“…um, what was I talking about?”
It seems that I have reached a point in my life where I can admit that my brain completely zones out. Some days I feel like I have clinical short-term memory loss. It ranges in intensity of forgetfulness from minor details to major events! For example, yesterday I made a cake- put the main ingredient (butter-scary thought) into the microwave to soften- forgot its in the microwave 3 minutes later mixed the rest of the ingredients and baked it without ever adding it in OR went to turn off the light , saw my phone –picked it up instead forgot about the light went upstairs and thought “Crap!” OR honestly I have no recollection of how I got to work this morning, just driving on autopilot (frightening, I know!) OR forgetting the grocery list, forgetting weekend commitments, forgetting names, faces, birthdays…etc. WHAT IS GOING ON?!?
I think there are several factors playing out in these scenarios:
First- Too Much. I always have 10 events happening at the same time- so I have adapted to switch to a new thought or a new event a moments notice. When I cook I am talking on the phone, with the kids, checking my computer. When I work- any normal human being would gasp at the amount of open windows and running tasks on my desktop…I literally shift to a different project every 10 minutes. It’s a world of technology that always reaches us without a second to rest, the phone has constant updates, the radio can be switched to a new tune, the ipod/ipad, computers. Some call it ADD, I just call it –MY CRAZY LIFE. I need to find a better way to organize my thoughts, tasks, and events.
Second – SLEEP. I always lack it, I never have enough. No matter how hard I plan or try I always get to bed after 11:30pm…it causes a whole snowball of issues with getting up in the morning. My husband is AWESOME and lets me sleep in on the weekends so I recharge, start strong with on Monday and by Friday am a snapping, edgy, confused zombie that has no idea what’s going on. NEED SLEEP.
Third- Time. I just don’t take the time to digest information. If someone introduces themselves and says “hi I’m Suzie”, I say hi nice to meet you and keep running. Two minutes later I forget her name. If I said “Hi Suzie, nice to meet you…you remind me of a friend from California (not that that’s a typical statement you say to someone you just meet, but you get the point)” - I would create the association and remember her next time I see her. I just don’t take the extra 5 seconds of time.
So I have made a resolution to help my memory: I just forgot what it was… :)
But seriously, I did a bunch of research on bettering memory through items I use everyday and through a little better organization. Here are some of my important tips:
-My Personal Memory Trainer- Phone Application: (there is an app for everything right? Well this one does wonders and can be done while standing in line for lunch OR (although no one admits it) bathroom breaks :)-https://play.google.com/stor/ap/details?id=org.urbian.android.games.memorytrainer&hl=en
-Organization- I know that there are TONS of sites out there and TONS of research...but the one that has worked for me at work and at home is to write the TOP 3 TASKS- that is all. Everyone has a huge to do list at the beginning of the day, whether you're at home or at work. This To-do list grows as longer as soon as I look at it. So I put aside- write my top 3 and do as much as possible to address them without distractions.
-Write things down- never believe your brain if it tells you "Ill remember this and write it down when I get home" - DO IT RIGHT AWAY.
-"Eat that Frog"- To anyone interested, this is actually a very cool book that gives you short and sweet tips to stop procrastinating and just to do your tasks... It's main message is that if you had to do 20 things today and one of them was to "eat a frog"- do that first and everything else in your day will get easier. It's actually helped me to think this way since I found that I make up excuses and small insignificant tasks run my life so that I can ignore or forget about the "frog"
Here's a link to a great video about this book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W7GB5Fh2XM