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How to Improve Memory: Exercises for Developing and Improving Memory

  • by blogitsybitsypaper

It so happens that people today almost do not use their memory: contacts are recorded on the phone, knowledge – on the pages of websites, meetings – in online schedules, and tasks – in the notes. But don’t we rely too much on outside helpers? And don’t we trust ourselves too little?

Why Develop Your Memory

Good memory is the key to a successful future, an important resource through which we accumulate knowledge and experience, which serves as a basis for decision-making. Memory is the responsibility of neurons, the nerve cells in the brain.

For memory to work well, these nerve cells need a lot of energy, which the brain is not always willing to provide. The brain saves energy and gets rid of anything it thinks it doesn’t need, so we quickly forget a lot of things. It can be fixed: the brain will spend less energy remembering if you start training your memory.

How to Develop Memory, Attention, and Thinking

Regular training is the key to success in developing memory and attention because the brain is the same muscle that can and should be “pumped.” Only here the usual gym is not enough.

Becoming more attentive will help with a set of exercises. On the one hand, there are special games and exercises that you can do in school lessons. On the other hand, it is the banal observation of everything that surrounds us.

The volume and accuracy of remembering help train special tasks, adapted by the difficulty level, such as in the course “Development of Memory and Attention,” and regular cognitive load.

In addition, memory, attention, and thinking are inextricably linked, so you need to develop each of these skills separately and in combination to pump your brain to its full potential.

What Exercises Develop Memory

We share a selection of exercises that will make you more attentive, improve your memory and thinking, and help you tune in for productive work.


Take a piece of paper and a pen and time yourself for 3 minutes. During this time, slowly draw a horizontal line and don’t think about anything else. As soon as an extraneous thought appears in your mind, turn the line into a sharp spike, and then continue to draw a straight line until the time runs out or until a new extraneous thought occurs.

If your line resembles a cardiogram at the end, practice more often. If, on the contrary, the task was too easy, time yourself for 5 minutes.


Prepare short examples for addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. You can use any counting app on your smartphone. Solving examples for at least 3 minutes will make your brain work faster and teach you to concentrate on the task.


Which hand do you write with? Move your pen to the other and write a few words. You can try drawing a simple drawing with your nonworking hand or with both hands at once. This is very good for the brain. First, the fine motor skills involved in writing by hand are good for your memory, and second, it’s a way to activate your brain with unaccustomed activity.


Think of a new route to work, home, or the supermarket. Try to remember street names, establishments, and other distinctive features as you walk. Before going to bed, reconstruct the route you have created with maximum accuracy in your memory. Try to practice every day.

A Keen Eye

Look around your room or office. Explore the space for a minute. Then close your eyes and list all the objects you remember, from the largest (door, desk, closet) to the smallest (knobs, figurines, stains, or scratches).


Look at a colleague or anyone you meet for 30-40 seconds. Turn around and recall in as much detail as possible the features of their appearance: clothing, eye color, hairstyle, freckles, birthmarks, etc.

All exercises train your attention and work with your memory: with each new training, you will remember more and more nuances.

The next group of exercises will require preparation. You will need a piece of paper, a pen, and an assistant.

The Pyramid

Ask an assistant to write the numbers on the piece of paper in columns. Have only three or four on the first line. On the second line five and on the third line six. This way, the column of numbers will look like a pyramid. First, close it with your hand and open one of the lines for a few seconds. Repeat the sequence of numbers in the row from memory and check with the correct answer. Try to reduce the number of mistakes and the amount of time you see each practice.


On a piece of paper, an assistant writes ten unrelated words for you:

  • key,
  • sewing machine,
  • helicopter,
  • hare,
  • campfire,
  • wire,
  • mosquito,
  • bucket,
  • nose,
  • tire.

Read these words and try to name them in the right order from memory without looking. You can make a story out of them. For example: with a huge key, we start a sewing machine, and it stitches a whole helicopter, on the skids of which hangs a fearless hare. Have you managed with one chain? Ask them to prepare new ones for you: longer and more difficult.

Memory Diary

Before you go to sleep, go “backward” through the day. Try to remember the smallest details:

  • Where you were.
  • Who you talked to.
  • What you encountered along the way.
  • What feelings you experienced.

Next, you’ll have to allocate more time to this task, as you’ll remember your activities in greater and greater detail.


Study an image, such as a 100-rouble bill, for a minute. Then take a piece of paper and sketch the image on the bill from memory. Compare your drawing with the original. If you missed a few details, remember what was missed and make a new sketch to correct the mistakes. Gradually find more and more difficult pictures to have an effect.


Take an ordinary deck of cards, shuffle it, and try to remember the sequence of the first five cards of the deck. Did five cards come easy to remember? How about 10, 15, or the whole deck? Do this exercise regularly, and you’ll notice your memory capacity increase.

Of course, the more difficult and voluminous material you memorize, the better your memory works.


Start learning a foreign language. Then you will need to memorize many words and rules and speak and understand speech by ear. This challenging task engages the entire brain and is great for developing the ability to remember and retain information. Watching this short video, you can learn a quick technique for memorizing words.


Make it a habit to memorize poetry or prose regularly. This, too, is great for training your memory, and the variety of texts will allow you to gradually increase your cognitive load.

Walking Encyclopedia

Make a collection of articles on an interesting topic. Practice reading, analyzing, and retelling articles quickly will strengthen your memory. Another benefit of the exercise is that the knowledge you’ve gained can be used anytime.

How Else to Improve Your Memory

In addition to the listed exercises, some factors will benefit the brain as a whole and, therefore, on attentiveness, memory, and clarity of thought.

Sleep and Wakefulness Regime

The activity of the brain needs to sleep 7-8 hours. During this time, it has time to strengthen the necessary connections between neurons and destroy those no longer needed. Build the regimen so the brain gets enough time to “get in order.”


Try to walk every day to provide your brain with oxygen. This is very important for its function. On the other hand, you can train your attention on walks by observing others around you and taking new routes.


Hated physical education in school? You should! Physical activity increases blood flow: your brain gets fed and oxygenated faster, so it can work longer and more productively.

Good Nutrition

Proper nutrition affects your health in general and your brain in particular. Fats and vitamins found in nuts, vegetables, and redfish, for example, help the brain cope with stress.

Cognitive load

Solving crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles also helps develop your thinking and memory. Try doing these on transport or during your lunch break.

Exercise Regularly

You’ve heard more than once that exercise needs to be done regularly. By getting your memory working daily, you’re helping your brain regroup and get used to the workload. Without this, change will not come.

Pay attention to your health, work on developing your memory and thinking, and increase your workload regularly. If you are already used to cognitive training, learn specific memory development tools. You will learn about one of them in this video.