I work with many stressed and busy executives that always complain about their memory and how they don’t have enough time to do the things they should be doing or learning, such as remembering people’s names! So I’ve decided to share some exercises with you that can help ease the situation and give comfort knowing that you can be much more productive with some basic exercises. You won’t notice improvement overnight. But you will notice them in a very short space of time.
1. Names techniques
Remembering names is vital in the business world. To be able to recall someone’s name, their details, work history, even family members is seen as something quite impressive. It also builds upon relationships and tells the person that they are important because someone took notice of them and cared. You can read about the techniques to remember names from an earlier post I wrote here http://www.tanselali.com/blog/how-to-remember-names
Social media is fantastic for exercising name memorization. For example, you can go to a site like Linkedin and practise your skills. Here’s how I do it.
- Log into linkedin
- Click on the ‘Home’ menu
- Memorise names from the news feed as you scroll down the page
You can also do the same thing for other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram. With millions of people on these sites, you will never be short of names to practise on.
2. Pomodoro technique
Busy executives often believe time goes past really fast so they end up making assumptions their work will need at least a certain amount of time to get done. For example, scheduling meetings for an hour or two, or giving themselves half a day to prepare a presentation.
Here’s the thing – You don’t need to allocate long time periods for certain tasks. There just needs to be a sustained effort for short period which will give you maximum result. Enter the Pomodoro technique. To read more visit http://pomodorotechnique.com/
Exercise: Make a list of all things you can Pomodoro and take action!
My list for example is:
Memory training, speed reading exercises, reading a book, researching, some meetings, memorization, speech preparation, emails, social media.
I do these tasks for 25 minutes without any interruption. Get as much done as I can. Repeat the process throughout the day if needed. It is not exactly a memory exercise, however it helps with productivity just like memory techniques.
3. Imagination & visualization training
Using your imagination has significant benefits. It helps you to exercise both sides of your brain and assist with memory improvement, concentration, along with many others. That little bit of extra visual activity for the busy person can relax the mind, reduce stress, and give mental clarity, which can be lost through stress and anxiety.
SMASHIN SCOPE is an acronym created by Vanda North and Tony Buzan is a system to get you not only more imaginative, but creative as well. You can read the full article on SMASHIN SCOPE here http://www.tanselali.com/12-creativity-tips-for-the-non-creative-type/
Visualise your house and go through from one part of the house to another as though you were looking for lost keys. As you’re going through your belongings use your senses to smell certain objects, like a toaster maybe. If no smells come to your mind, then make one up. Do the same for all your other senses by touching, hearing the noises, and tasting. This can also be done around the office as well and also with people you meet. After a while, it will almost seem like meditation!
4. Speed reading
So much reading to do with so little time. Skim reading is obviously not fully reading. Speed reading is also not skim reading. You do read every single word however it is through the reading of context rather than individual words. For those that haven’t read my article on speed reading, you can learn about it here http://www.tanselali.com/worlds-quickest-speed-reading-course/
Place your finger, pen, or a pointing device underneath the words and move it along as you read. The exercise is to do this as fast as you can for five minutes straight. Doing this will start accommodating how your brain views larger groups of words and how it starts to comprehend written content.
Read five seconds per page for five minutes.
5. Goals visualisation
Goal setting plays an important part in successful people’s lives. It can help push you to achieve and go beyond what normal capabilities are. For busy executives, this means achieving personal needs and wants a lot sooner, inspiring and leading others more effectively, and maintaining that competitive edge. More on goal setting here http://www.tanselali.com/6-steps-to-achieving-success/
– Write down a list of your goals
Write as many as you can. It is important that you have visual contact with this list at all times otherwise it is out of sight, out of mind. Think of the fridge, or post-it notes on your computer. Be creative.
– Visualize achieving your goals
The mind doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not. Visualizing your goals gives your brain a sense of what I call ‘pre’ accomplishment. The more you see this, the more you are going to invoke emotion.
– Note how you feel achieving your goal
Once you have that emotion it is time to feed it into a feeling. Feel, very deeply, about how it would be achieving your goal. Write down your feelings. Tell someone. Be passionate about your goals. The feeling part, if done right, will lead you closest to your goals. Everything else are just tasks. The feeling is what will drive and motivate you and bring about change.
– Replay and make each story for goal larger
Now replay each goal over again bursting with feeling. Each time you do this make the story bigger and better. The closer you are mentally to your goal, the closer you will be physically in real life.
Tansel Ali is a 4-time Australian Memory Champion most famously known for memorizing two Yellow Pages phone books in only 24 days. An international bestselling author of the books, ‘The Yellow Elephant’ and ‘How to Learn Almost Anything In 48 Hours’, Tansel is a sought-after memory expert, keynote speaker and memory coach.