Tips to overcome forgetfulness

26th March 2021

With so many things going on in our daily lives, it can often be hard to keep track of important tasks we need to complete or dates we need to remember. Whatever the case, here are a few simple and useful ways to overcome forgetfulness and keep your memory on its toes:

Physical organisation

There is no better way to get yourself organised than creating a physical list of things to do or remember. By doing this, it means that even if you forget something yourself, there will always be a physical reminder waiting for you, preferably somewhere you can access easily or will look every day. This doesn’t even necessarily need to be on paper, or in a book - you can just as easily write down whatever it is on your ‘notes’ app on your phone, taking constant reminders with you wherever you go. On that note, give using a ‘calendar’ app (one will usually come with your phone by default) to pencil in important dates, and then switch ‘reminders’ on for notifications. This is a great way to visualise how far away important dates are, ensuring you have plenty of time to prepare and don’t end up forgetting about them altogether.

For tasks, it’s a good idea to write clearly structured lists. You can prioritise which tasks need to be completed first, and add on the date it needs to be completed by after it too. Try using numbers and create a sequence of tasks that need doing, adding an element of progression as they’re worked through one by one.

Memory techniques

Do you have an important date that needs to be remembered? Many experts would recommend linking a certain date or year with a particularly strange scenario you can create in your head, that somehow links to the date. This might sound like quite an odd technique, but that’s actually the point. By associating a certain date, such the year 1776 (when the US declared independence) with a ridiculous image in your head (like Thomas Jefferson wearing a bright pink dress while writing the declaration), you’re much more likely to remember. The weirder, the better.

Additionally, using mnemonics is a great way to remember longer strings of information, and can be done in a similar way - by creating a strange story to associate with each letter. A classic example of this technique being used to remember the order of planets in our solar system. A sentence such as ‘My Very Excited Mother Just Served Us Noodles’ is an easy one to remember, and represents each planet from the sequence of words respectively.

Random object placement

One interesting method of remembering things last minute is to place a random object on the floor before you go to sleep. So, if for example you need to remember to take a particular thing with you to work/school the next day, but are unable to put this thing in your bag ahead of time, place a pillow or your clock at the foot of your bed. That way, when you wake up and see the random object that’s out of place, you’ll remember why it’s there - which will hopefully mean you’ll be reminded what to take with you when you walk out the door.

Want to know the best way to remember important dates? By registering a star with it today. That way, each and every time you look up at the night sky, a star bound to that special day is up there somewhere, shining down over you with a unique, special meaning.