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Easy Ways to Remember Phone Numbers

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Remembering phone numbers can be daunting, especially in today’s fast-paced world, where we are bombarded with information from all sides. But fear not, as there are several easy and proven ways to remember phone numbers.

Person using her phone after using one of these ways to remember phone numbers.

Associate It With A Place

Our brains send 11 million bits of data every second and only about 40 or 50 of those bits can make it into working memory, the short-term storage area for things we need to remember phone numbers. Most people can hold a number in working memory for a few minutes, enough time to call someone or write it down.

One way to make a number more memorable is to associate it with a place, such as a room or building. This technique is called a memory palace or method of loci.

Another way to improve recall is to use a word or word association, as seen in vanity phone numbers such as 1-800-FLOWERS or 800-GoFedEx. The goal is to create a clear promotional message that ties the digits back to your business and is easy for consumers to connect with. This is also known as memory chunking. Turning the number into a word eliminates the barrier of writing it down or looking it up online, making it more memorable.

Chunk It Up

Nowadays, we must remember an amazing amount of information – phone numbers, passwords, credit card and PIN combinations, employee IDs, etc. These numbers become overwhelming if not stored in ways that make them easier to recall.

Chunking breaks down large amounts of information into smaller, more manageable chunks that the brain can process. This reduces cognitive load and increases learning efficiency. It also one of the easiest ways to remember phone numbers.

For example, split a 10-digit telephone number into area code, exchange, and local numbers. Now, the number is much easier to remember.

In the business world, entrepreneurs often look at ambitious, maybe even impossible-seeming goals and let their fear of failure stop them from taking action. To overcome this, they use a strategy called chunking – which takes the goal of running a successful business and breaks it down into a series of steps that can be accomplished.

Rehearse It

Most people can hold numbers five to ten digits long in their short-term memory for a few minutes. That’s generally enough time to write or repeat them to another person.

Research has shown that rehearsing information improves our ability to recall it later. This is because our brains have difficulty processing new information and can only retain a limited amount.

Rehearsal is a critical component of successful presentations. However, many speakers don’t realize how much rehearsal is needed to deliver a great presentation.

There are three ways to rehearse your speech:

  • Using cue cards
  • Reading from a full script
  • Committing the whole thing to memory

Each has its positives and negatives. Using cue cards, consider writing out each main point’s headings and the associated keywords. This makes keeping them in front of you easier as you speak without blocking your audience’s view.

Repeat It

Lastly, repeating the number several times is one of the most effective ways to remember phone numbers. It’s possible to retain numbers five to 10 digits long in your short-term memory for just a few minutes, which is typically enough time to write the number down or repeat it to another person. You can boost that retention amount by doing mental arithmetic or repeating the sequence to yourself a few times.

You can also convert a string of numbers into a word to help make it easier to recall, which is the method behind vanity phone numbers like 1-800-FLOWERS and 1-800-GOFedEx. Businesses choose those numbers to create a memorable brand identity and attract customers. The words serve as a reference that allows your brain to connect the series of digits with the business more easily than a random collection of digits.

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