Your whole life depends on you being able to retrieve things from your memory.
I’m sure you know what I mean… “Where are my keys?” “What major tasks do I need to complete today?” “What time is that meeting I need to attend?”
Questions such as these bombard our minds daily. If you’re able to recall the relevant information, you’ll keep your life on track. However, if you fail to recall the information – your life will start to move in a confused and unproductive direction.
We’d all love to boost our memories, but often we go about it in the wrong way. It’s not about how much information we can absorb into our minds, but how easily we can retrieve this information (which most people aren’t good at).
Information Overload = Memory Failure
We live in an information age, where our minds are besieged 24/7 by facts, figures, news, drama and trends.
To maintain our standing among our peers, most of us strive in vain to keep up-to-date with everything from music to movies to politics.
It’s a never-ending whirlpool of information. And if you try to remember all of this information – you’re likely to find that your mind becomes so full that you begin to lose the ability to think clearly.
Information overload is a modern-day plague. And your memory is likely to be one of the plague’s victims.
For example, when you were younger, you may have loved to sing along with your favorite songs. Sadly, as you’ve grown older, you’ve started to forget the words to the songs. The more you try to recall the words – the further from your mind they seem to be. It’s frustrating, and has probably blighted a pastime that you used to love.
Could it be that over the years, you’ve tried to remember just too many songs? Perhaps.
As you’ll see below, continually overloading your memory, can lead to recall issues and embarrassing social interactions.
It’s on the Tip of My Tongue, But…
It can be distressing when the flow of our conversation is blocked by our inability to recall information. And this can be especially traumatic if it takes place during a formal work environment.
For instance, imagine that you’re doing a presentation at work to some potential clients. You’ve created PowerPoint slides to guide you through your presentation, but the bulk of the message you’re hoping to convey is held in the memory banks of your mind. You start your presentation positively, but after a few awkward questions from one of the clients, you notice your confidence slipping – and your recall ability falling too! Suddenly, facts and figures seem out of your grasp. You’re stuttering, and rapidly losing the attention of the audience. To put it another way: you’re presentation has gone down the pan!
Storing tons of information in your memory is worthless if you’re unable to recall the parts you need – at the time you need them. Luckily, there’s a way to give your physical memory some much-needed breathing space.
How to Let a ‘Digital Brain’ Take the Strain
Our physical brains can only offer us a limited amount of memory storage and recall abilities. These limits used to be sufficient, but as mentioned earlier, we now live in an information age, where our ability to absorb and recall information has been stretched beyond our normal capabilities.
What’s the answer to this problem? Well, you could start by giving some of this storing and recalling work to a digital brain.
By this, I don’t mean you should turn yourself into a cyborg. In fact, the only thing you’ll be turning yourself into is a super-efficient and productive version of yourself!
I’ve called it a digital brain, but you’ll know it simply as digital or online storage. And you’re sure to recognize some of the tools:
- Google Drive
The above software (and other similar ones) allows you to store, organize, and easily retrieve information. For example, Pocket lets you capture blogs, news and videos into a digital pocketbook. This is achieved through a one-click process. Once the content is within your pocketbook, you can retrieve and view it at any time. Clearly, this is far more efficient than trying to remember which stories you’ve seen earlier in the day – but hadn’t had chance to read/watch.
Instead of trying to remember everything with your physical brain, begin moving over some of the information to your digital brain. Whichever tool (or tools) you decide to use, you’ll immediately be able to take advantage of the following benefits:
- You can store as much information as you wish. (Free plans may offer only limited storage.)
- You can easily organize and prioritize the stored information.
- The stored information is available in an instant, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Compared to relying 100 percent on your physical brain, the addition of a digital brain will help you immensely. You’ll be able to determine what to store, what not to store, and when to retrieve information. You’ll also be able to use a digital brain to help you with your to-do lists and goal planning.
I personally use Google Drive for storing all my documents and images, and I use Todoist to help me manage my day-to-day tasks and workload. I’ve found using a digital brain to be liberating. Before, I used to stress over trying to remember everything – now my mind feels relaxed and free. I also have more mental energy for creative pursuits.
You may think that highly-productive people must be blessed with super-powered memories. For sure, some are, but most of these people are ordinary folks, with one difference… They have learned how to use a digital brain to help them store and retrieve information – and to organize their lives.