You may think your memory is failing. But, it’s more likely on overload and not managing well. There is so much information coming toward you and so many things demanding your attention on a daily basis it’s hard to hold on to it all.
Do you frequently forget . . .
- Why you went into the room you just entered?
- Keys, glasses, wallets, and other important items as you go out the door to work?
- Tasks you were assigned at home, at work, or that you assigned yourself?
- To respond to phone calls and other communications as needed?
- To pay a bill?
Your short-term memory can only give attention to about 4 items at a time. When a new item presents itself and you choose to give it attention, one of the previous 4 items fall off the table, unless you have created ways to get it into longer term memory and recall it.
Here are a few tips to help with remembering:
- Create habits. Your mind must give some attention to everything you do. Create habits so you aren’t required to remember as many details.
- Automate processes (such as bill payment; direct deposit) so you aren’t required to think about it.
- Create an “out the door” box. Get a small box and give it a permanent home. When you are emptying pockets from the day, discipline yourself to put your watch, phone, purse, wallet, etc. in the box versus scattering things at various spots around the house or apartment. Put everything you need to go out the door with you in the box. This will save you time and frustration in getting out the door and lay the groundwork for a better day.
- Pay attention. We often forget because we did not pay attention in the first place. Focus and create a way to remember the important things.
- Use lists. Don’t rely on your memory. Write it down on paper or in your phone. On your electronic devices create reminders for due dates. Note: Let your lists work for you, don’t work for your lists.
- Use a calendar to remember appointments. Create reminders for every appointment.
- Avoid asking someone else to remind you. They have the same memory issues you do.
- Create organization that works for you. This may mean you need open shelving so you can see everything versus closets and cabinets where you cannot see with a glance.
- Create visual reminders. The ancient Hebrews wore tassels on their robes to remind them to remember they were God’s people, to remember his commands, and to follow them.
- Slow down. Give yourself more space in your schedule. When you rush, you will likely forget and become very inefficient.
Your memory capacity is limited by nature, as is your ability to pay attention. Create a lifestyle and methods that support you in remembering the things you don’t want to forget.
Share some tips you use to help you remember.