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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Strengthen Your Memory

I make lists. Lots of lists. I have a list of things to do around the house, and not just this weekend, but long term. I have a list of Christmas gifts I need to make/buy (yes, in August). And there are post-its and dry erase boards all over my house. Why? Because, if I don’t write stuff down, I will inevitably forget it. Typically I think of everything when I’m trying to go to bed, and if I don’t write it down right then, I won’t be able to sleep because my mind becomes a broken record for fear that I will forget whatever it is I thought of. Arg!

If you suffer from the same limited memory that I do, accompanied by the bustle of a life filled with family, friends, owning a business and the like, you’re probably wondering what you can do to strengthen your memory and make life just a little bit easier. Well, you’re in luck, because I have some suggestions:

Focus and Repeat
When you recognize that something is important and you need to remember it, focus your mind on it, whether it be something you thought of or something someone told you. Then repeat it over and over again to yourself out loud. The more times you hear something, the more implanted into your brain it becomes. And that’s the goal, to make an imprint on your brain.

Find a Special Place
No, not for meditation, but for your stuff. I am what some might call overly organized, with filing cabinets and a place for everything. This is, again, so that I don’t forget where things are located when I need them (and I still misplace stuff). If I don’t get something back in the location that I designate for it, it is practically inevitable that it is gone for good because there is little chance I will remember where I put it.

My husband can be rather forgetful as well, but he doesn’t have a place for anything really. He tends to misplace his cell phone and keys most frequently, two of the most important things he owns. And it is typically because he just randomly sets them in the closes location to where he is when he wants to put them down. We have put a bowl on his dresser for when he empties his pockets and that seems to help, unless the item was already out of his pocket to begin with.

I, on the other hand, have two hooks by the garage door (where I come and go each day) for my keys and sunglasses. I put them on the hooks when I come home each night and find them there when I need them each morning. It is one less thing I have to worry about trying to locate and really makes for quick access.

Exercise and Eat Right
A healthy body equals a healthy mind. Every heard that phrase? Well, it’s true. Physical exercise helps to increase the circulation of oxygen to your brain, helping it function better. And a healthy diet, complex in the important vitamins and minerals, helps every part of you to stay in good condition.

And you should exercise your brain too. There are games now that do just the thing. On Nintendo DS you can play Brain Age or Brain Boost or, if no one in your house owns a DS, you can go to My Brain Trainer online. All of these provide games, such as simple math, scrambled words and other puzzles, that help to strengthen your brain function.

Carry a Notebook
You could go my husband’s route and write reminders on your hand, but I don’t recommend it simply because it washes off so easily. Instead, since I’m a list maker, I always carry a small notebook (they make them as small as three inches long) in my purse to write things down as I think of them throughout the day. If you don’t have a purse, gentlemen, then carry a 3×5 notecard and a pen in your pocket. Also, many cell phones now come with a call notes function which allows you to record a 30 second reminder to yourself. This comes in handy in large parking lots, so you remember where you parked your car.

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By Michelle Cramer
Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 @ 12:00 AM CDT

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