A busy work and home life can often result in memory overload which in turn can lead to missed appointments/ opportunities, disorganisation and a feeling of complete overload. It’s unfortunate, but a fact of life, that those of us with a bad memory recall are judged and perceived in a negative way.
A few changes to our outlook and how we manage events can make all the difference. I’ve shared a few changes I’ve made which have helped me become more organised, hopefully you will find some of these useful too.
Picture Prompts – we naturally gravitate towards visuals so a quick tip for remembering when a report is due in could be to visualise the report on your desk with an old-fashioned clock ringing away on top of it, the hands set to 2.00 pm.
You can use the same technique for remembering colleagues’ names. Liken a visual to a person, I don’t mean that everyone with glasses should be remembered as Mr. Magoo, more of an association. For example, a colleague named Trevor could be visualised as a Tree, if you can’t remember his name but visualise a tree when you see him, it will give you the clue ‘Treevor’. I just hope you don’t have any colleagues called Richard!
Multi-tasking Mistakes – time is precious and we have all been guilty of trying to do two (or four) things at a time, how often have you been in the middle of a project and a text or phone call has come through which halts your focus. As a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance states, multitasking undermines our efficiency as it takes a while to shift mental gears each time an individual shifts between multiple tasks. So, mute your PC, desk phone and mobile so you can concentrate on the task in hand, thus helping your mind to recall vital information.
Back to Basics – this may seem laborious but writing down facts or problems on paper several times over will train and improve your memory. Often notes taken in meetings by hand are easier to recall than those typed on a PC or in my case trying to decipher Pitman shorthand squiggles!
Another tip is for reading through reports that you have to action. Try skimming the article for important topics, you may also want to highlight them, in this way, when you read the whole article you will be more familiar with the contents and retain more information.
Software Solutions – sometimes we still need that extra bit of help when scheduling our lives and meetings. The following are packages that I have used and can recommend:
https://trello.com – for basic organisation, Kanban view style, Trello is great for anyone just starting out with getting themselves organised. You can create boards for different projects and lists within boards to breakdown a task or project with added cards. I use it for various personal tasks including my book list, as a prolific reader I often need to track forthcoming book releases and Trello is ideal for this.
https://monday.com/why-monday/ – for team collaboration this software is great. Fully customisable and interactable with email, you can organise work flows and timelines, upload documents, make notes and set deadlines, also viewable in Kanban style. With companies like Carlsberg using it, this is probably one of the best event planning software I have come across.
https://calendly.com/pages/features – Calendly is great for meeting scheduling and automatically checks your availability with that of your contacts and colleagues by connecting with which ever calendar you use.
https://www.toggl.com/features/ – one of the best times tracking software I have used is Toggl. You can connect it to your desktop for ease, create reports for different clients and projects, create time sheets and download reports for analysing. You can also share projects with your VA or other team members, especially great for keeping a close eye on project budgets.
Holistic Remedies – I couldn’t finish this list without reference to something close to my heart. Natural remedies are often dismissed as ‘nonsense’ but as they say ‘don’t knock it till you try it’.
Ginseng & Ginkgo Baloba – anIndian remedy that you can purchase in tincture form and is renowned for helping with memory retention. (WARNING: Not for people with high blood pressure, regular aspirin takers or those on blood thinner medications).
Lemon Verbena Tea – Verbena leaves infused in hot water is very refreshing and not only will it help improve concentration level it will provide energy without the caffeine, win:win!
Rosemary – Infusing Rosemary into hot water will help stimulate brain function and help clear the mind to aid concentration. Great for a relaxing bath and the aroma will permeate through the house too.
Last but definitely not least – it’s essential to recuperate your brain from the daily influx of information and learning. Your mind is a muscle and needs time to settle and rest just like the others in your body. So, remember, find time to relax and do something fun your brain will thank you for it!