Each and every person in this world will use the memorization techniques outlined in this book in a totally different way. However, when it comes to repetition, there is really only one correct way to do it that has been discovered to work for just about any type of person, no matter how they think or how their mind works to store their thoughts and memories. Your first step that you should practice when attempting to memorize some amount of information using the repetition method should be to first sort out all of the relevant information from all of the other, irrelevant information that you really do not need to know. This will be a necessary skill to learn if you ever hope to master any of the following memorization techniques, so it would be best for you to take a few minutes out of your reading time and practice on a couple of the examples that I have listed below.
Here is an example of a person giving you some information about himself, as you may come across in a business meeting with some of your colleagues:
“Hi, my name’s Jason McDougal. I’ve been working as the president of this company for fifteen years. With any luck I will be retiring in a couple of months. I hear you are up and coming in the company. Heck, you might just be the guy who replaces me. Did you know that before I started here I was employed as assistant vice president of accounting for the Tyco Corporation? Boy was that a great job. Too bad I was laid off for not being too honest with the way my accounting was going, but when you had the kind of job that I did, who really cares about accuracy? I figured that was for all of the entry level accounts who worked for me. Anyway, it was a pleasure to meet you. Hope you enjoy the party. See you around, chief.”
After reading over that short caption, what were some of the areas that you should have focused on as pieces of the conversation to remember? For starters, the first thing that should have come to mind was the man’s name, Jason McDougal. Names are always very important to know and present you with a fine example of the perfect item of information to use repetition to remember. Names are short, usually very simple and can be repeated quickly several times so that you can get a good grasp on them and stick them into your long term memory.
Another piece of information that you should commit to memory is the fact that Jason is getting ready to retire. If you remember this, you could easily put yourself on the right track to taking his job after he is gone. Memorizing such useful information like this can help you get a leg up in the company by having more time than anyone else to prepare your resume and all of the necessary paperwork that would be required should you apply for Jason’s job.
Finally, if you happen to be an accountant working at this company, you should remember to take Jason’s advice and never trust anyone else to check over your work. By keeping all three of those points in mind, you will become a better asset to the company and may even work your way up to president sooner or later.
Here is a second example taken from a scenario where one person is asking for directions from a local at a gas station:
“So, you are looking to get to Highway 5 from here? Well, all you’ve got to do is get on this road right in front of us here and make a right at the first stop sign you come to. Then, just keep driving until you come to a little shack on the side of the road. Molly’s Bakery I think it’s called. Anyway, once you get there; make a left at the intersection and then a right at the first signal you come to. Highway 5 should be right in front of you.”
As you may have guessed, all of the information given here is important, so in order to memorize it all, you have to be especially diligent at sorting everything out. Instead of memorizing everything the gas station attendant said, what you should do is remember just the key points, much like in the first example. So, in this case, you will want to recall that you go straight down the road in front of you, go right at the stop sign, go left at Molly’s, then go right at the signal. And there you have it, an entire paragraph of information condensed into one simple sentence – certainly easy enough for you to remember via repetition or any other type of memorization technique you may consider using.
The second step to success under the most common repetition technique should be for you to repeat the necessary information that was given to you as many times as you think is necessary. For some people, this part of the memorization procedure will only take a few times. However, some of us are a bit slower and this process may take as many as ten or twenty repeats to finally commit the information into your long term memory.
Furthermore, different types of information are stored more easily away than others. For example, if you meet someone with a funny or unique name, you may be able to memorize it better than if the person was named John Smith or Betty Sue or something else that was extremely common. Also, some people have extreme difficulty with remembering numbers, so if you are one of those people, you may have to repeat a phone number or an address that someone entrusts you with more times than you would other information for it to be securely locked away in your long term memory banks.
As you can see, simple repetition can be used for all different types of day to day uses. The only thing that is up to you is to figure out when those situations are. Generally, you will find that simple repetition works best when you only have to remember a few pieces of information such as a person’s telephone number or another person’s name. While you can feel free to use repetition to memorize something like all of the different types of bones in your body or the verbs that are used most often in Mandarin Chinese, there are better and much more effective memorization methods that you should consider for that type of information instead.