Feel like your brain is missing? Welcome to parenthood! Or possibly menopause. I forget which. Oh wait! Both. And then there's brain fog. I have fibromyalgia, so sometimes it's even worse than usual.
Luckily, there are strategies we can use when the ol' hard drive fills up. Here are ten. Don't forget them!
1. Jot it down.
With the many details that you have to remember in any given day, why should you try to keep it all in your head? At the very moment that you remember something needs to be done, the very best thing to do is write it down. Then, just as you need to recall it, it will be there for you in an instant.
2. Keep it all in one place.
Once you have developed the habit of writing everything down, your next step will be to keep your writing all in one place. You will remember better this way. Otherwise, you are going to spend valuable time searching for your notes. Use an app on your tablet or smartphone, an old-fashioned PDA, a really old-fashioned moleskine, or even a stack of index cards.
3. Stay healthy.
A keen memory needs a well-nourished and well-rested body. Eat healthy, get plenty of rest and lots of good exercise. These will all see you through to having a good memory, staying focused and being alert.
4. Record your every thought.
You might find yourself driving when a good idea about organizing comes to you or you might recall something that you really need to write down. No need to pull over and start writing, record instead! Pull off to the side of the road and use a small hand held tape recorder or phone app. This is a wonderful tool to carry around with you, to record your thoughts, or your parking space number, or even a memorable telephone number you see on a billboard as you drive by. Use your handy recorder to be your second eyes and ears.
5. Call ahead.
When you're out running errands and you want to do something when you arrive back home, call ahead to your voice mail and leave yourself a message. As soon as you get home you can listen to your message and remember exactly what you wanted to do.
6. Be confident in yourself.
If you keep saying you have a bad memory, you will probably continue to have a bad memory. Stop telling yourself that! It is important to have a motivated, I CAN remember attitude.
7. Handy email reminders.
There are many good and free e-mail reminder services available, and many computer datebooks will also send email alerts. You can type in what you want to remember, such as a welcome party, anniversary or special event, and you will receive an e-mail reminder when the date is approaching. This is a terrific way to jog your memory by Internet.
8. Use sticky notes.
Those wonderful, little sticky notes are the next best thing to sliced bread! They are amazing as memory helpers. Want to remember something prior to leaving your home? Just mark it down on a Post-It Note and stick it to the inside of your door. The bright, neon colors will be great to catch your eye as you are leaving. You will not likely miss it! Need to make an urgent call first thing in the morning? Leave a Post-It Note on your telephone.
9. Use timers and alarms.
Take advantage of alarm clocks and timers throughout your day. Have to take the clothes out of the dryer by 12 noon? Set an alarm to remind you. Want to leave for the ladies luncheon by 7 p.m.? Set your timer to beep a few minutes before it is time to start to get ready.
10. Use visual memory joggers.
Visual reminders will help you remember and stay focused. Use visual reminders for remembering your goals. If your goal is to take a trip to a Ireland in a few years, keep a magazine photograph of Ireland on the fridge. If your goal is to lose 30 lbs. in six months, find a picture or ornament that will help remind you of this goal each day.