Working memory is like your brain scratch pad, managing detail as you go about your day. But our routine deluge of detail can make us feel scatterbrained, like our working has too much to deal with. Here is how to increase your working memory and stay focused.
Sometimes when I am trying to focus on one job my mind can feel a bit like a pinball machine. No issue how hard I try to keep my thoughts in focus there is all these techniques wildly bouncing around and beating away at my restricted focus.
Our brains can be indecisive things and I am sure every last one of us has skilled moments where we just cannot seem to hold on to a plan for more than a few seconds.
All of a sudden while you are working on a project you begin thinking about what you are going to prepare for dinner or a talk you had with a friend a few nights ago. It is bad. All we want to do is foucus on what we are working on and block out the rest. So how come these bad thoughts keep coming into our heads?
What Is Working Memory?
When we hold detail and manipulate it in our mind for any length of time we are linking what cognitive neuroscientist call working Memory.
If you have ever had to remember a cell phone number between the time of hearing it and dialing, or driving guide while you look for unique landmarks. You have used your working memory.
In conditions like these, not just do you need to keep certain bit of detail new and ready in your mind, but you also need to job with them and put them into the context of the true globe.
How Working Memory Actually Works
The technique of what we now call working memory has been around since the 1890, but our understanding of how it jobs has replaced over the years.
The most recent theory proposed by psychologists Graham Hitch and Alan Baddeley advises there are multiple buffers where detail is saved, which are controlled by a supervisory system known as the Central Executive.
The Visuospatial Sketchpad
Image in your mind a room you understand well. Now close your eyes and name the things along the wall from left to right. As you look around the space using the mind eye, you are linking the visuospatial sketchpad-the part of working memory that permits you to inspect, develop and navigate via a mental image.
The Executive Control
Putting the job in working memory is the executive-control a system that ties the full thing together and determines what detail is retained which buffer it should go in.
The executive control also coordinates and integrates detail in the 3 buffers and, most importantly, offers a space where the detail can be worked with and manipulated.
How to Optimize Your Memory
Working memory is one of the most vital cognitive functions we have; it support us through different important stages of our lives from learning the alphabet to know social situations, meeting deadlines, and prioritizing multiple activities.
It is even been shown to be a best indicator than IQ for future academic victory with 98% of children with bad working memory showing extremely low scores.
Exercise More and Stay Fit
Working memory may also be raised by top intensity exercise.
An experiment conducted by Dr Christine Lo Bue-Estes (Exercise scientist) and her partners looked at the effect of exercise on working memory ability before, during and after doing strenuous activities. The results presented that while working memory ability decreased during and quickly after bouts of strong exercise.
Decrease the Stress in Your Life
Rising, studies have shown that stress can have a bad impact on our working memory. The more stress in one life, the lower the efficiency of working memory in doing easy cognitive jobs.
It is an annoying cycle. Losing focus and not being capable to finish a project on time makes stress, which in turn lower our ability to regain and maintain focus. One way that has been shown to support us break out of this cycle, anyway, is to become more mindful.
A 2013 study out the California University, Santa Barbara, described 48 undergraduate students who had been linked either 2 weeks of nutrition course or mindfulness training.
At the close of the experiment period, the students who had taken mindfulness training presented increased working memory ability on average scored 16% top on reading comprehension tests not just compared to their own pre-study tests.