A Clear Conscience is Usually the Sign of a Bad Memory.

I thought this was particularly relevant with my chronic absentmindedness. As I write this, the TV is on and distracting me. I actually forgot what the premise of this post is supposed to be. Luckily I wrote it down. Things to help with memory! I’ve used several of these myself day to day and find I would not be able to function without them.

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Remembering names that go with faces.
I can always recognize someone’s face but most of the time I can’t remember his or her name for the life of me. One thing I use to help remember is by saying the name after you are introduced. Pay close attention to the name and picture the spelling, ask if the name is Sara or Sarah. Try to create an association with the name, such as a childhood friend or family member with the same or similar name.

With hard to remember names it is often easiest to create link between a physical characteristic and their name. I know when I introduced Paul to my extended family, my young cousin used to call him ‘Spike’ because he always had his hair gelled into spikes. I think the long version of her nickname for him was ‘Spikey Paw’ which sounds similar to ‘Spikey Paul’. There is a physical characteristic there and something that sounds similar to Paul.

Use the name a couple times during your conversation and when you say goodbye to really lock it into place.

Finding frequently misplaced items
I am forever losing my phone, not in public or anything, but within the confines of my own house. I put it down and something gets placed over top or I walk away from it, and then panic because I can’t find it.

Try to train yourself to place things in a similar place all the time. Have a basket close by to place things like glasses, keys, phones, wallets, or anything else you might have a hard time keeping track of.

Pay close attention when you are putting something down; in your mind, think, ‘I am putting my phone on the coffee table’. This way it is a little easier to track down frequently lost items.

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Reminding yourself of a To-Do list
Use a physical reminder. Carol Vorderman, author of Super Brain: 101 Easy Ways to a More Agile Mind states, seeing a stack of bills on your desk is not unusual. Placing a shoe or piece of fruit on top will draw your attention to them and bring up your memory to pay them.

Singing and rhyming to remember short item lists, like groceries or a trip to the hardware store. Singing your grocery list to the tune of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ or ‘Happy Birthday’ will help secure it in your mind.

Use mnemonic devices such as ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge’ to remember music notes. You can make up your own to remember just about anything. I remember to this very day I used ‘Creatures Zigzaged In Front of My Purple Car’ to remember the chemical composition of bones; Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Fluoride, Magnesium, Phosphorus and… okay I can’t remember what the last ‘C’ was, but that isn’t too bad for something I made up close to ten years ago.

Remembering Passwords
We have so many passwords now that this is a particularly good one. Mostly this works best for numbers, but try to find something that rhymes with the password you’re using. Rhyming numbers to words allows to create a funny yet memorable story; two and shoe, three and key, four and door.

I for word pass codes into a website, I usually try to pick something I will associate with the website itself.  For example, if you’re signing into Tumblr, you could use ‘drier96’ because your drier cycle is 96 minutes long.

A word on the tip of your tongue
I use this one all the time; sometimes words just need a little help on the way out. When you’re trying to remember the name of a movie or a word, say your ABC’s. When you hit the letter at the beginning of the word you’re searching for, it should trigger the memory of the actual word itself.

Now, you might ask what all this has to do with knitting. It’s really not directly related, but I will tell you knitting preserves memories. When I look at something I’ve made, I can tell you exactly what I was watching on TV, conversations I had while going over certain parts and places I was while knitting said garment. I have an afghan that I worked on while Paul and I were in Muskoka for Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago. There are a few other things, like the socks I worked on while my Dad was in the hospital, the sweater I made after my concussion or the feeling of anticipation I had while trying to finish a particularly difficult pair of mittens.

Let me know how these tips worked out. I do have some more, I’ll share them next week if everyone likes this post!