Expert Author Kasia Lanucha

Most people think a good memory is something you either have or you don't. Despite this widely held conviction all of us would like to improve our memory. It's an almost universal wish and the reasons why this is the case are clear.

The benefits of an improved memory are immeasurable. A better memory would improve our productivity and help us in our goals to achieve success in so many ways.

While many people would like to have a better memory, few are aware that there are number of techniques that you can use to increase the power of your memory. These techniques have been around for many centuries.

One of the most powerful of these techniques is the Method of Loci, a system the ancient Greeks used to memorize speeches and long lists with little rehearsal.

Here's how you can use the Method of Loci to help you in your goal to achieve an improved memory. The Method of Loci translated from the Greek literally means the "method of places." It's an accurate name because in this system you will learn to use your knowledge of your surroundings to aid your recall of information.

The idea is very simple and yet very powerful. It employs a combination of visual association techniques and then the placement of these new associations into certain locales that you know very well so that you are able to memorize lists at will and in perfect order.

Visual association in this situation is the act of essentially creating absurd images to remind yourself of whatever it is you are trying to remember. It's a best illustrated with an example.

Suppose you are given the following list of items to memorize: radio, candy, soda, car, tractor, stereo, PC.

You would start by essentially creating visual images for each of these words. For example, for radio you could imagine a giant radio playing your favorite song so loud that everyone in the neighborhood could hear it.

The main idea here is not to limit your imagination when using these visual association techniques. The more exaggerated and absurd the image the more likely you are to remember it.

Once you have created these visual associations with all the words in the list, then the next step is to associate these images with a place you know very well. This underlines again the reason this technique is given the name the Method of Loci.

You will have to memorize the layout of a place that you know very well, such as the rooms in your home, and then you will imagine yourself walking through each of these rooms in a very particular order.

As you walk into each room you will start to scan in a counterclockwise direction. You can choose to look in a counterclockwise direction also but whatever direction you choose, stick with it as you visualize yourself walking into each room.

As you look over each room you visualize all the contents of that room - furniture, books, television - whatever the case may be.

It is important to place the objects in the chronological order of your scan of the room. Next, you will associate the visual association of that object and create another association. For example, taking the radio in the list and the image you have created you may associate that image with a TV in the room.

You will create another absurd image and connect two images together. In this way all you will have to do to recall the objects in the room in the correct order is to imagine yourself walking into those rooms again and recall those images.

It takes some practice but once you get good at creating images you'll find yourself able to create and recall images and their locations very well. This method is the reason famous memory experts are able to recall decks of cards they have only looked at briefly backwards and forwards in perfect order.

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