Training your memory is like training for a marathon: it requires commitment.

“If you’re really motivated to be a better runner, you’ll run an hour every day and improve with time. The same goes for cognitive training,” says Dr Martin Buschkuehl, a researcher at the University of Maryland Working Memory and Plasticity Laboratory. You can also Tai Chi Yourself Smarter – it literally increases grey matter and boosts memory. Another factor: “The more room you have to improve, the more likely you will improve.”

He suggests doing “n-back tasks” 20 minutes a day for a month. For these drills, you listen to a string of letters and hit a key when the current letter is the same letter you heard two (or three or four) letters back. (Play at Soak Your Head) This can boost working memory and recall of events.