If you want to know how to increase concentration or how to improve concentration, then look no further than using the tried and trusted Journey Method. Using the Journey Method regularly will help you improve concentration by exercising your imagination – you will have to memorise and visualise all the various stops on the memory journey, as well as linking them to the things you’re memorising. You can make your own house your personal memory palace, and it’s easy, since you know it so well.
The House Journey is the most basic journey you’re likely to use in your memory work. It’s based on the place you know best, so you’re not likely to ever get confused about the next ‘stop’ (location) on your trip. Consequently, the House Journey will be the most often used memory journey of all. But you can develop it further, if you want to.
Extending the house journey
The House Journey, in its simplest form, might have about ten locations, or points of interest, corresponding to the rooms of the house, plus the hall, the stairs, the front door, etc. While it’s useful, and one of the most often used memory techniques, there’s no doubt it’s limited. Clearly, in its basic form, it can’t be used for lists of more than about ten items.
But if you want to use it for longer lists, that can be arranged, and quite easily. All you have to do is make each stop, or location, become a hub for 3, 4, or even 5 points of interest. So a house with 10 locations can pretty easily become a journey of 30, 40, or even 50 locations. Extending the House Journey this way really will make it into a memory palace, taking it from a basic memory technique, with perhaps eight or ten stops, to anything up to 50 separate locations.
How to set up a longer journey
Let’s say the first stop on your House Journey is the front door. If you want to develop that into, let’s say, three locations, why not make it:
- approaching the front door
- putting the key in the lock and opening the door
- closing the door behind you
For the front room, you could have:
- the TV
- the coffee table
- the sofa
Get the idea? You just select three items or locations in each of the original ‘stops’ on your journey, and one becomes three! You’re taking advantage of all the possibilities for creating techniques for memory improvement, as well as extending your House Journey list.
For the bathroom, you could have:
- the washbasin
- the bath
- the shower
Using this method, you can easily extend a 10-stop house journey to make it into one with 30 or 40 stops, or even more. And because it’s all based on your own house, and the rooms in it, it shouldn’t be difficult to remember the details.
Record the details for future reference
Once you’ve decided on all these new ‘locations’ in all the rooms of your house, write a detailed list of them all (either on paper or on your computer). This is now becoming a real Memory Palace, and you want to record the details so you can practise them and use them.
Keep this list for reference, and start rehearsing the extended house journey, taking a more detailed imaginary trip round your house, stopping off at each of your chosen locations.
Now, when you want to memorise a long list, you can use your House Journey, only now you have access to many more stops on your imaginary trip. And at each one, you can place something that reminds you of whatever is next on your list.
Your very simple and basic house list has grown into what can become a real Memory Palace! And practising this extended House Journey is the answer to the puzzle of how to increase concentration and memory – with forty or fifty stops on your new memory journey, you’ll automatically build up your concentration skills as you use the newly extended list.