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8 Ways To Compensate For Your Terrible Memory

8 Ways To Compensate For Your Terrible Memory

If you have been described as having the memory of a goldfish, then that is not a good sign. Furthermore, if you keep forgetting that your sunglasses are on your head, or worse, that your keys are in your hand, then you are really in need of this list of memory tricks. Save yourself the frustration of forgetfulness and start using these 8 ways to compensate for a terrible memory.

1. Sing a song

Even if you have a terrible memory, you will be surprised by how well you are able to sing along to that song on the radio. You may even have that song you absolutely hate stuck in your head right now; no matter how hard you try, it has made a permanent home in your head. With the addition of a melody, the brain has a better ability to retain words. Take a tune you love and replace the lyrics with whatever it is you are trying to remember

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2. Acrostics & Acronyms

You probably know what Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge stands for, as well as the FBI’s full title. Come up with your own acrostics and acronyms. The letters do not even have to make sense. The mere act of narrowing down your list to a few letters that you can string together is an incredibly helpful way to remember.

3. Mental pictures

The mind does better with visual memory than with auditory memory. Rather than try and remember simply what you hear, create visual pictures in your mind for the words and/or tasks that you are to knock off your to-do list.

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4. Set an alarm

Your alarm clock is not only good for getting you up in the morning. If there is something during the day that you need to be prompted about, set your alarm for that time. You most likely will forget to check the calendar on your phone during the day, so this is a great “third-party” assistant for your memory.

5. Password relief

Nothing is more frustrating that typing in the wrong password a bunch of times and then getting blocked from your account. Thankfully Safari and Google Chrome have password manager systems that will keep a hidden log of your usernames and passwords. Use these tools or keep a logbook of passwords near your computer to save yourself the frustration.

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6. Tell a story

A similar effect to song lyrics is the use of story. Everyone loves a good story. Go back to your childhood days and recover that highly imaginative mind. Create a story around the list of items or the tasks that you need to remember. The more vivid and ridiculous the better. Make your avocados eat a fish that is filled with bread to remember those three simple grocery items.

7. Write it down

Researchers have shown that students who take notes have a far better retention rate than those who simply sit and listen. The act of writing something down causes your mind to process the information and engage at a deeper level, thus strengthening your neural memory connections. Post-its are still ever-popular because they are so effective. Carry some small post-its or a notepad with you wherever you go.

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8. Novelty

You are probably very familiar with the old “string on the finger” trick that your grandparents swore by. The idea behind it is to create a novel trigger for you to remember what the task you intended was. Some people will put a little toy in their pocket, so that when they pull out Spiderman they are reminded about that phone call they need to make.

Give your brain a good piggy-back with these memory techniques today. You may even be surprised by how your memory gets stronger in the process.

More by this author

Thai Nguyen

Thai's a Mindfulness-Meditation Coach, a 5-Star Chef and an International Kickboxer.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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