A few years ago I read the book, Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer. In the book, Foer a journalist goes on a yearlong quest to improve his memory by getting help from the world’s foremost memory experts. By the end of his training, he ends up becoming the 2006 United States Memory Champion. This book deeply impressed me, since like the author, I always thought that I had a bad memory.

One of the techniques he used to improve his memory was the mind palace technique. Originally coined by the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos, it’s a method of remembering that relies on our spatial memory by attaching information to objects inside an imaginary building or room.

Let’s say, for example, you want to remember your grocery list which contains: milk, eggs, bread, and cereal. To begin the process of remembering this list you must first come up with a floor plan for a familiar location, for example your current home.

Now imagine yourself walking through this location, finding a linear path from start to finish. As you mentally enter your home, you might imagine a jug of milk sitting on the porch. Upon entering, you might see a carton of eggs next to where you leave your shoes, and bread on a living room table, and cereal in the hallway. When you want to recall the information, you go through that mental route, and the information will be easily accessible.

Countless studies have proven the effectiveness of the mind palace technique, showing that participants who were taught the technique far outperformed those in control. So for those who are interested in improving their memory, the mind palace technique is a great way to get started on your memory improvement journey!