If you are like most people, you will eventually forget an important engagement, a special meeting or a to-do that you thought of while you were in the shower. The question is, “How can you keep from forgetting those necessary items without drastically changing your lifestyle?”
I really feel foolish when I leave my house of a morning, get to the office and realize that I have forgotten something at home. Once, when I was a kid, I almost went to school without my shoes on. As humorous as that sounds, it taught me something about remembering things and “memory markers.”
Below are three memory markers that everyone can apply to their life. Whatever your personality and lifestyle, you can successfully apply at least one, if not all three, of these markers to your life.
Marker #1: Picture It
The once great Boston Celtics basketball player, Jerry Lucas, has made a living educating people on how to remember names and other important information. He does this with the use of picture association. In fact, he states that he has memorized most, if not all, of the Bible. His secret works like this. When you have to remember something, just picture it in your mind. For example, picture yourself driving home today and your spouse calls and asks you to pick up a “few” things from the grocery store: milk, cheese, green beans and orange juice. Since you are driving in your car and don’t have anything to write with, you try to log the list in your short-term memory bank. One way to remember the list is through picture association. Here is how it works. Develop the following pictures in your mind: Milk: a LARGE cow standing on a very large gallon of milk. Cheese: that same cow has a very large piece of cheese in its mouth. Green beans: the grass around the cow is not really grass but green beans growing like grass. Orange juice: the final item can be remembered by making the cow totally orange. Try it. It works.
Marker #2: Position It
One of the best ways not to forget something tangible is to leave it beside something that you will not, or cannot, forget. For instance, if you want to make sure you take a special piece of chocolate pie to the office, place it beside something that you will definitely take with you; your keys, purse, etc . . . This simple little marker will keep you from looking foolish and getting frustrated.
Marker #3: Put It Down
Always remember, the faintest ink is better than the best memory. I have gotten up many times in the middle of the night to write something down. Just the other night at 3am I woke up thinking about some things that I needed to do the next day. I said to myself, “This bed feels so good, I will remember them in the morning when I wake up.” I even did the Picture It marker, but I know myself. I know if I am in bed and it is 3am I better get up and write them down. Now, where do you write these brilliant thoughts you are having? Having one central place to write all of your important information is best. However, when an inspirational thought or a simple to-do hits your mind (like at 3am), write it down anywhere. You can transfer it to that central place later.
I know these are very simple and basic ideas, but I bet you will see a difference if you commit to trying them for one week. Prove me wrong if you can.