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Making the Most of Our Memory

Keep a date book or calendar. Write down everything that you have to remember to do.

  • Examples: social events, appointments, shopping, exercise class, etc.
  • Get into the habit of checking the book or calendar every day. In order for this memory trick to work, it has to become part of your daily routine.

Give yourself a visual cue to remember things whenever possible.

  • Example: If you need to mail your telephone bill, leave it out somewhere where you can see it on your way out of the house.
  • Leave things out when you think of it – not when you get around to it, or you will probably forget. Get in the habit of always leaving visual cues in the same place. Make sure that the place is one that you can always see – not tucked in a corner.

Use written “to-do lists”. Keep the list in the same spot all the time, and check it every day.

Keep your home organized and uncluttered.
If you keep an item (a set of keys, a pair of glasses, a bus pass, a telephone number, etc.) in the same place all of the time, you will always know where to look for it, rather than forgetting where you left it.

Have a routine way of doing certain activities to help you remember everything that needs to be done.
For example: When you pack to go on a holiday, pack your things in the same way every time. You might start with the items you need in the morning, then move to your clothes and finally pack things like books or addresses.

Put the things that you want to remember in some type of order.
There are many ways of ordering things. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make up a saying or story with the things you want to remember.
  • Plan errands to follow an order or route so that all the places you need to go are on that route.
  • Try to relate the information you want to remember to something you already know. For example: you might remember that your doctor’s appointment is the same day as your son’s birthday.

There are many ways to help you remember, the ones listed are only a few ideas. Keep in mind that forgetting things happens to everybody, no matter what age. If you are very concerned about memory problems, see your doctor.

Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do so you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.
Alexander Graham Bell
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