No-one can remember everything, but how can you make sure you remember the important stuff? I’ve found that the easiest way to control the process that is to acknowledge what you don’t need to remember.
Photo by Tom Grundy (Shutterstock).
For most of my life I’ve been lucky enough to have a very good memory. After working at Lifehacker for a while, however, my ability to recall all sorts of things diminished significantly. I consumed so much information every day that I couldn’t retain it all. As a result, my brain just picked some of what I read as worthy of retention and ditched the rest.
This meant I forgot important dates and events easily while remembering 24 different unusual uses for a hairdryer. In trying to deal with the problem, I found that simply acknowledging what it wasn’t necessary to remember worked better and required less effort than trying to force myself to memorise specific details.
Whenever I come across a piece of information I won’t need to recall later on, I tell myself “this isn’t important”. When I need to remember something, I tell myself that it is important. Actively creating these priorities has made a significant difference in what information sticks around and what doesn’t. If you’re having trouble prioritising your memory, give this a shot and see if it helps you, too.