I feel like I have a pretty solid work-life balance but sometimes I just feel like my memory is failing me. Recently, there have been a couple of instances where I agree to plans with friends or agree to help someone out at work but then I completely forget. Of course, this leads important people in my life to feel upset with me. It's not like I'm too busy or don't want to do the thing... I just can't remember. Any advice for supporting my memory?
We've all been there, where our memory sometimes struggles to... remember! Is it any surprise, given all the complexities of life - with information assaulting you from your phone, your laptop, your tablet, and your encounters with actual living people? One of the fastest, simplest solutions to remembering important things is to keep a journal (we love bullet journals). Not only can a journal help you manage your thoughts and ideas, but it will also allow you to physically record your commitments. Writing things down by hand increases the chances that the knowledge will be stored in your memory as it forces your brain to process information in a more detail-oriented way, loading that information more efficiently into your memory and making it easier to retrieve. Not much of a journal-keeping type? An easy alternative is to immediately put that appointment on your phone's calendar and enable reminders to help keep you on track with your commitments.
Not sure which strategy is better for you? Here's a simple experiment to try out: Keep a small journal with you at all times, whether it be in your purse or work bag, and jot down important information like plans, appointments, or tasks, as it's presented to you throughout your day. When you make plans with your friends, quickly write down the date and time you agreed to, along with brief details about the event. When you have a deadline for a task at work, write down that date, along with a few key details about the task. Try it for a week and see if you've been more successful at remembering what's important to you. Pro tip: transferring those deadlines and commitments from your journal to your digital calendar at the end of your day adds an extra level of insurance
Keeping a journal and/or a digital calendar will give you a sense of comfort and relief when confronting working memory challenges. Make it a habit to review your journal or calendar daily as a reminder of the tasks or commitments you might have. Using strategies like these could assist you with managing self-destructive, forgetful patterns - and help you have more fun with your friends when you show up as promised!