How To Keep Your Memory Sharp

July 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Where are my car keys? What’s that guy’s name again? What did I come in here for? All of these are questions we have probably asked ourselves in the past week. We are pushed to accomplish more and more in a day and when you are in a hurry or in a social situation it can be easy to forget tasks or details.

Luckily, for most of us, having a little memory lapse doesn’t mean Alzheimer’s or dementia. While being forgetful can increase as we age, there are some ways we can help our memory. Here is a list of memory boosting tips:

Habits – If you think about it, there may be a pattern to your forgetfulness. Do you have a bad habit of laying your purse or wallet down in random spots when you walk in your house? Designate a specific spot for those items that are frequently misplaced and make it a habit to always use The Spot.

Focus –  We all have a million things rushing through our head at any given time. If you are in a social situation try to quiet the list running through your mind. Be diligent about actually listening to the person you are talking to. When a new person tells you their name, repeat it back to them. And don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat themselves if you didn’t quite catch what they said.

Association – Many people use this tool to help them remember the names of people. If you meet someone new, try to pick out a distinguishing feature. This could be their clothes, shoes or maybe a song that is playing in the room when you meet. Yesterday, I met someone named Janeen and she had white-blond hair. I have another friend named Janeen with the same color hair. I associated the two women so I can better remember the new woman’s name.

Organization – Making lists or jotting down a note can do wonders if you are trying to remember to do certain tasks in your day. Make a list the morning or night before when you are relaxed. If you wait until you are rushed and “in the moment” you will surely forget something. Take notes the way you are comfortable with. If you already carry around a calendar or notebook, use that to write down reminders or if you carry a smart phone, most of them have an App where you can type in notes and even organize them by category. The key to making this work for you, is to actually stop to make a note when you think “I need to remember that”. If you wait until you get home, you will probably forget.

Prioritize – This will help you remember all of your tasks and also make you more organized in the process. When you wake up in the morning or arrive at work, your lists of tasks automatically starts running through your head. There are obviously things that are top priority, for me, in the morning it’s usually…coffee. But seriously, when you start your day with a list of things that need to be accomplished, decide what is most important and must be done today. One other trick you might want to consider, is starting with your easiest tasks first. We all know that it’s the little things we need to do that sometimes get lost in the shuffle of the day. This can also help because once you clear some of the little things off your list, you will be able to focus on the bigger tasks of the day that may actually be the highest priority.

Do you have any memory tricks you use? Let us know in the comments below.

The Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC is located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients.  The office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.

   Every day of every week, Weekly Law is there for you.

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