Memory Plan #2: Advance Your Career (for Professionals)
Your Goals: Master the concepts, methods, products, and standards in your profession. Impress your boss with your business knowledge.
Win that promotion everyone in the office is fighting for!
How to Do It: Learn study skills and concentration skills. Learn the memory systems to help you memorize information more easily.
Fix diet, exercise, sleep deficiencies. Unlike younger students still in school, you can take it further. Add in hypnosis, meditation, and more.
The following four areas are what you should focus your time and energy on to help advance your career:
- Memory systems To Do: Learn the major memory systems, and then start using them during job training. Each memory system gives you a powerful tool for remembering specific types of information (examples: Keyword - foreign languages; Peg - short lists; Phonetic - numbers and formulas; Link - lists of any length; Loci/Journey - story plots, any grouped information); Benefits: You will spend a lot less time when memorizing, and you will retain the information a lot longer.
- Study skills To Do: Learn the study strategies that "A" students use (examples: SQR3 - Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review; SMRR - Skim, Mark, Read, Reread; turn chapter headings into questions that you answer; study ahead of time and avoid cramming; avoid interference from similar subjects, many other strategies); Benefits: Study smarter, not harder and you will not only learn job skill faster but you will be less stressed out.
- Concentration skills To Do: Learn strategies and tricks for concentrating better (examples: deep breathing, gum chewing, time boxes, frequent breaks); Benefits: You will get a lot more done when studying if you can improve your concentration.
- Study environment To Do: Create a study environment that helps you concentrate (examples: create a dedicated study spot, use bright light, don't study in bed or in front of the TV, only listen to quiet instrumental music or no music, make sure chair is comfortable, prevent interruptions as much as possible); Benefits: To learn, you have concentrate on the material in a sustained manner. Your study environment needs to support that.
The areas listed below are also important strategies that can help you learn new jobs skills (and do better in life generally). Try making as many of these lifestyle changes as you can.
- Diet To Do: Start limiting your intake of sugary foods (examples: sodas, sugary desserts); drink at least three liters of water per day; eat a small,healthy breakfast every day; avoid white pastas (examples: white bread, or anything made with white flour); Benefits: Your blood sugar and energy levels will remain more even throughout the day. Blood sugar spikes are a real enemy of memory and concentration, and any food containing simple sugars will cause your energy level to crash after a couple of hours.
- Exercise To Do: For 30 minutes per day, any aerobic exercise (examples: running, biking, jumping rope); Benefits: Increases oxygen to your brain, helps build new memory brain cells, improves sleep, improves mental clarity, decreases stress
- Sleep To Do #1: Create a more restful sleeping environment (examples: darken your room, block distracting noise, replace uncomfortable bedding, get treatment for allergies/sleep apnea as needed); To Do #2: Improve sleep habits (examples: increase hours of restful sleep if you are sleep deprived; set a consistent wake up/go to bed schedule; no dramatic or violent movies before bed; no eating or only light eating before bedtime); Benefits: Consolidates learning, improves concentration the next day
- Memory vitamins To Do: Take a multivitamin, a B-Vitamin complex, and an Omega Vitamin complex every day; Benefits: Better brain function and avoidance of sneaky vitamin deficiencies that can zap your energy and concentration.
These areas are less important, but work them in if you can. Make sure most of your time is focused on the techniques and lifestyle changes above, though.
- Brain Games Puzzles and brain teasers can help you keep your mental skills longer as you grow older. When you need to relax and take a break from job training, try brain games instead of mindlessly watching TV shows.
- Hypnosis Hypnotherapists claim they can improve your memory if you listen to hypnosis sessions regularly. I don't know if that's true, but it might be worth trying if you feel you have a really bad memory.
- Brain supplements Unless you are diagnosed with a memory disorder, you probably won't get much benefit from the various memory supplements (in my opinion).
- Meditation Mediation is a wonderful way to focus your mind and relax. There are even research studies that say meditating can help grow new brain cells. This happens because the concentrating you do during meditation increases blood flow and nutrients to your brain.
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