Reduce the strain on your working memory
- Write down key information or draw a picture to help you visualize information:
- Simple counting can help provide reminders.
- Avoid Multi-tasking
Many of us do this on a daily basis, but most of the time our productivity reduces if we multi-task. It is better to focus on one specific task at a time and if necessary, shift from one task to another after some time if you lose interest in the task. Consider using this focus on a single task with the "pomodoro" technique describe on the time management page.
- Reduce Distractions: Turn off the tv, radio, cell phone, and facebook. Go to a quiet location. Avoid locations where others might want to talk to you. Listen to instrumental music that won't distract you with the lyrics.
- Chunking - Most people can hold about 7 pieces of information in their working memory at a time. So why is it that we can sometimes remember larger pieces of information? We can combine data into small chunks. For example, consider a phone number. Even though an area code is 3 digits, it could be considered one "chunk" of information. Also say a phone number out loud to someone. We often say the first three numbers together, then we say the last four numbers as two chunks. 555-123-23(pause)23. We have chunked the phone number into four pieces rather than 9 separate digits.