A certain degree of forgetfulness is normal in every individual (except in the case of senility or memory loss). But when it occurs frequently and for ordinary or really important stuff, and when it leads you to embarrassing situations, it’s time to take a step or two, concerning improvement of your memory.
- Have definite storage spaces for stuff you tend to misplace, like umbrella, pens, comb, purse etc. Make it a point to put them back in the same place after use.
- Vehicles may be parked at a usual spot, so it becomes a habit.
- Carry a day planner to note down things to remember. Make use of sticky notes in readily viewable places, set alarms, Microsoft Outlook reminders and calendar apps.
- Jot down new names in a handbook and review this often.
- Pay attention to what’s happening. Familiarity and distractions also lead to absent mindedness.
- In scenarios like when you enter a room and forget why, say what you want to do beforehand and visualise doing it.
- To remember to do something at the right time, incorporate it into daily routine. E.g. take medicine right after food, switch off light and fan before leaving a room etc.
- Do not put off doing something when you remember it.
- To remember names of people, try the Name-Face method.
- Get the name correctly. Ask to repeat or spell if you didn’t hear properly. Repeat back and try using the name few times in conversation.
- Make the name memorable for you. Done by asking for the literal meaning, finding substitute words in your head, splitting the syllables etc. (E.g. Ankita – that which is inscribed; Alvin = All + Win)
- Associate the name with a memorable facial feature that is not changeable, like a dimple, long nose.
- Review the name and feature once in a while.
- To remember big numbers and spellings, chunk into small groups using dash or space. (E.g. cell phone number 994-636-9351)
- To memorize list, find a link between two items which is then linked to a third and so on.
- To by-heart a passage, locate the key words and associate meaning with mental image. Make an index card out of them. Key words help remember the description and simplifies the content.
- If you forget a train of thought while speaking, ask listener directly to remind you.
- Seek help from a companion to remind you of something at a specific time.
- Take your forgetfulness in a lighter vein among friends and laugh it off.
- Give workout for the mind by engaging in memory exercises and brain games. Crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, board games and numeric puzzles like Sudoku will do.
- Take brain foods such as nuts, coloured vegetables, fish, spinach, milk, apple, banana, turmeric, chocolate, whole grains.
- Get enough sleep, eat breakfast, exercise (brisk walking, jogging, cycling)
- Sharpen mind with activities like learning to play a musical instrument, outdoor games.