With the Category Technique, the focus is on organization, but more specifically categorization. Categorization means breaking up lists into meaningful groups with labels. The categories inherently give the list more meaning, which makes it easier to remember, and the labels work as hints or clues for the items we are trying to remember.
Imagine you had a grocery list with the following items on it:
· Pork chops
· Chicken legs
This list is long and very diverse, making it difficult to remember. If you left the list this way, and then went to the store and collected the items in the order that they appear on the list, you’d be running all around the grocery store, and visiting each section more than once. Not very efficient!
Categorizing your grocery items by type of food makes life easier. For example:
· Meat: pork chops, chicken legs, steak
· Dairy: milk, yogurt
· Produce: lettuce, strawberries, peas
· Baked goods: bread, cake
Now you can visit 4 sections of the grocery store, and have mini lists for each section. Life is suddenly more manageable.
Try this technique when you are trying to pack for a trip. Instead of listing all the clothes you need, categorize the items, and then make sub-lists:
· Shoes: Black pumps, Running Shoes, Brown Boots
· Tops: White Oxford Shirt, Green Cardigan, Blue Sweatshirt
You get the idea!