Improve Your Memory with Cognitive Agility

Part 3


Cognitive agility is one of the best ways to improve your memory. Cognitive agility challenges both your short-term and spatial memory (remembering where something is in space and/or in relation to you). You also benefit by learning by doing because you incorporating movement. Have you ever noticed that you learn better when you do or try it out? This is the same premise.

To progress the challenge of a cognitive agility drill to emphasize improving your memory we adjust a number of factors including:

  • The layers one has to remember
  • Altering the sequences (sequential vs non-sequential)
  • Adding another place in space to move towards

In previous articles (here and here) we’ve shown how to use 2 places (in this case cones) and usually 1 layer (is the number odd or even, or black or red). This a great place to start. However in order to really improve your memory we’ll need a few more things to remember. In the video below we show 4 cones or places in space. We also have used 1 layer (shapes in this case), but the cues are non-sequential (square, circle, star, triangle) instead of calling out 1, 2, 3, 4. Non-sequential cues are much harder to remember. As always, don’t do too many in a row because fatigue will set in.

To progress the drill further, or to help improve your memory more, we can keep the 4 places in space (cones), and keep our non-sequential shapes, but now we can layer the cues of shapes with letters. So now each cone represents both the corresponding shape and letter. Either letter or shape will be called out. As you can see below, it’s challenging to react, and move quickly all while remembering what each cone means and where it is in space.

For extreme cases, you can try 3 layers. This is about the max that I’ve seen individuals be able to handle, especially if 2 of the layers are sequential. Research has shown that we can remember about 7 things or digits if it’s a number. Coincidence that phone numbers are seven digits? Think again. With three layers and four cones this means you have to remember about 12 things (3 layers x 4 cones). Remember, this last progression is once competency is shown in the other levels first.