Time is a precious commodity. The reasons why we never seem to have enough time vary per individual.
A big time waster… television. According to USA Media, the typical American spends more than 30 hours a week, (that’s more than a full day!) sitting in front of the TV.
Another culprit, your memory.
Yep. Forgetting something and having to fix or re-do it later can become a big time waster.
For example, you get home from the store and realize that you forgot the eggs for breakfast tomorrow. Now you’ll have to spend more time going back to the store, or else scrounge for a replacement for breakfast. All to make up for your forgetfulness.
Or, maybe you forgot a deadline at work. Now you’ll have to take time rescheduling and rearranging your schedule to accommodate for the rush job you’ll have to do now. Not to mention the inferior work you’ll do in your haste.
Another example. You left the house to run errands but forgot the movies or the library book that needed to be returned on the way. Now you’ll have to make a second trip because you forgot.
As you can see, improving your memory can actually, add minutes and maybe even hours to your day. Here are some ideas to help improve your memory.
1. Pay attention. It’s almost impossible to remember something if you are distracted. Try to be more alert and conscious of others and your surroundings. When you are having a conversation, turn off the TV or radio and give your full attention. Notice land marks while driving. Sleep well the night before a long meeting or class.
2. Write it down. “Writing something down is the best way to remember it,” says Doug Alexander, a Boston-area psychologist. Try keeping a notebook or something similar, where you can not only write down things to remember but have them organized by category – such as “to-do lists,” phone messages” or “directions”. The process of writing and categorizing information can reinforce your ability to retain it.
3. Repeat it. Repetition is an easy way of helping information sink in. When you meet someone new, use their name several times during the conversation to help you remember it. “Rehearse” directions, grocery lists, or test answers a few times so you don’t forget.
4. Put it in the same place. Make a habit of putting your keys in the bowl by the front door. Put all the screwdrivers in one place; all the bills, somewhere else, etc.
5. Make notes to yourself. Attach sticky note to the pone, front door, or bathroom mirror, such as “Call Mom to wish her a Happy Birthday.” These can be used like an external memory or an extension of your memory – a way to remember without having to actually remember.
6. Take a deep breath. When you are stressed, hormones are released that can negatively affect your memory. Relaxing can reduce these hormones and help you remember things better. “If you slow your breathing, your heart rate slows, invoking a relaxation response,” says Stanford university insomnia expert, Madsen Palmer.