When you are learning something new, or trying to remember things, it is important to consider the following five general principles, which Dr. Angela Troyer at the Baycrest Center for Geriatric Care in Toronto, arranged into the words A WORM.
∑ Attended to: Pay close attention to the information that you want to remember. If you donít pay attention, you are not likely to be able to remember it.
∑ Written: Write it down. The act of writing something down helps you remember it better. Whenever you can, write down what you want to be able to remember. It is a very good idea to writes lists and to make use of notes and calendars as much as possible.
∑ Organized: Organize your surroundings so that you know where things are. Organize items and lists into meaningful clusters.
∑ Repeated: Repeat aloud the information that you want to remember. First, repeat the information at short intervals, say, every 10 seconds. Later repeat the information over longer intervals, say every 2 minutes, and then every 15 minutes, then once an hour. The research shows that repeating information over spaced intervals is the best way to remember it.
∑ Meaningful: Think about the meaning of the information that you want to remember. Make it meaningful.† This can include visualization and association, which we will discuss in a later section.