Mind Games

The Early Show, Memory trainer Jon Keith talks Hannah Storm about memory
CBS/The Early Show
If you are a person who constantly forgets things as you get older, memory trainer Jon Keith says there is hope.

Keith says he does not have photographic memory, but he simply trained his mind to remember.

Training your memory requires time-consuming and detailed techniques, according to Keith, but there are simple memory techniques that can give your memory a workout.

He says you can remember names, dates, readings and even where you left your keys if you follow his rule. It is called POP (Positive Attitude, Observation, Picture It).

  • Positive Attitude: Your natural memory feeds on positive attitude, says Keith, and with a positive attitude, your memory can improve. Keith suggests being optimistic and enthusiastic to improve your natural memory by 5 to 10 percent. He says to become positive, you should examine your goals. When you are negative, you will have negative stress, which is very bad for natural memory.
  • Observation: Keith says to have a better natural memory, you must take notice of your surroundings — do not walk around with blinders. Your natural memory will increase automatically, he says.
  • Picture It: Keith says picturing items help center your "mind's eye." Your "mind's eye" is like a video-picturing device in your brain that can help your natural memory. He says creativity and imagination have a lot to do with your natural memory and strengthening the right side of the brain (the creative side) helps natural memory.

Here are some of Keith's suggestions:

  • Remembering Names: Keith says spelling the name in your "mind's eye" when you meet a person will help you remember names, and don't worry about the spelling. Your brain will burn the name into your short-term memory and eventually into your long-term memory, if you review it after the meeting. Saying the name over and over again does not work, according to Keith. If the name makes a picture in your head, picture it.
  • Remembering Dates: To remember dates requires visualizing in your "mind's eye" the date itself, says Keith. See dates as a calendar on top of objects or people associated with it. Keith say when you take a picture of the date, the short-term memory is stimulated because you are visualizing. Also, remember your visual memory is stronger than your verbal memory. You can also look for pictures from your experience that connect with it. Keith says picturing the date as a number on the head of the person you have to meet is a funny image but will make an impression in your "mind's eye."
  • Remembering What You Read: Keith says remembering what you read centers around pacing your memory. A person should read/study for 17 minutes and then take a break for 5 minutes. After the break, review the material again. He says most material is lost in 2 minutes. Some people begin to learn after the first 17/5 session (going over the entire material only once), according to Keith. But, some may need a little more time because everyone is different. Keith says the bottom line is that this method makes the person a faster and more positive learner in the long run and is more efficient than just cramming.
  • Absentmindedness: Keith suggests when leaving keys on table, you take an extra second to look at the keys. Do the same when you park your car or turn the stove off before you leave the house.