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Last Updated on August 1, 2018

How to Not Forget Things Easily with These 5 Simple Ways

How to Not Forget Things Easily with These 5 Simple Ways

I have a bad memory, and no it’s not a sign of aging; it has always been this way. Tell me something one minute, and unless I won the lottery or you are about to give me a free car, I am likely to forget it.

I was with my solicitor one day and he asked me for the date I got married. I sat for a minute and then took off my wedding ring to check inside for the date. He was dumbfounded; he said he had never before met a woman who didn’t know her wedding date.

Well, there is a first time for everything.

For this reason, it has been essential for me to come up with ways to remember–to remember dates, remember to do things, remember to pick up my kids from school or anything else that I may need to remember:

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1. Use a journal every day

The first thing I find useful is to always carry a journal. This allows me to jot down any thought I may have that needs to be captured.

Anytime I think of something I must do, it gets written into my journal, and when I get back to my desk, I check through my notebook and decide what needs to be done with my notes.

2. Mark down events on a calendar (and set reminders)

If any of the notes I made were reminders of something that I need to do on a particular day at a particular time, I enter it into my calendar.

I use my calendar daily. When I sit down each day in front of my PC, the first thing I open is my calendar. Each week, I schedule my whole week, and then each day, I reassess how realistic it is and what needs to get moved to another day.

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Any tasks that take longer than 15 minutes go into my calendar, and shorter tasks or tasks that don’t have to be done immediately go into my task list.

3. Use a task list

There are many programs out there that can be used to manage your tasks. I use Evernote, since it gives me a place to store everything. I create notebooks for each area of my life and for individual projects.

If I think of something that has to be done on a particular project, I create a note and put it into the correct notebook. So when I am ready to work on that project, all the thoughts and ideas are captured there in one place.

4. Do a mind download

In times of overwhelm or stress, or when I feel I’m not keeping up to date with my work and maybe I’m reacting to other people’s demands, I stop and do a mind download. I get everything out of my head. I write it either in my journal or on an electronic note.

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By doing this, you are ensuring that everything you need to do is captured and not forgotten about. It creates a sense of calm control and ensures that nothing has gotten away.

When everything is out of your head, start to add it into your system. Either it goes in your calendar or your task list so that when the time comes, you will get the work done, and you will never forget anything again.

5. Use different kinds of reminders

If you have a tendency to miss appointments and meetings, set up reminders for these events. Reminders can be set up on your calendar or in a program like Evernote.

You could even set an alarm on your phone if necessary with the name of the alarm being the task you need to be reminded of.

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Here’re more reminders ideas for you:

10 Apps That Help You Stay on Time and Remember Things

No more excuses for being forgetful

There are no excuses! Follow these five suggestions, and you’ll never forget anything again.

Use them individually and you will improve your ability to remember, but use all five and you will be a powerhouse of memory.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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