If you have trouble with prospective memory or planning skills, several memory games — both online and offline — may keep you from forgetting your keys or your wallet, or some other important item before leaving the house in the morning.
Learning simple, practical, productive memory habits will further boost your ability to avoid everyday slips.
I often recommend that people check a daily calendar first thing in the morning. That’s because when you take a moment to review the details of the day’s tasks, it helps you to recall what items will be needed for the day.
Another simple habit that can help eliminate the inconvenience of misplacing keys, glasses, or other frequently used items is to create what are called “memory places.”
Make a conscious effort to put such objects in the same place each time you finish using them.
For instance, if you put your cell phone next to your car keys every evening, it’s far less likely you’ll ever drive off without your phone.
These practical habits are even more effective when you develop a degree of mindfulness. By consciously focusing on what you are doing in the present moment, it becomes easier to remember where things are placed and what information you might need to retrieve later.
Being mindful can also help quiet anxiety during those frustrating tip-of-the-tongue moments, when the tendency is to become frustrated.
Worse yet, that anxiety only makes it more difficult to focus attention and retrieve the memory you’re searching for.
Practicing these useful strategies will augment basic memory techniques, further boost your cognitive abilities, and help compensate for common and not-so-common age-related memory slips.
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