6 strategies for boosting your memory at work

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Everyone forgets something at some time. Most often it’s what we went into the store for when we walk out with two bags of crisps, chocolate, and wine. Over the past year, thanks to hardly ever leaving our homes, it might be what day of the week it is.

These are fairly innocuous and aren’t likely to have a major impact on our lives, but when it comes to work and we forget stuff like meeting times or task deadlines, it can become a real issue. This article compiles some tips and tricks to show you how to boost your memory at work.

Reduce stress

Yes, we know how that sounds. There’s a pandemic and it’s incredibly stressful because of working-from-home, home-schooling, and the ever-present threat that someone you care about could become sick or lose their job. To make matters worse, the usual ways to reduce stress, like going to see friends or getting a massage, aren’t safe options right now.

It’s important though (now even more than ever) to take time for yourself, especially if you’re trying to look after everyone else. Go for a walk, take a bath, or shut yourself in your bedroom to run through a meditation session on a free app once a day. If these don’t work, try aromatherapy, a good work-out or even some over-the-counter stress relievers. If you can’t manage by yourself make sure to consult your doctor because long-term stress can cause serious health issues.

Once your stress levels are reduced, your memory performance will likely begin returning to normal in just seven days.

Sleep more

From stress reduction we leap to getting enough sleep. Stressed people are often sleep-deprived, and deep sleep is vital to memory consolidation. Top tips include restricting screen time before bed, getting some exercise during the day, and getting the right temperature in your bedroom. Does your head start churning out to-do lists when you really ought to be sleeping? Putting a pen and notebook on your nightstand will help with emptying your head for a good night’s rest.

Write stuff down

Your thoughts late at night aren’t the only thing you might consider writing down. Even though the world is increasingly digital and we often put all our appointments on a calendar app, the reality is they’re not as reliable as they seem. For one thing, you’ll only get the reminder if our phone is on and not muted. For another, it’s easy to ignore calendar notifications, especially when in the middle of another task, because you may dismiss it as a Twitter notification or a text.

Why not go old-school, grab some cheap pens and write down all your appointments and any other vital information. You may find that crossing through a completed task on a to-do list feels more satisfying than keeping track digitally. If you run your own business, you can even get cheap personalised pens from National Pen that promote your business and can be given out to employees and customers as well as keep everything on track.

Stop multi-tasking

Your brain is not designed to cope with the constant switching of attention that multi-tasking requires. Watching TV while making lunch probably won’t be detrimental to either task, but if you’re trying to take part in a Zoom call while typing a report, you’ll run into problems and be unable to recall information later.

It’s not always possible to focus solely on work if you have children or dependant relatives at home with you all the time but try. Ask them to watch TV, play, read, or sleep while you work so that you can concentrate.

Pay attention

Once you stop multitasking, you can pay attention to what is being said in the moment, whether that’s a concerted effort to remember your new co-workers’ name or the task that your boss assigns you.

Putting these tips into play should help you remember things more clearly. If not, there are some great tricks to help you memorise information, and incorporating these can help to increase your retention. Make sure to find a method or a system that works for you, and that might mean having to try more than one strategy. Good luck!

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Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Yahoo Small Business.