“Nancy, I often turn my back and realize I’ve forgotten what my client has just told me. What’s wrong?”
While there may be medical reasons for reduced memory that a doctor needs to sort out, it is likely this type of forgetfulness is simple to explain.
We have 3 forms of memory – short term, long term and sensory. Short term memory can only store a small amount of information, just 7 pieces at any time.
Yet we expect ourselves to recall every bit of data we come across each day. Well, our brain actually receives 50,000 messages a day, and the physical structure of our brain cannot support all of it being easily recalled from short term memory.
If you want to remember something, it needs to be installed into long-term memory, which is like a computer database. But moving something from short to long term memory is actually a process, so if you aren’t processing it, the information will be tossed out as being irrelevant.
I support my brain function by using a variety of memory tools, such as mnemonics. One type is to take the first letter of each word and turn it into another. So a short grocery list of milk, oranges, newspaper, eggs and yams becomes the word ‘money’. I don’t always remember everything but this certainly helps!
I also take notes or use a voice recording to capture important information that I don’t need forever, but need nevertheless.
Action – Google the word ‘mnemonics’ or the phrase ‘improve your memory’. Find tools that fit your learning style and desired outcomes.
Many of these simple techniques can sharply improve your memory and your success.