My Powers Of Concentration Have Doubled Just By Doing Some Simple Memory Exercises

If you have been reading my other posts, you may recall that at the beginning of September I told you how my concentration was way out.  I discovered this as I was getting back into memorising packs of cards.  Having not had the need to wade through 52 playing cards in a standard deck and memorise them, my skill in this particular discipline had gone extremely rusty.

You see in the World Memory Championships there are two disciplines associated with playing cards.

The first is an endurance event where you attempt to memorise as many decks of playing cards in an hour and the second is a sprint event where you attempt to memorise a complete deck as fast as you can.

To do really well in these events requires an agile mind, slick technique and really focussed concentration.   Those I had in abundance when I was runner up in the World Memory Championships but now they are a little bit rusty.

Well I just wanted to share with you how things are going with my training because if you are worried about your levels of memory and concentration, then I have a way that you can simply and easily change that and make radical improvements in both.

You will no doubt be aware of the “Use it or Lose it” syndrome.  This is as true with mental fitness as it is with physical fitness and by exercising your mind in ways that focus on memory and concentration, both can and will improve dramatically.

That is why I am returning to memorising cards.  It is not that I necessarily want to be really good an remembering 52 cards in perfect order (although it is a great party trick and brilliant for demonstrations when I do my seminars and workshops).

No as I get older I notice that if I don’t keep my mind exercised and challenged, its abilities begin to decline.  Does that mean I am on the slippery slope to senility?  No it means that I have just got a bit lazy and allowed the mental muscles to get flabby.

I do know that the older I get the better my memory and concentration can be.  I just take my inspiration from my friend and memory colleague Dominic O’Brien who at 8 times world memory champion gets better and better every year.

Do you find that your memory and concentration fail you sometimes?  I am sure that the answer is yes and that means you are just like 99.999% of the rest of the population.  Just because that is so, doesn’t mean you can’t change it because you can.

Here is what I am doing now to help keep my mind sharp and it involves memorising cards.  Now you might not want to be able to memorise packs of cards but I am sure that you could benefit from the mental boost in your memory and concentration just by TRYING to memorise the cards.

See it as a mental fitness work out.  What I did today was work on just the 12 court cards (the kings, queens and jacks) and I have been timing myself to see how well I have been doing and here are some of my results:

53:51 Seconds – all cards correct

34:47 Seconds – all cards correct

27:36 Seconds – made 2 mistakes

28:50 Seconds – all cards correct

If you look at the times you can see that over a very short period of time my powers of concentration and memory have practically doubled if I use time as the measure of that.  I know that as my performance improves then my concentration and mental agility, as well as my memory is getting much better.  (As a side note the world record set by Andy Bell at the recent world memory championships is 31.16 seconds! – I think I have a bit more work to do :-))

So my suggestion to you is get hold of a deck of playing cards, take out just the kings, queens and jacks and have a go at memorising them.  Of course you will need a system to turn the cards into images and a mental filing system to store and then retrieve them.  It is the development of these that will assist in your improving mental agility.

Have a go at working out these for yourself and let me know how you get on.  If you keep returning to this site (make sure you bookmark it or subscribe to one of the RSS feeds) then I will show you how you can do this in the most efficient way possible.  Believe me you will benefit from trying to do it yourself first because when you discover the secrets of us World Memory Championship competitors you will realise the benefits of them.