Memory Fading? 17 Tricks to Improve Your Memory Now

Memory loss happens to us all from time to time. Forgetting your phone at home or wasting time looking for your car keys in the morning are common occurrences in many households.

But if your forgetfulness is starting to interfere with your life or work deadlines and turn your daily life into a never-ending hunt for misplaced items, it’s time to explore memory-boosting techniques and make these lapses a thing of the past.

Here are 17 ways forgetful people can improve their memories.

1. Use tools to help organize information

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Organizational tools are invaluable when it comes to boosting memory. Take calendars, for example. Whether digital or paper-based, they keep you on top of important dates and deadlines.

To-do lists are also powerful tools. They help you prioritize tasks and stay organized. And let’s not forget the charm of sticky notes, offering quick reminders placed strategically around your space.

But the range of organizational tools doesn’t stop there. Digital apps like Evernote and Trello provide comprehensive platforms for note-taking, task management, and project organization. Timers and alarms help you stay focused and manage your time effectively. Mind mapping tools like MindMeister or SimpleMind enable you to connect and organize ideas visually.

And let’s not forget about virtual assistants like Siri or Google Assistant, which can schedule appointments, set reminders, and help you stay on top of your daily tasks.

2. Reading out loud helps the brain store more information

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Books are an infinite source of knowledge, but did you know reading out loud can improve your memory? When you read and listen to your own sounds, your brain can store more information.

Think about it. We read stories out loud to babies and children to develop their brains; why wouldn’t that same approach work as an adult?

If you’re somewhere that you can’t read out loud without seriously annoying everyone around you, get an audiobook and read along with it on an e-reader or hard copy of the book. It’s not exactly the same, but you will remember more.

3. Squeezing your palms for 90 seconds improves your focus

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You can tap into a remarkable mind-body connection by squeezing your palms for 90 seconds. This action increases blood flow to your brain, resulting in improved focus and heightened memory retention—it’s like giving your memory a little power boost.

4. Switching hands while working helps stimulate brain activity

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Usually, we only use our dominant hand to perform actions and daily tasks such as holding utensils, grabbing door handles, using a mouse, and writing with a pen.

Try swapping and using your non-dominant hand. This will strengthen the connections in the brain, thereby making the brain stronger. It will be a little clunky at first, but over time, you will notice improvement in your coordination and dexterity.

5. Remembering just four things makes it easier to remember more

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Practice remembering four characteristics about a person or an event. That’s it – just four things.

For example, when you meet someone new, take note of their hair color, the type of shoes they’re wearing, and the color of their eyes. Then, focus on one distinct feature that stands out to you, like a unique accessory or a memorable smile. You’ll learn to notice the details, improving your memory skills. Soon you’ll be able to remember even more.

People love being remembered. Recalling someone’s captivating characteristics shows that you truly see them, and being liked will get you far in life.

6. Linking what you know to make it easier to recall

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Imagine your brain as a library filled with shelves upon shelves of knowledge and information. Linking information is like organizing this library with bookmarks, labels, and other markers that make it easy to locate and retrieve the information you need, just like finding your favorite book on a well-marked shelf. Instead of aimlessly wandering the aisles, searching for that elusive piece of information, you can now rely on the shortcuts you’ve created.

This organized system leads to quicker and more accurate recall, empowering you to access and utilize your knowledge with ease.

So how do you do it? Say you’re trying to remember that the new person you just met is named Jennifer. You could associate her with a famous Jennifer that she reminds you of, or you could link her name to a memorable event or place where you met her, like “Jennifer from the coffee shop” or “Jennifer from the yoga class.”

7. Playing memory games exercises your brain

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Brain games and puzzles are not just hobbies or ways to pass the time – they exercise your brain. Just like your body, the more you nurture this muscle, the stronger it becomes. So pick up a book of crosswords or download a Sudoku app on your phone, and enjoy!

8. Getting enough sleep prevents mental fatigue

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There is nothing better than getting a good night’s sleep, and there are plenty of good reasons to make it a priority. One is that it improves memory.

Your brain just works better when you get enough sleep. You can form stronger memories and recall information quickly. So if you needed an excuse to get more sleep, this is it.

9. Setting visual cues aids in recall

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If you can’t afford to forget something and know you can’t rely on your memory to prompt you, set visual cues for yourself. Something like leaving a pen beside your car keys can remind you to bring the documents you need, or a leash on the doorknob can remind you that your dog as a vet appointment this afternoon.

10. Teaching others reinforces your own understanding

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When you teach others, you explain concepts in different ways, which reinforces your own grasp of the material. You might use visuals, repetition, or summaries to help them understand – all of these things help you understand and remember, too.

It’s also really hard to teach someone something that you don’t know. But doing so will pinpoint any gaps in your knowledge or areas you need to clarify, which can help you address them.

11. Eating on the MIND diet sharpens your mind

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By following this diet, which combines elements of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, you can nourish your brain with memory-boosting foods. Think of it as a tasty way to sharpen your mind.

The MIND diet encourages the consumption of brain-loving foods like leafy greens, berries, nuts, whole grains, fish, and olive oil. These superfoods are rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, and important nutrients that support memory and brain function.

So, if you can’t remember where you parked or what you watched on TV last night, give the MIND diet a whirl.

12. Supplementing with fish oil helps give us a boost

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Fish oil is like brain fuel. It’s packed with Omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA, EPA, and ALA), essential for brain, vision, and nerve development. These help our brain’s blood vessels stay in tip-top shape, supporting optimal brain function.

But here’s the catch: If we don’t get enough Omega-3 in our diet, our brains might not work as well. Our memory can decline, and we might always feel tired and weak. Yikes!

That’s where fish oil comes to the rescue! By adding fish oil to our daily diet, we can give our memory a boost and protect our precious brain. A little fish oil can go a long way in keeping our minds strong and our memories vibrant.

If that’s not your thing, you can get Omega-3 from soybeans, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

13. Dark chocolate enhances your brain function

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Good news! Eating dark chocolate is a highly recommended method of improving memory.

Packed with flavonoids and antioxidants, dark chocolate has been shown to enhance brain function and boost cognitive abilities. With every decadent bite, you’re treating your brain to a delicious dose of memory-boosting goodness.

A little chocolate can go a long way in keeping your memory sharp and your taste buds happy!

14. Minimizing the amount of sugar in the diet helps protect the brain

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One of the most harmful things to your body is consuming too much sugar from candy, cakes, snacks, carbonated soft drinks, juices, or starchy foods. While indulging in these delicious, sugary delights may provide temporary satisfaction, the long-term consequences can be severe.

The spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels associated with consuming sugary foods can lead to reduced focus, decreased attention span, and difficulty retaining information. So hopefully, you’re a dark chocolate fan!

15. Maintain a reasonable weight to avoid the decline

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A slimmer waistline and a sharper memory? Believe it or not, your weight can impact how well you remember things. Excess weight, particularly around the midsection, has been linked to memory problems and cognitive decline.

By shedding those extra pounds through regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can not only rock that new wardrobe but also rock a clear and focused brain.

16. Limiting alcohol keeps your brain from forming memories

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When we consume alcohol, it affects our brains by slowing down the transmission of information, which can make it harder to remember things clearly. Alcohol also affects memory by interfering with the forming of new memories. This happens because alcohol disrupts the process of consolidating memories in the brain, especially in the hippocampus, a vital area for memory formation.

While alcohol can play tricks on our memory, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine. Just be sure to approach it with moderation and a sprinkle of mindfulness.

17. Creating stories makes information more memorable

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Storytelling is a technique that’s been used for centuries to improve memory. Our brains are wired to remember stories, so creating one around whatever information you don’t want to forget will help you understand and retain it better.

Imagine you are trying to remember everything you had to pick up while running errands. You can create a story where each item on your list is a character. For example, you could picture someone rich like Warren Buffet or Elon Musk to remind you to go to the bank, while mailing that Amazon return would be a swift messenger, like Taylor Swift, perhaps?

Improve More Than Just Your Memory Skills

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What other skills would you like to improve? You can learn pretty much anything, from mini-courses on time management and setting SMART goals to how to write for television. The best part? You can learn these new skills for free.

Forgetting Isn’t Failing

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Sometimes being a forgetful person can make you feel like you’re annoying others or letting them down. Sure, it can negatively impact your life, but it doesn’t have to. All successful people have failed, they just learn to embrace it.

Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN,, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.

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