Boosting Your Memory

10 tips for boosting your memory

1. Try to reduce stress

Do you ever sit down after a particularly stressful day at work and as you start to relax, suddenly realise with horror that you have forgotten to do something quite important during the day? Stress is one of the most common causes of poor memory performance. Stressful situations, lasting weeks or months, have been shown to impair communication between the cells in the regions of the brain responsible for learning and memory. The good news, however, is that if you can take steps to reduce your stress levels, your memory performance will start to return to normal after just one week.

2. Get enough sleep

Sleep is very important for memory consolidation – the brain’s method of transferring new material and information to our long-term memory. Research suggests that deep sleep is the key not just to storing information, but also to retrieving information when we need it – in other words, to remembering. So how often do you sleep well, both in terms of quality (not waking up too often) and quantity (number of hours)? If you are sleeping badly, or not getting enough sleep, think about what you can do to improve the situation, as it may well be having an impact on your ability to store and recall information.

3. Reduce multi-tasking

We are leading increasingly busy lives and multi-tasking has become second nature to many of us. The brain is less efficient at multi-tasking, however, than we have been led to believe. When the brain is trying to do two things at once, it ‘switches’ tasks rather than doing both simultaneously, which can have an impact on memory. Research has shown, for example, that people who learn something new while multi-tasking are less able to remember what they have learned at a later date. Try to concentrate on doing one thing at a time and you may find your memory improves.

4. Rehearse information quickly

In short term memory, how much we can remember is directly related to how much information we can ‘squeeze’ into approximately 15-30 seconds. When we are trying to remember things we often ‘rehearse’ the information by repeating it either out loud or silently in our heads. The quicker you can do this rehearsal, the more information you are likely to remember. If you speak slowly, for example, you may only be able to rehearse four or five facts in the 15-30 second time slot you have to get the details into your short term memory. Speed the process up, and you may find you can rehearse and recall as many as nine pieces of information.

5. Group information

We’ve all been in a situation where we need to remember say a phone number or a car registration plate and don’t have a pen immediately to hand to write it down. Research has shown that if you ‘rehearse’ the information in groups of three, it can make a big difference to your ability to remember it. Try it for yourself. Take the number ‘145870236’ and try to remember it as a whole. Then break it down in to three groups – 145 870 236 – and see how much easier it is to remember!

6. Chunk it up

‘Chunking’ information is another useful strategy you can employ to help you remember things. If you are giving a talk or presentation, for example, try to break the information down into clusters. This will not only help you remember what you need to say – but will also make it easier for the audience to take in and retain what you’ve told them. This is a technique that can also be usefully applied to learning. If you break the details of what you are trying to learn into meaningful ‘chunks’ you will remember more of it.

7. Make it meaningful

We are more likely to remember information if it is meaningful to us. Some people, for example, can remember all the FA cup winners from the last 20 years. Others would find that almost impossible, but know the birthdays of all their friends. A good way to make information meaningful is to relate something you are trying to remember to something that you already know. You can ask yourself questions to encourage this process – ‘Why do I need to learn this?’, ‘How does this fit with what I already know?’ for example. Think beyond the facts and information being presented to you and consider why they make sense and then you are much more likely to remember them.

8. Pay close attention

When people complain that their memory is poor, it very often isn’t because of stress, lack of sleep or any underlying physiological issue – it’s often because they simply haven’t put enough time and energy into trying to remember the material. Be honest with yourself. How often have you blamed poor memory when you haven’t made any real attempt to remember information? Or do you create a self-fulfilling prophecy by telling yourself ‘I’m not going to be able to remember everyone’s name, so I’m not going to waste my time and effort trying’. Your ability to remember information will be much improved if you ensure you are paying proper attention and making a real effort to remember what you are being told.

9. Use imagery/association

One of the biggest (and often most embarrassing) memory-related problems is an inability to remember people’s names. Repetition helps, so try to use the person’s name as much as possible during your conversation with them, as well as when you say hello and goodbye. Some people find that creating a visual image related to the name can also help them to remember it. Does the person look like anyone famous, for example, or is there an aspect of their face (glasses, moustache, nose?) that is particularly striking. If the visual image is exaggerated or humorous, it will help you link it in your mind to the person’s name.

10. Think about the context

If you are struggling to recall a particular piece of information, try to reinstate the context in which you first heard it. It helps if you are physically able to do this (i.e. return to the room where a meeting was held) but if you can’t do that, it’s often enough just to create a visual image of the situation you were in. Think about the physical surroundings, the smell and the temperature. Re-instating the emotional context can also help, so think about the mood you were in, how you were feeling and what others were feeling at the time.

Keeping Your Team Happy

Ten Tips for keeping your team happy

  1. Keep them healthy

  2. Make them feel valued

  3. Explain why they are there

  4. Stretch and engage them through training and development

  5. Give them balance, flexibility and security

  6. Recognise that money isn’t everything

  7. Make work not always about work

  8. Listen to what people are saying

  9. Stop worrying about bums on seats

  10. Two small words – Thank You

Fobbed Off

As a customer, how often have you felt as though you have been “fobbed off” or let down by a supplier?

It very often seems that as customers and consumers, we are wasting both our time and hard earned cash just to get simply what we believe we deserve. The result of a poor experience is that we are dissatisfied and we take your custom (and money) to another supplier.

As service providers, it seems to make good business sense to really care for and about customers and provide them with a consistently amazing experience which is likely to encourage them to become regular customers and tell their friends and family about it.

So, how can customers receive a consistently amazing experience, and how can service and product providers ensure that all their customers consistently receive the amazing experience they expect?

As a customer, if the service or product does not meet your expectations:

  • Raise your issue with a decision maker – somebody who is empowered to resolve your issue
  • Be very clear about what your complaint is and the outcome you are looking for
  • Set clear time frames for your issue to be resolved and let the “decision maker” know that you will escalate the issue to Board level if you do not get a response which meets (or exceeds) the outcome you are looking for, within the agreed time scale
  • Make concise notes about whom you spoke to, their role, the date and time of contact, also follow-up contact dates

As a service or product supplier:

  • Ensure that all your organisational policies and procedures are aimed at making your customers’ experience as EASY and pleasant as possible
  • Recruit team members that love working with people and have excellent interpersonal skills
  • Train your team (regularly) to be customer service professionals, ensuring that they are empowered to consistently delight their customers
  • Use complaints to learn how to improve your service, and complements to celebrate with your team
  • Communicate regularly to your team so that they know what is going on in your business
  • Love and care for your team throughout all their working hours and beyond – after all, they are your strongest advocates!

For some more tips about dealing with “difiicult customers” and to start your weekend with some fun, take just 2 minutes and 12 seconds and click here.

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Raving Fans

Raving-Fans-Customer-Service-BookAnother winner from the Blanchard stable in the “One Minute” series. (ISBN: 9780688123161) An essential read for anybody that works with customers!

A really easy-to-read book which, as with The One Minute Manager, tells a compelling story with a number of engaging characters who bring to life the key elements of providing an exceptional experience to customers.

Inspiring in Spring

Spring is the time of year when we gain some extra hours of daylight.

We can feel the warmth of the sunshine and this encourages new shoots, leaves and branches to develop and grow on plants and trees all around us.

Spring can also inspire us to grow and develop personally in many ways. The longer days very often encourage us to exercise more by walking, cycling, running and more, releasing endorphins and serotonins and these have a positive effect on both physical health and mental well-being. We also very often, become more social by re-acquainting ourselves with existing and new neighbours, as well as seeing friends and family during the extended light and sometimes, warm evenings.

Spring is an ideal time to grow and develop our thinking and approach to our personal and work life, taking inspiration from the numerous stimuli all around us. This includes the thoughts and actions of inspirational people; some of who are well known and some lesser known and yet all of them have made a positive difference in the world.

A couple of quotes that come to mind are:

“There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish things”

Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931)

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”

Anne Frank (1929 – 1945)

Take a few minutes out of your day to think about how you can feel personally inspired and also easily inspire your family, friends, colleagues and customers to provide them with an amazing experience every day.

Tingdene Marinas

Arizion continues to build their reputation as experts in the leisure marine industry working with Tingdene Marinas to enhance their customer experience through providing two highly interactive and thought provoking workshops vente cialis generique.

Tingdene Operations Director, Steve Arber said:

“Tingdene Marinas Ltd engaged the services of Arizion after being very impressed with Geoff, having seen his training first hand, through his close association with the British Marine Federation.

Geoff and Gita delivered two engaging workshops, one for our Managers and one for the rest of our team. These provided a great insight and we were able to use the feedback from both sessions to develop a strategy going forward.”


The One Minute Manager

Author: Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson

ISBN: 9780007107926

The-One-minute-Manager

An easy-to-read book for aspiring or newly appointed managers, providing effective tips and hints for managing individuals and teams effectively.

It is written as a story and can be read and digested in about an hour, providing an excellent read and it was the first in what is now a series of “One Minute” books.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Author: Stephen Covey

ISBN: 9780743268165

200px-The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

One of the most inspiring leadership and management books I have read. It is packed full of practical approaches to leadership and management supported by great, easy to read stories that bring the theories to life.

I have personally used many of the tools in the book and am delighted with the positive outcomes and impact that they continue to provide. For example, Habit 3 provides an innovative approach to managing one of our most valuable and limited resources – time. Using the approach suggested in the book is likely to enable you to do more of what is important in less time by effective prioritisation.

Be Resourceful

Being truly thankful makes you infinitely more resourceful. By sincerely appreciating what you have, you find new and valuable ways to make use of it

Ralph Marston

We all have the capacity to improve our resourcefulness to benefit of ourselves, our customers (internal and external), our family and friends and the planet.

Resources are, in the main, finite and yet many people treat them as though they are infinite. When we talk about resources, we are typically referring to electricity, water, gas, petrol, clean water and other similar materials. There are also other resources such as time and money and these are finite for all of us as human beings.

In our experience we are very good at wasting valuable resources particularly when we cannot see, or do not understand the impact of how and when we use resources, and have no concept of how limited the resources are.

For example:

  • How often have you walked past a manhole-cover gushing with water wastefully draining away? Water that would benefit an entire family living in a country where there are soaring temperatures and where the nearest clean and safe water is an hour’s walk away in that intense heat.
  • How often in your business life have you charged something to your company card or account which, if it were your own money, you would not dream on spending that same amount?
  • How often do you walk past an office building where all the lights are blazing bright at 8pm and when you look in, you can clearly see that there are no occupants in that building?

Do you take personal responsibility for doing something about these issues or do you just turn a blind eye because “It’s not my problem and I’m okay!”?

At Arizion, we believe that we have a responsibility for making it “okay” for everybody, this includes our customers, our family, our friends, our planet, our future, and us.

We have set up a LinkedIn group Be Resourceful for our friends, acquaintances and anybody else that wants to make a difference by sharing ideas, stories, experiences AND by taking action. We also want this to be somewhere to inspire action from everyone so that we can all do more to protect the limited resources we all have and share and also provide insights as to how we can become all individually become more resourceful. Resourcefulness leads to creativity and innovation and this is likely to benefit all of us individually and together.

Join us now and make a difference today, in fact make a difference today whether or not you join us at Be Resourceful!

Make Me Feel Important

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign round his or her neck that says – Make me feel important!

Mary Kay Ash (1918-2001) American businesswoman

The Christmas period has traditionally been recognised as a time of “goodwill to all mankind” cialis generique discount. As we are now well into December, many people will be thinking more about family and friends and for a large part of the population, how they may be spending an extended break.

Today, I would like to encourage you to think not only about how you treat your family and friends during this festive period, but also how you treat everybody you come into contact with throughout the whole year. This will include family, friends, colleagues, strangers, your customers (internal and external) and all the other people who provide you with a service as you interact with them during your day-to-day life.? Sometimes in the hustle, bustle and busy-ness of everyday life, it is too easy to forget to recognise people for what they do, whether it affects us personally or not, (see our last newsletter about “being busy”).

It is suggested that it takes thirty days of practice to create a new habit, so start now by taking just a few moments out of your day to notice people around you doing things right, and recognise them in some way which could be a simple as a “Thank you!” or even just a smile. Imagine they have a sign on them that says, “Please make me feel important”, you may be surprised how they respond and how good it’ll make you feel too.

Imagine the positive difference to others you could make by practicing throughout December and January so that for 2013 it becomes the way you do things, a new habit – each and every day, and have fun doing it!