Humans can tend to be very forgetful. I had a calendar on my phone full of birthdays, anniversaries, appointment reminders, to do lists, grocery lists and other things that were important to remember. The problem was, I kept forgetting to check it. That’s not a joke, it’s true. Most people lose their keys or the phone on a regular basis. There was even talks of a shoe with a beeper going on the market so people could find their missing shoes, especially kids shoes. However, it was nixed because they figured the beeper would also get lost and it was pointless. Doctors offices and places like that will send out appointment reminder postcards in order to cut down on no call no shows. Even hairdressers will hand out reminder postcards if a client books their next appoint while they are there. It’s a common fact that people forget. So, how can we not forget? How can you remember important things without the cumbersome amount of reminder postcards that collect on our kitchen counters? Here’s a few helpful ideas for remembering.
- Make an Association
If you create a strong image in your mind that associates with the date or event that you need to remember, you’ll have a much easier time. The more unique and ridiculous the image is, the easier it will be to remember. The key is getting it to link with the date. Then when you need to remember the appointment, the odd image will pop into your head and remind you of the date.
- Speak Out Loud
Sometimes, it’s helpful to say things aloud. For example, if you are trying to remember to turn lights off in order to save money on your electricity bill then before you leave the house stand in the front door and say ‘I have turned off all the lights.’ Later on, when you think ‘Did I leave lights on again?’ You’ll probably remember what you were looking at when you said ‘I have turned off all the lights.’ You can then carry on your evening in peace.
- Move Your Body
Pacing, using hand motions, etc. can help you to make strong associations. Physical movements trigger the memory more than thoughts do so if you use body motions to link your mind to whatever it is you are trying to remember, this can improve your memory.
- Use Music
Songs are a proven memory method. If you are trying to remember a passage of scripture or a piece of a speech or something else that includes a long string of words, putting it to a melody makes it almost impossible to forget. Your mind will always remember the melody and as soon as you can hum the melody, the words will come quickly to you.
- Organize information
Having the information in an organized list in your mind can make it easy to know if you have forgotten something. Especially if you know the number of pieces of information you have. For example, if you need to learn historical dates, put them in order of how they happened. If you need to remember a grocery list, put it in alphabetical order. If you know you need to pick up seven things from the store and have it in your mind alphabetically, you will know if you have forgotten one of the seven items and can run the list back in your head through the alphabet.
- Replace With Letters
Use the letters of the alphabet to replace numbers. If you need to remember that you have a dentist appointment on April 24th, that would be 4/24. DBD are the letters you would assign. If you don’t like going, ‘death by dentistry’ could be one way of remember D/BD which translates to 4/24.
Reminder cards are probably the best way to remember things, if you can find an organized way to keep them but if you don’t like finding reminder postcards in your prescription bags or keeping track of the veterinary appointment cards for your pets, them try a few of these tips and see how they work out for you. Even if writing stuff down works better for you, it’s still good to stretch your brain and exercise it using the above ideas.