Memory Strategies and Productivity Tips for a Busy World : Smart Memory Power

Memory Strategies and Productivity Tips for a Busy World

Today I want to give you some memory strategies that will help you to remember more in our ever busy world.

They’re simple, and as with everything I write here, you can apply them straightaway.

Memory Strategies to Keep You Sane

Eliminate Technology Overload

memory strategiesThere’s been an interesting development regarding our memories over the past 20 years or so…

As technology advances, there are more and more ways to record what we need to remember.

However, many people would say that their memories have actually got worse, or certainly no better.

The reason, in my opinion, is that we’re overwhelming ourselves with information. This overloads the brain and confuses us.

And I don’t just mean that there’s more to remember.

As we watch television or surf the internet, we’re bombarded with visually stimulating images. Too much of this can make you tired, reducing your brain’s ability to remember.

Mobile phones, while being another great advancement in technology, are actually making us busier, often unneccesarily.

Remember, don’t confuse being busy with being productive.

The solution?

  • Decide what’s important in your life and what isn’t… Then eliminate those things that are distracting you from what matters. Does your phone really need to be on 24/7? Could it be on silent some of the time?

As memory strategies go, this is perhaps the simplest one I’ve ever written, but don’t dismiss it just because it sounds basic.

Organise Your Memory

Part of the problem with having tons of information to process is that if we don’t organise it properly, then we can get overwhelmed.

Of course, this is related to the technological overload I mentioned earlier, but it runs deeper than that.

Without organisation, you can feel very lost and if you’re not careful, worried.

Both of these feelings have a negative effect on your brain as they cause you stress, which produces the stress hormone cortisol. In regular or high quantities, cortisol can damage the structural elements of the brain.

Here’s how to get organised:

  • Instead of checking 12 different places for information each day, limit it to two or three at the absolute maximum. For example, you can update all your social media accounts from one place using tools like SocialOomph.
  • Make sure you check-in everyday at the same time with your diary so you can see what you need to do today, then focus on just one thing at a time. Be worried about something you have to do later is totally pointless and will only harm your brain and your progress. Also, make sure you write down everything you need to do in your diary, to free up some brain space.
  • E-mails can be a huge drain on your memory power, as they distract you from what you want to focus on. Check them twice per day (ideally just once). Set up an autoresponse to go out to all new e-mailers saying that you only check your e-mail once or twice per day and to call you only if it’s urgent.

Do this and you’ll be giving your brain more space to remember.

Use Spatial Memory Strategies

I’ve saved the best until last, as this is one of the more unusual and effective memory strategies.

Let’s say you need to remember 5 things today. It could be as simple as a shopping list (where the things are often unrelated) or something more complicated like a series of things for your business.

Regardless, use this:

  • You’re going to associate the things you need to do with images, then assign those imaginary images to parts of your body. Sounds weird, huh?
  • Let’s say it’s a shopping list of bread, cheese, cat food and washing up liquid… You might imagine the cheese next to your feet (cheesy feet!), your hands covered in soap suds (washing up liquid), a cat perched on your shoulder (cat food) and a loaf of bread in place of your head (as in the expression ‘use your loaf’ meaning ‘use your head’).
  • It sounds silly but your brain loves these creative associations and you’ll remember them more easily because they make you laugh, and because it was you that created the associations.
  • Naturally, you might find other ways to remember this list, or other items in your life. If the things you need to remember are more complex, then break them down into images and then associate those with parts of the body.

Another great strategy to remind yourself of things is to move something from where it would normally be, and associate that move with the thing you want to remember.

For example, if you normally wear your watch on your left wrist, take it off and put it on your right wrist instead. When you go to check the time, you’ll instinctively look at your left wrist. When you realise your watch is on the other wrist, your mind will immediately seek the reason why, thus reminding you of the thing you want to remember.

Naturally, these are just a few of the memory strategies that you can use to remember more.

For more useful memory strategies, check out the Memorization Techniques category on this blog.

Do you have memory strategies that you use in daily life? How do you keep track of things in a busy world? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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Category: Memory Power Tips

About the Author ()

I'm James Gladwell, chief contributor and editor of I'm fascinated by the human mind and I set this site up in order to help people increase their memory power, while I learned how to improve mine. Feel free to leave a comment on the site and let me know how you think I can make the site better.

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