What Is Working Memory And How To Train It

what is working memory

Learn to activate and improve your working memory with the best training. Enhance your memory capacity with simple exercises you can do at any moment.

Working memory is the part of your brain that takes care of providing quick and accurate answers.

For example, a simple multiplication in your head, how to get back on track after a wrong turn, remembering the plate number of your car.

These problems could easily be solved by with pen and paper in a couple of seconds or taking a quick look at the source of information.

You can evaluate your working memory by comparing how fast you can recall an answer and how accurate it is. It would make no sense to get faster answers if they are not correct.

Facts About Working Memory

Before we start with the training to increase your working memory. Here is something you need to know about how it works:

  • It works with organized sequences of information. Such as learning a new phone number. It is always a constant number and not a random combination.
  • It is easily blocked by anxiety. When you feel nervous or stressed you are reducing the power of your working memory.
  • It is not related to learning. A person with good working memory might not be a quick learner.

Remember that the definition of working memory psychology is about how quick you can recall information that is already stored in your brain. Not on how fast you can record new data into your brain. In the same way, someone who is a fast learner might not necessarily have a great working memory.

Exercises to Boost Working Memory Capacity

It is pretty simple to increase your working memory. Here are a couple of exercises you can try out:

Chunking – Divide a large piece of information into small bits. Same as phone numbers are usually divided into chunks of 3 or 4 numbers. It is easier to recall 3 small chunks than a 10 digit number.

Past Comprehension – Recall the information you already know. Grab an article you feel familiar with the topic. Say to yourself as much information as you can about it and then compare it with the article. You can also use this method with chapters of literary books to increase the difficulty.

Mindfulness – Focus on “living here and now” to clear your brain fog. I already mentioned that anxiety is a huge memory blocker. Practicing relaxation techniques and meditation can do a huge difference for you.

Pick the working memory exercise you feel most comfortable with. Keep in mind that the working memory does not work learning new information. See my photographic memory training in case you want to focus on that part of your brain.