Tips to help improve working memory Jan 3, 2019 3:25:56 GMT -7
Post by Yoris on Jan 3, 2019 3:25:56 GMT -7
If you have issues with working memory, you might try some of the things I've found helpful (disclaimer: no guarantees; this is not verified by scientific studies, but rather I'm just sharing my experience of what has helped me):
* While listening to audiobooks (preferably ones you've already listened to before—such that you won't mind missing details), type out what you hear (if you forget or miss something, or if you type too slowly, just skip that part and type out what you're hearing now; try to type as much as you can remember at a time; do this for at least a half an hour per session if you can, and you may find that both your working memory and your typing skills improve; I just go to the next line every time I need to skip something I forgot or what-have-you)
* Play Chess a lot (don't bother memorizing moves, but do consistently try to look ahead moves; do take time to analyze all the options). Although the effects can last a long time after you stop playing Chess regularly they don't appear to last forever.
Working memory is kind of like RAM in a computer. It's not exactly the same thing as long-term or short-term memory. It's the information that is in your awareness now (whether or not you have committed any of it to memory). It's what allows you to repeat back instructions as someone reads them to you. The more of those instructions that you can keep in your mind at once, and use at once, the greater your working memory is in that regard. Working memory isn't just for stuff you hear, though. It's also for stuff you see, and so on. Anyway, as another example of how it's useful, if you're reading a book, which references another book, and then look up the references, working memory can help you remember what you've looked up after you've returned to the first book (and more working memory helps you to remember more of what you've looked up). Anyway, this is just my own definition of working memory, based on my opinion of what it is, notwithstanding my definition is a real entity (according to me—but I'm not going to say maybe, because I personally know). If you consult the Internet, you're likely to find some slightly different definitions (some of which may call it short-term memory), and people questioning whether it even exists.
Now my view on how it differs from short-term memory is that short-term memory actually has to be committed to memory (just not for long periods). For instance, if someone tells you their name, you stop thinking about it, and two minutes later you still remember their name, I consider that short-term memory, while if you still remember it in a week, month, or year, I'd consider that long-term memory. Also, short-term memory doesn't have to stick in your working memory between the time you learn the knowledge and the time you remember it. Working memory has never left the forefront of your mind (normally). Working memory is not memorized or stored (although it can assist in the process, in my opinion). Working memories can stay in your working memory as long as nothing pushes them out (it's not exactly limited by time, although I imagine the thoughts might unintentionally evolve over time if you kept them in there long enough).
Working memory probably isn't best thought of as memory (although it probably technically is a kind of memory). It's the space you have to think, process information, etc. So, you can bring things out of long-term or short-term memory into your working memory.
Working memory helps people with a wide variety of tasks, such as reading (both to yourself and out loud), organizing thoughts, formulating responses to questions, social skills, making decisions, programming, and pretty much everything. If you have lots of it, you'll probably have a lot more confidence.
Anyway, there are a wide variety of conditions where working memory may be limited (and this isn't just my own opinion), such as ADHD, dyslexia, schizophrenia, and PTSD (although again, definitions and views on working memory seem to differ). Adults typically have more working memory than children.
One remarkable thing about working memory is that it allows you to do stuff faster if you have more of it. Imagine you have a table, and the table is your working memory. Imagine the things you have on the table are your thoughts that you're thinking. Imagine the table isn't very big and you have a lot of books that you need to use at one time. You may have to stack the books to keep them from falling off the table, and this may require you to have to bookmark pages instead of just keeping the books open (in order to cross-reference them as you're reading other books). Anyway, you can hopefully see that a small table would slow your work down considerably. Imagine that someone walks into the room and pushes your books off the table so they can put a salad on the table. That's kind of like being interrupted when you're working on something. True, you can pick your books up and look up your stuff again (if your bookmarks didn't fall out or something), but you have to take the salad off, and you have to take a lot of time doing all this stuff. You may even need to negotiate with the person who placed the salad there. If you had a huge table, other people could put salad on the table while you work with all your open (not stacked) books.
Anyway, working memory is important for life. I personally struggle with low working memory. So, I notice it. I used to play Chess a lot (and then my working memory was a lot better in many regards), but I don't have anyone to play it regularly with, these days (and doing it online or with myself isn't the same). However, I just started doing the audiobook thing when I read my scriptures (if my computer is available), and I noticed awesome results after each session. The working memory involved with Chess is probably a different kind than is involved with audiobooks. The audiobook thing seems a lot easier to do.
[HASH]workingmemory [HASH]audiobooks [HASH]Chess