Let's suppose you make a mental note of the varied things that you have to buy at the grocery store, but you do not have the time to make a proper list on paper. After the shopping is done and you're home, you realize that you have forgotten to pick up 2-3 items. You curse your memory and promise yourself that you'll get around to it the next time you're out. The section of memory that you cursed? Yeah, that was your working memory. What exactly is working memory?
Working memory is that pocket of your memory that is responsible for holding information till it is processed and retained. This information is important for carrying forth functions like reasoning, learning and comprehending. The term working memory is often used interchangeably with short term memory, but many scientists now say that the two are completely different. This pocket of memory is often tested because there are several distractions in the form of external stimuli as well as the influx of newer information that are being processed at the same time. It is believed that a strong working memory could form the basis of general intelligence and reasoning.
Given the importance of working memory for a person, there is a need to improve and hone the same for everyone. In that direction, certain activities for improvement of working memory will be discussed in the following sections.
Activities and Games to Improve Working Memory
Looking at something as a task that needs to be done, often proves to be a discouraging factor. Treating something as a game and adding the element of fun to it, instead, is a rather effective way of bringing about results. That's why introducing activities that focus on improving your working memory in your daily routine are highly recommended.
Map a Film
One of the best strategies to improve working memory is to develop the power of recalling. Recalling lessons or things related to work are boring, so we won't go there. What you can do instead is pick up a subject that you love. For example, your favorite film. Choose a film that you've watched over and over again till you know it inside out. Then simply close your eyes and start recalling the film from its first scene till the end. Go back to the film and check the details that you missed. Do this exercise over a couple of days picking a different film every time. You'll find that your capacity to recall information will have improved greatly.
Mental Imagery of the Closet
Zero in on any wardrobe or cupboard in your home and then draw a mental imagery of the same. Start out with the top shelf and work your way through the whole wardrobe. You could also make notes and lists of the same. This will challenge you to recall and retain in a much better manner.
Recall a Radio Show
Tune into a radio show that essentially features a countdown of songs. Listen to the program with the intention of recalling the details. When the program is over, try to make a list of the descending order of the songs along with the accompanying details like the artist and featured actors and actresses in the song. This will add to the difficulty of the exercise and help in memory improvement.
There are a number of other activities that can be brought into the picture. Here are some of the same:
- Upturn a pack of cards and then go about finding the pairs by upturning only a pair at one time.
- Solving varied kinds of puzzles is a great way to work the brain and improve working memory.
- Picking out random objects and then observing the same for 10 seconds or so before making a list of the same.
- Learning a new language or learning the lyrics of a song is a great way to bring about an improvement in working memory.
These games and activities are quite effective when it comes to improving your working memory. You need just bring these activities into play and you'll see a marked improvement in your ability to recall, recollect and comprehend. And is that not what you want?