everything in an office, jamming paper into one corner, then the others into another, that would be pure chaos and at the end of the day, things will just pile up and you would need to dig into those stash of things if you need to get anything important. This is how your brain would work if you cram things, you will get tired of trying to retrieve whatever information you need if you don't organize things in your head.
Sometimes, a certain routine would only work for a majority group. It doesn't mean that what's true to you will be true for everyone. Here are some tips you could freely choose from to apply to yourself.
1. Develop your integration skills
We tend to remember easily when we associate things. Once you successfully associate, it will take you less effort to cram in to your head all the things you want to learn. Say for example, you're a student who has an exam about anatomy and physiology and biochemistry and for one day. You tend to panic, thinking of how to review about all these two subjects without mixing them up in your head. The secret here is to look at the things that are similar to all these subjects.
Both are equally hard, yes? All have equally confusing terms, yes? Do they have anything else in common aside from these first two things? Like, what processes in the topics for Biochemistry are related to the topics for the Anatomy and Physiology? What are the terms that apply to both of the topics? If you can't see the connection at once, try to be more creative, and forge one. It's all in the way how you see things.
Remember that every single thing in this planet is connected to each other one way or another. You to people around you, you to the place you live in, you to the daily hassles of your life and so on. It's our responsibility to somehow get that whole picture that you and me are a tiny speck of dust, and at one point in time, the things we do, the things we hate will eventually have connection. Ergo, you must learn to appreciate how to integrate and relate things because that's how the world operates anyway.
2. Review the things you already know
If you are thinking that this is just applicable to students cramming their test, then think again. Recalling what we already know is essential. Like what was the food you ate for breakfast? When you answer this question, you can eventually plan on eating probably an entirely new meal for lunch or probably continue with what you left off from the first meal. Other examples would be, what was the plate number of that bus which cut through the traffic and almost got your car swerve on the railings? Or what was your kid's request for her birthday?
Our ability to recall enables us to map out what we should do next. It also helps us assess whether or not we are making progress. Remember that the more you review information inside your head, the more it sticks and becomes stored as a long term memory.
3. Always use your head
Remember how convoluted the brain is, and how each area in the brain is responsible for all the activities you do in life? Well, keep that in mind because you need to keep on exercising an activity like writing, reading, walking, talking or cooking once in a while because if not, the area in the brain in charge of that activity will shrink over time and if the activity or the thought is no longer exercised then the brain would eventually be forgotten. Similarly, this is what happens to people who have brain injuries. Parts of their brain get damaged, so some of their capabilities are then incapacitated as well.
It's great to think. The more you use your brain, the greater chances of avoiding your risk of memory loss. Just imagine the neurons as gears in your head. If you don't fire signals for them to turn and operate, then they would rust overtime and they would eventually be of no use.
4. Develop your own Mnemonics
It is very useful as well to create your own ways of remembering things. Do you remember what your teachers taught you to remember the correct order of the planets of the solar system? My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.
How about in remembering the taxa in biology?
Dear King Philip Come Over For Good Spaghetti.
Be creative and learn how make mnemonic devices that will work for you. You can also use music to memorize things. It would really help since songs are easy to remember.
5. Share what you know to others
Research shows that teaching others what you know is an excellent way of recalling. It not only helps you inform people, but you also review these things inside your head over and over until it becomes a steady form of memory. Also when you share to other what you know, they tend to give you some of their own insights, thus further helps you integrate and broaden what you already have in mind.