Educational psychology is the study of how people learn, but the field’s potential to help improve cognitive abilities isn’t limited to students. Workers can use these techniques to improve memory and do better in their jobs.
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Take Care of Your Brain
Recently, educational psychologist and educator Linda Sasser, Ph.D. gave a seminar at a retirement community. She taught her listeners to counter forgetfulness by implementing four simple steps. The steps are easy to remember via the anagram “PAVE”:
P: Pay attention. Consciously select what you need to focus on. Making a to-do list at the beginning of every work day will help.
A: Associate. Relate new information to something you already know. For example, in a meeting, you are given new information that is relevant to old information.
V: Visualize. Form mental pictures of the information you want to remember. Make images concrete: things you can hear, taste, smell, or feel. Some people remember names with this technique. If the CEO is a tall man named Bob, you may remember his name by thinking “Big Bob.” If Susan has a good sense of humor, think of her as “Silly Susan.” And so on.
E: Elaborate. Process the information you want to remember by organizing or alphabetizing the items, creating a story, or focusing on the meaning and relating it to something else.
Take Care of Yourself
No techniques will work if you don’t take care of the basics. Sasser reminds all of her students to first take care of themselves, both physically and mentally.
Socializing with others is important for the psychological well-being of schoolchildren, of the elderly, and of working people. A healthy personal life rejuvenates us to go back to work and be our most productive.
Brains are body parts, and it makes sense to take care of our bodies in order to take care of our brains. Sasser also recommends getting enough sleep and exercise, and eating a healthy diet, to improve cognitive functioning.
In the Workplace
Working adults may utilize all of the above techniques to improve their memories and increase their functioning and productivity in the workplace. If you want to function better at your job, take care of your brain.
Tell Us What You Think
Which techniques do you use to remember things? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.