Editor’s note: This is a guest post from freelance writer Heather Johnson.
If you are starting to feel your age it might be because your memory is slipping at the most inopportune times. Or, maybe you already have a decent memory and would just like to improve it so you can beat your buddies at Trivial Pursuit. Think of your mind as a series of disorganized file cabinets. The information is already there. If you follow the 10 steps below, you can access any file you want at a much quicker pace.
- Read a Book Every Week – In order to keep your mind active you need to always be learning. No, you don’t need to settle in with some Carl Sagan and a thesaurus every night. Believe it or not, even some light “beach reading” will get your neurons firing more rapidly than whatever you have saved on your DVR.
- Streamline Your Daily Tasks – Multitasking to the point of exhaustion is a memory killer. Hone your ability to delegate tasks that are cluttering your work life and/or home life. If you can get away with a little procrastination by pushing the less important tasks back, that will work also. Over scheduling your life will induce major brain drain.
- Find a Quiet Spot – If you would like to study, read, balance the checkbook, etc. you need to have a quiet spot where you can concentrate and soak up as much information as possible. Just like multi-tasking, a loud and distracting environment will tire your brain.
- Sleep Eight Hours Every Night – Uninterrupted sleep may be an impossibility for surgeons or parents of small children, but you really should aim for those eight hours each night. Many of us have the opportunity to get a full night’s rest, yet opt to watch some television or catch up with something else. You absolutely cannot sacrifice sleep and expect to have a good memory the next day.
- Tap Into Your Creativity – If you’re not exercising your creativity there are areas of your brain that go wasted every day. Take up a creative hobby or, at the very least, pick up a pencil on occasion and doodle.
- Start a Journal or Blog – This might sound like a chore, but you don’t have to write a journal or blog entry every day. Write when the mood strikes or when you actually have something interesting to say. Documenting your life is one of the best ways to preserve your memory.
- Take a Daily Multivitamin – Make sure you take the best vitamin for your gender and age. Even if you can’t eat like a health nut all the time, at least you’ll get most of your necessary vitamins with the help of a supplement.
- Drink Plenty of Water – Water does wonders for your mind and body. Most people don’t realize that they walk around slightly dehydrated all the time. Dehydration can be the source of a lot of problems.
- Keep Your Home Tidy – Maybe you don’t subscribe to Feng Shui, but disorganized people often have a worse memory than those who keep their house clean. An organized environment encourages clear thinking.
- Don’t Smoke – If you do smoke, you now have one more reason to put those cigarettes down. Studies have shown an increase in memory loss amongst regular smokers.
At the very least, these 10 steps should help you attain and maintain a more healthy memory.
About the author: Heather Johnson is a freelance business, finance and economics writer, as well as a regular contributor at Business Credit Cards, a site for tracking the best business credit card offers. Heather welcomes comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address [email protected].