Do you ever wish you could remember boring lists and definitions without having to memorizing them over and over again? Not to worry! I am about to introduce you to one of the best modern techniques that helps you memorize almost everything faster and more efficiently!
Nowadays a lot of people whether they have ADHD or not struggle with their both long term and working memory. There is such easy access to information that we don’t exercise our brain to remember things anymore. We just take a picture of the whiteboard in class or if we don’t remember the name of that actor we really loved in that movie we really liked, we just google a bunch of words and we will find out the name of our favorite actor in a millisecond! It's important to make sure we train our brains specially when we are in school. As a person who has adhd I used to struggle with my working memory the most. Working memory is responsible for holding on to information immediately. For example, if the teacher is teaching me about solving quadratic equations and someone walks in the class room at that second, I would forget everything she was saying about the quadratic functions. In this forum I will tell you how I have been able to improve my working memory. You can watch the 7 minutes of YouTube video listed above to learn the memorization technique which includes two examples.
Drawing a pictures always help with remembering whatever problem we are solving or anything that we are learning. I like to ALWAYS draw pictures when I am taking notes, solving a science or math question and even when I want to learn history and geography which I always struggled with most in my life.
For your mathematics and physics courses, there is always a shape to be drawn; something is moving, objects are colliding, a ladder is laying against a wall or etc. Therefore, it’s not so hard to draw pictures. For courses like geography, I learnt that if I don’t draw the map of Europe 20 times myself, I will never learn where things are! It works better than looking at he picture and trying to remember where things are.
Carry a Notebook & Take Notes in Class
A lot of psychologists and doctors who work with patients who have ADHD recommend they should create a habit of walking around with their note books or write notes of the things that they want to add to their to do list. I find that this method works really well with all of my students. It can really help you in class trying listen to your teacher to jog down the thoughts that distract you. For example you can write: "remember to text Jessica" so you don't have to spend the rest of the class thinking about what you want to say to her.
You also want to always be taking notes in class. Most teachers have their lectures online but it would be great practice for you to jog down the important words or phrases during the class and look over them after class to make sure they sit in your long term memory. It makes studying much easier and more structured
Our brains only way of learning is by repetition. Some brains need more and some need less. As someone who has ADHD, I don’t dare to memorize things but if I really have to I will have cue cards and I will read them over and over again. I can’t stress how important they are. Your cue cards must be neat and color coded using colored pens and highlighters. As I mentioned, the only way that brains learn is by repetition and if you want to do well and you have ADHD you have to make sure you keep going over those cue cards until it sits in your long term memory.
Diet, Sleep and Exercise
Diet, exercise and sleep play such a huge role in our working memory and long term memory. We have to make sure we follow a good diet full of brain food, exercise and get enough sleep. From my personal experience I wasn’t even able to hold on to a 5 digit number for a few seconds. You know when you applications send you a security code and you have to enter it to change your password? I had t read that a few times or had to write it down somewhere before I forget it. Now I have no problem even memorizing the numbers even for a day if I wanted too!To be honest, the only thing that has changed in my life is my diet, sleep and exercise.
After I lost 40 pounds, I have become so passionate about this that I actually created a program called “first steps into becoming limitless”. It will walk you through adding brain food and eliminating unhealthy food from your diet. It will also give you a simple 5-10 minute exercise routine you can follow daily. It’s absolutely free and you can download it here.
Reviewing is a HUGE part of learning. Nobody, even people who don’t have ADHD, can learn things by reading them once! You have to make sure you go over your notes one day after and 5 days after and again a month after to make sure you can access them later.
Here is a forgetting curve for people with no ADHD, it shows that if they learn something and don’t review it, they forget 30% of the material after 1 day and 80% after 5 days and almost all of it after a month! I hope that gives you an idea of how important reviewing is.