How to Remember Names and Numbers
By Robin Westen
As I get older, it’s tougher to remember names and numbers. I know my own; tell me your phone number or be introduced in a crowd with other strangers, and the information might fly right out of my head. But there’s hope. Recently I learned strategies to help this kind of information stick. Here’s what works for me:
To remember names:
CONCENTRATE: When someone is being introduced I tell myself to focus, and I won’t allow other distractions like background conversations or music seep in.
LOOK CLOSELY: I note special facial markings or body characteristics unique to that person, like a beauty mark or curly hair. If there is no distinct characteristic than I associate the name to something that sounds like the name. For example, if her name is Mary, I visualize her crying and remember the word “teary.”
REPEAT: After I’ve heard the name and picked out the special characteristic, I repeat it by saying something like "How are you, Mary?” or “It was nice meeting you, Mary.”
ASK QUESTIONS: If the pronunciation is difficult, or there’s more than one possibility for spelling, I ask for help.
WRITE IT DOWN: First chance I get, I write down the name on a piece of paper.