Finding it Difficult to Overcome the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve? Here, Polish Up Your Memory with the 20-Minute Hack!

Official hours are up. I am now simply sitting at my desk going through some old files. Jack comes up to my work station and starts discussing a client we closed together just a couple of months back. 
And all I find myself wondering is, 

How on Earth does he remember all that?! 

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there, haven’t we?

How many times we’ve attended a very informational session and forgotten everything about it in the next coming days? I ll say the human mind is a complicated organ that requires constant recalling to memorize important stuff. Watching Jack talking like crazy about how we nailed the client with effective reasoning and interesting rebuttals made me wonder what makes him different than myself. 

And without even thinking, I suddenly asked: 

“Hey, Jack! Hate to cut you off in between conversation, but how do you remember all this!”

I was expecting an answer like, 

“What do you mean I remember?” or “I have a photographic memory, you dumbass”

But instead, Jack looked at me and smiled. 

He casually moved me aside and typed the following words in my Sticky Notes. 

“Learn about Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve and How to Overcome it”

What is the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve? 

The Ebbinghaus forgetting curve is a concept first coined by the German scientist Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885 which describes how an individual can experience a decrease in his ability to memorize. Since it was hypothesized by Ebbinghaus, hence it receives the name Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. 

Image result for ebbinghaus forgetting curve

Today, the concept has become quite popular among students residing in some of the world’s recognizable educational institutions. Usually, students are interested in finding more effective ways to overcome their memory problems and learning about the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve really helps them in a formidable manner. In fact, some universities such as Waterloo University explains the curve to their students and help them learn how to overcome through their Campus Wellness site.

Ebbinghaus Research

In order to test his own memory, Ebbinghaus decided to perform an experiment where he became the subject himself. In these tests, he measured how capable he was to store information within his memory. So, he picked different 3 letter words like “KOF,” “WIZ”, “JOK,” created a list of them and memorized them all. These nonsense words had no literal meaning… something which made the list quite challenging to remember.

He then plotted a graph between memory and days in order to learn how is memory performed. The graph was later termed as the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. 

Ebbinghaus’s research indicated that the gradual decline in memory is directly proportional to the number of days. At the time when the words were learned, the memory was at 100%. The information retained for the first day fully intact; however, in just a couple of days, he realized that the information he learned was degraded to 40%. He then realized that the declination in memory retention slowed down. In comparison, the rate of memory loss was significantly faster in the first couple of days. 

At the same time, Ebbinghaus also learned the concept of overlearning. He realized that when you practice something more than it is normally required, the thing simply stores in your subconscious mind and can easily be recalled upon at the hour of need. This effect is because of overlearning. It enables the mind to absorb more information radically and store it without risking the ability to think.

What is the Rate of Forgetting? 

The rate of forgetting is simply the time period in which the mind forgets the learned information. The factors which influence the rate of forgetting within a mind are: 

  • Poor representation of the information
  • The establishment of meaning behind the information
  • Physiological elements such as sleep and stress

When we talk about the rate of forgetting, it is not always the same in the case of every one. Since, every individual has a different mind, their power of absorbing and forgetting information differs. 

It also depends on how much an individual gets influenced by the above-discussed factors. 

How Forgetfulness affects our Lives? 

Forgetfulness can have a very deterimental effect on our personal well-being. An individual who holds a strong memory holds the key to success because his mind can recall any information required at specific times. For example, if you are creating a digital marketing strategy for your business, then you must understand how important it is to get every small detail right when designing your campaigns. 

Even a small blunder can collapse your entire sales campaign or spend your budget incorrectly. 

Hence, micromanagement is incredibly necessary and if the elements that you need to set in your campaigns are not precisely focused, you can have some dramatical negative impact on business. 

The Ebbinghaus Formula

According to Ebbinghaus, the best way to keep your mind fresh and brimming with recently learned information is to do a 10-minute recall session within the 24-hour time period since you learned. 

After seven days, you can spend 5-minutes to recall the same information. Just open your notebook where you’ve documented everything and give it a complete read. But, that’s just one way to do it. 

What if I tell you that there is a better method then the Ebbinghaus Formula? 

Do you Know You Can Overcome Forgetfulness in 20-Minutes! 

So what is this 20-minute hack that Jack mastered and I only kept wondering how! 

Well, here’s the trick, you gotta drill that information down in your head on a regular basis. 

Sounds too much work? Naah. Here let me help you. 

Suppose you’ve just attended a very informative session on a certain topic which is of your interest. It was an hour-long session which you carefully studied and you came to realize that there are some really interesting key takeaways. You gathered a significant amount of information and came home. 

Now, your mind is fresh and brimming up with the new information. 

Try searching up some key trigger points within the session that you think can help you recall the whole moment. It can be an example that was used within the session or it can be a fact that relates to the topic. One way or the other, you will be able to jot down 6-8 key aspects to help you recall. 

Now, all you have to do is to go through those important triggers and enable yourself to recall the whole thing every night before you hit the bed. It will hardly take 20 minutes to perform this activity.  

The sooner you master it, the better it gets for your mind to recall all the important information. 

Perform this activity for the next 7-days and voila, it will automatically imprint in your mind 🙂 

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