Have you ever walked into a room, forgotten what it was you had gone into the room to do, so frustratedly walked out again?
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and remembered something you urgently had to do next morning, then completely forgotten to do it when you woke up?
Have you ever wished for an easier way to memorise long boring fact lists (or just long lists of anything) than just repeating them mindlessly to yourself over and over?
My friend, you're going to love the newest series I've got for you here on Bonnie's Blessings.
Allow me to proudly present to you:
This is the beginning of a series on easier ways to memorise stuff and remember the things you need to remember. It will most likely be somewhere around the two or three post mark, given that I'm not exactly sure what each post is going to have in it yet. :P
This series will be fondly nicknamed M 'n' M. Just because Maximise Your Memory is a wee bit of a mouthful, and who doesn't like M 'n' Ms?
Today's post, this first post in the series, is entitled "Remembering". Remembering.
This isn't exactly about memorising techniques as such. but some ways to remember the things you know you need to remember.
Let's first tackle the annoying problem of waking up in the middle of the night, knowing something you need to do the next morning, and hoping against hope you won't forget... but knowing you probably will. How can you remember it?
Idea 1: Write it down
This might be a bit of a disappointing solution. Hop out of bed, go find a pen and paper, and write it down. Put the paper somewhere where you're guaranteed to find it the next morning. This is the best way to guarantee you're going to remember to do whatever it was you thought you might forget... but it's not the best solution for us lazy people who don't want to leave our warm beds!
Idea 2: Bring it In
The solution to that problem would be to have a pen and paper on your bedside table all ready for the next time you wake up, remembering that thing you know you'll forget. Just leave them on your bedside table. Then you won't have to leave your warm bed.
Idea 3: The Something's-Wrong Principle
If, for whatever reason, you choose not to put a pen and paper beside your bed, here's a solution that will hopefully work for you. (It's what I do.) Take something that normally sits somewhere near your bed and change it. Then when you wake up in the morning you'll notice what's wrong, and remember why you changed it. So for example, I have a little, flat alarm clock that sits beside my bed. When I have something I need to remember, I turn it upside down, and go back to sleep. Then when I wake up I see it's upside down (because I reach over to turn it off and can't find the button :P) and remember what I thought of in the night.
Idea 4: By Rote
Of course, another way to remember something in the middle of the night is to recite it over and over to yourself. Then you'll hopefully remember it when you wake. This method is not guaranteed.
Well, now we know how to remember something in the middle of the night. But what do we do if we think of something that we need to remember - but it's during the day? We might be out and about with no pen or paper handy. How on earth do we remember it?
Idea 1: Pull out that device
If you are lucky enough to be one of those people who has a convenient mobile phone with the ability to enter stuff on it, then good for you! Any device with that ability would work of course. Just pull out that device and make a note to yourself to remember whatever it was you wanted to remember.
If you don't use your phone much, worry that your note to yourself will get lost somewhere, or just plain don't have a phone, read on!
Idea 2: The Something's-Wrong Principle
Hehee, you thought you'd seen the last of this one? You're wrong! The way I use to remember things when I'm out and about is to change something, as I discussed earlier in the alarm-clock-upside-down discussion. Only this time, because I don't have a convenient alarm clock on the table next to my bed, I have to change something else. And this time, it's my watch. My watch lives on my left wrist all day. When I have something I need to remember, I turn my watch upside down, so the clock face is on my palm, instead of on the back of my wrist. Because I constantly look at my watch, I constantly can't see the clock and have to turn my wrist over. This is a constant reminder of what I need to remember. Then when I get home and write it down, I just reverse my watch again. Back to normal. Other ideas would be to take one earring out (for girls), switch your watch or a bracelet from one hand to the other, roll your sock up weird, take your hairtie out and put it round your wrist, roll one of your sleeves up one roll.... there are a multitude of things you could do. Something that's a bit out of the ordinary and will remind you of what you were thinking of when you changed it.
Idea 3: Enlist your friends
A good way to ensure you'll remember the thing is to ask a person you're out and about with to remind you to do whatever it was, when you get back home. Your friend or family member will hopefully try their best to remember it too, so you'll have two minds working on it. Score! Of course, this method isn't guaranteed (your friends might have bad memories too) and you may be out alone, in which case I suggest reverting back to idea 1 or 2.
Idea 4: Imagine It
Another way to remember something you are worried you'll forget is to imagine yourself doing something that you always do when you get home. Maybe it's hanging your keys up, maybe it's removing your shoes and putting them away. Let's say, for example, it's hanging your keys up. As you imagine yourself hanging your keys up, imagine yourself thinking. "Oh! I know what I'm supposed to do next!" and imagine yourself remembering what it is you're worried you'll forget. Keep imagining it. Replay the scene over and over in your mind. In your mind, pair the situation you know you'll be in with the thought of remembering the thing you're worried you'll forget. Hopefully, when you get home and go to hang those keys up, de ja vu will kick in and you'll remember the thing because you imagined yourself remembering it. Of course, you might be distracted by something else and so you hang your keys up mindlessly. Or you might lose your keys. It's worth a try, but it isn't guaranteed.
And that's all for this post! Check back in a few days time for Part 2: Memorising!
What's your favourite way to remember things that you need to do?