Today’s post comes to us from Paul Nowak, the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading courses in North America. Some great insights here to improve our memories – which we rely on quite a bit as pastors! You may be surprised at some of the tips Paul recommends:
- Get plenty of sleep. Lack of rest will have a negative effect on your memory.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Studies have shown that a 2% decrease in hydration can lead to a 20% loss in energy. Since your body and your brain are inter-related, you need to keep your system hydrated to improve your brain’s efficiency.
- Try to eliminate or reduce any stress you are currently feeling.
- Make your learning experiences social. Learning things with other people will help you retain the information and experiences better.
- Try to teach someone else about something you just learned.
- Read before going to bed.
- Try to make as many connections to previously learned information as possible.
- Review information learned while walking and discussing the information with another person.
- Talk with mentally stimulating people. This can be mentors, family or friends.
- Keep body in tune with proper nutrition. Consume memory-boosting vitamins. Also consume salmon, folic acid, natural sugars and vitamin B12.
- Make it a habit to study in your most comfortable environment.
- Use associations to help you remember specific information.
- Avoid memorizing information if you are in pain, on medication or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Avoid multitasking. Our brain is not that great at performing two similar tasks. Try doing one thing at a time unless one of those tasks can be done without conscious mental processing.
- Play instrumental music (no lyrics) ideally performed at 60 beats per minute.
- “Download” information that you gather through note-taking (try mind mapping), oral-repetition, audio recording.
- Pay attention to the most important information or it will be discarded from your working memory within 18-30 seconds.
- Relax. It’s difficult to retain information when you are tense, nervous or stressed.
Your partner in ministry,
P.S. It may be hard to relax or eliminate stress if you feel overworked and are not sharing the load with others! Delegation is the key to getting more done with less stress – and I’d like to share my 7 Secrets to Effective Delegation with you.
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