The To-do List
Belinda @ Kids Matter
The older you get, the better you understand that your to-do list never really shortens. It just gets longer and longer because we find that we forget more and more. Parents have a large to-do list because they have many things to get accomplished for each child, their life, and work. Grandparents have a lengthy to-do list simply so they can remember what it is that they need to do. When we are parents with small children we think, “Oh, for the day when my to-do list is shorter.” Yeah, it never happens.
The other day I overheard someone say they needed to make a reminder to eat. Seriously? I would think that would be something we could all remember without having to write it down. If your life is so chaotic that you can’t remember to eat, then I think we need to look at some stress reduction tips. For those I would refer you back to the Stress Free Work Environment blog. Those tips can be applied whether you work or are a stay-at-home parent. The whole point is to stress less.
For those of us having trouble with memory and making our to-do lists unnecessarily longer, I suggest a few memory boosting techniques.
1. Exercise is not only good for the body, but also the brain. “The brain depends on energy received through a constant intake of oxygen and nutrients from the bloodstream, and when those nutrients don't arrive, the brain's ability to work is compromised,” as stated on Discovery Channel.
2. Visualization is another great trick but can seem overwhelming. The idea is to make a mental image of something. Images are easier to remember than words, times, dates, numbers… etc. Say for instance your child had a doctor’s appointment Friday after school. Picture your child getting out of school on Friday holding a sign that says Dr. When you recall that image it reminds you what you have to do Friday after school.
3. Repetition is an important factor in remembering. When someone gives you a phone number, repeat it several times and write it down. Just practicing what you heard is a great memory boost. Per Discovery Channel online, “researchers have found that people have a 30 percent better chance of remembering a name when they repeat it as soon as they learn it.”
4. Set reminders. Use those technological wonders we love so much. Set reminders for appointments on your phone, computer, or whatever you use to stay connected. Set alarms, set reminders, and use your online to-do list builders. Don’t go month to month with birthdays and anniversaries. When you set them up, set them as annual reminders and you won’t have to remember to put them in every year.
5. Laugh, yes you read correctly. Laughter is essential for the brain. “Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to specific areas of the brain, laughter engages multiple regions across the whole brain,” says Help Guide. Laughter also reduces stress in our lives which allows us to remember more easily.Per Help Guide, “The human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change—even into old age. This ability is known as neuroplasticity. With the right stimulation, your brain can form new neural pathways, alter existing connections, and adapt and react in ever-changing ways.” So, we know it’s possible to improve our memory. We just have to make the time and have the desire to work on it. So, don’t forget to work on your memory techniques.