Posted by: davefarrow | October 19, 2009

Memorizing Large Volumes of Information

Philippe e-mailed in with the following question:

“I have found your contact information from the website. It would be very kind of you if you can find for me the memorization techniques for learning Huge computer books. Are they any special memory peg systems to memorize the key concepts in the book. I am working in the field of computers/ Information technology where everyday we are presented with huge piles of reports, papers and books to read and
remember. Your kind help in this regard will be highly appreciated.

Thanks & Regards,
Philippe.”

Well Philippe, here is what I can tell you:

I have a few answers for you. I have encountered issues like this alot in my consulting practice. The first step is to figure out how you need to organize the information you need to remember. I dont know your company in particular but your email tells me that there is a huge volume of information and it is just dumped on you right now. The first stage is to catagorize this information.

First, Categorize!

I worked with law students and science students and this was always stage one. It seems basic, but many people skip it and end up overwhelmed. I would set aside some time in the beginning of each day to organize the incomming reports into catagories. The specific sections should be your choice but it should be logical. Once it is categorized, go throught it one at a time and select the right information you need to memorize.

Step 2 is to select the right points you need to remember.

This may seem obvious as well, but most people don’t do it. They treat every report the same. The fact is that some reports and facts are really improtant for you to remember and others you can honestly do without or just have a basic understanding. I have found that if I learn in detail the most improtant sections then the others I can just speed read and I will retain what i need to know because of my understanding of scema.

Scema is the reason why our brains remember more information on subjects we are familiar with than on subjects we are not familiar with. The reason is that when you become familiar with a subject, you create a scema, a map of the information in your mind. If it is science then you know the basic principles, if it is renaissance art then you understand the phases of art that have passed in that period. Then, when you get new information, your mind is better able to fit that into its scema. When the art students learns a new fact about Rembrant, they have a better understanding of where it fits into the entire picture of renaissance art. This cannot be under-estimated. One of the main principles of memory is that nothing exists in a void. You only remember something by how it relates to something else.

So how does this realte to your problem?

Simple. You are overwhelmed by the volume of information hitting you daily. First, categorize it to give it some order. Second, select the information that is improtant enough for you to memorize. In other wrods, prioritize it. Once you do this, you will be left with a manageable amount of information to remember using memory techniques.

Once you focus on this, the rest of the reports can be speed read and you will be able to get the information you need because you already have a structure in your mind.

In the future, this will become so second nature that you will be able to do this the minute you get a new report, you file it in it’s category and either memorize it or simply read through it for the fact depending on its priority level.

I can’t go into all the techniques you will use to memorize the information. That is a whole course. We have a free lesson one memory techniques online right now at http://www.davefarrow.com. If you want to know how to commit anything to memory easily you need to take my course, but suffice to say that you can easily retain any ammount of numbers or codes and more to put you head a shoulders above anyone else you are working with there.

I hope this has helped you. I have used this for my science work and it saved me a lot of pain. The few minutes of planning brings a world of success.

Memorably,
Dave

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Responses

  1. Dave, your answer is excellent and very helpful.


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