Aren’t you forgetting something?
For the most part of my life, I have always maintained a pretty good memory.
Because I was such a planner in my younger years, it carried over into my parenting days as well.
When my three sons became active in school plays, athletic contests, and presentations, I needed a system to help me keep track of everything. Twenty-five years ago, we didn’t have notifications or online calendars to remind us of something we needed to do.
No, we did things the old fashioned way…we wrote things down on a calendar.
Every year, I would receive two — one for my desk at work and the other one I hung on the wall at home. The day after Christmas, I would update both of them with as much information as I knew at that time.
Then, I took it a step further…
I highlighted each event with a different color highlighter. Each member of the family was assigned a color and it made it easy looking at the calendar to see who had conflicts and where my husband and I would need to “divide and conquer.”
For example, the boys played select baseball and on any given year, each boy would have at least 40-50 games a piece between April and July. Oh, and my husband coached all of them over 17 years.
We don’t choose to forget
In today’s busy world, we are bound to forget something.
My best friend has a hard time remembering things and perhaps some of you can relate.
Like you, she is always thinking.
Technology has forced our brains into “overload” with all of this information at our fingertips through the applications on our smart phones and the ever present Google.
Some of our retention ability may stem from our never-ending stimulus that surrounds us every day.
I’ll admit it, my phone is never off — even when it is next to my bed. (However, I do choose to leave it at home on occasion.)
So why are some of us better at remembering things while others of us are not?
Some might suggest that owning your own business requires so much of you — because you have to know and do everything, you simply remember everything.
Okay…that’s not it. My best friend owns her own business,
Others might suggest that we don’t get enough sleep.
That could be, but she is tired most of the time.
As we get older, our brains will get more and more tired.
Eventually, we will forget a few things.
However, in the meantime, let’s start doing these 5 things now!
1. Make a routine
When we keep a schedule, we have less to remember. Our bodies and minds are on “auto-pilot” and do things because of muscle memory. Maybe that routine is as simple as getting up at the same time every day. Over time, our bodies will learn to wake up at the same time and we will not feel so groggy each morning. In addition, incorporate a routine into your daily life as much as possible. Creating habits that you follow every day can be difficult at first, but eventually, you’ll need to remember less. Completing familiar tasks every day become cemented into our minds, allowing space for new information to find its way in.
2. Play memory games
Every morning, I play two games, both of which are kind of like “Where’s Waldo?”, but in a mystery type theme. Different locations become available the more I play. I move onto different levels based on the success I have in finding all of the objects in the quickest time in the early levels. Over time, not only do I recall the different information shared with me on each level, but my finding these objects increases too. The objects (their colors, shapes, past locations) become almost certain to where I will find them next in future levels. The games teach me to play them better based on my past experiences with the game, creating a learning atmosphere I otherwise would not have obtained.
3. Laugh out loud
Life can be pretty serious most days. With deadlines to meet and places to be, we are so focused on getting things done that we don’t take time to laugh out loud. It has been proven that laughter reduces our stress level and releases chemicals in our bodies that make us feel good. Simple joys and funny things happen all the time, but we miss them too often. A simple giggle (even with something you did) can immediately take our mind off of something. That may not seem like a good thing, but in the end, we will be able to get back on track with what needs done. Life should never be taken so seriously that we don’t laugh at least one a day. (Permission granted.)
4. Write things down
Remember the calendar I mentioned earlier? Here is where that comes in along with the never-ending “to-do” lists. I am old-fashioned and believe in the power of the pen and paper (when not available, I will use my smart phone). Writing it down releases it from your mind and puts it somewhere you can see it. Writing things down can also keep your hard-earned money in your wallet as well. For example, it has been said that people who take a list with them to do their grocery shopping tend to spend less money. Side note: Choose designated areas for these “lists” so you don’t need to remember where they are…
Just like laughing, doing something with our muscles is good for our body in many different ways. Whether our form of exercise is getting on a treadmill at 5 am or doing some boxing in a ring, giving our body a good workout is beneficial to our muscle growth and health maintenance. Our minds need to be challenged as much as our bodies do and staying fit allows things to work more smoothly. Even if you are not out to run a marathon or become the strongest man/woman on earth, getting a regular dose of exercise will not only keep your body fit, it will tidy up your mind as well.
So, let’s work smarter
No doubt life will just get more complicated as we move through it. With more and more information trying to vie for the amount of limited space we have in our brains, we will forget things. Some of these things will be irrelevant while others might be more important.
Life is hard enough as it is, so let’s find ways to “hack” it and become better in the process.
In the meantime, take some of these helpful hints and apply them to your everyday life.
You just might be surprised at what you remember.
I know my best friend might be too.
Featured photo credit: Priscilla via unsplash.com