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OFF-TOPIC Bad memory, any solutions?

Discussion in 'Off Topic: Sports, Funnies, Pop-Culture' started by BlackHollow, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. BlackHollow
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    BlackHollow New Contributor

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    I seem to be catching up to my Mother is short order! I have a bad case of CRS, can't remember sh*t. My memory has got to the point of being ruled by Post-it Notes. If I don't write something down, I will forget in less that 5 minutes. While I use to brush it off as a blonde moment, it's to the point where it is causing problems.

    Example; I was running low on cutting fluid on one of my verticle mills, and told myself I needed to order a gallon jug of the fluid. I probably forgot as soon as I set the next part up to machine. Here it is, three days later, and I am out and still have parts to machine. :bgh:

    It's to the point now that it is frustrating, VERY frustrating. My desk looks like I let my 7 year old loose with a stack of sticky notes and a pen. I have notes ranging from "Eye drops 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, and before bed" to "oil for car" and "lunch w/Dave at 1pm". I swear too, if I don't scan all my notes constantly, I will forget at least a few of them, if not most all.

    It's not only frustrating, but it is causing problems with my business. Kind of hard to have a product designed, manufactured and delivered when I forget to design the stupid thing, then after remembering to design it, forget to order the material! I'm only 37, and no, I don't do drugs.

    Any ideas on ways to revitalize ones memory? I've tried the Ginkgo Biloba like it was candy, and all that did was cost me money with nothing in return. I'm thinking I should talk to my doctor, but other than some mind exercises or something, is there really any medical treatment for this?

    Sincerely,

    ................. um, I forgot....
     
  2. andviv
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    andviv Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    try an electronic agenda

    maybe an electronic agenda (palm pilot type of thing, or a windows mobile system) could help you meanwhile, as those things have alarms when setup as reminders. But please, do not lose it!!


    About how to improve or revitalize memory, no, sorry, no ideas from me.
     
  3. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I am suffering the same problem -- intense scatterbrain. My trip to CA was the only relief I recently had ... i think its just life, at least, I hope.
     
  4. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I am a firm believer that your mind is like every other part of your body. With training and exercise it will become stronger. If you don't use your memory it will get worse and worse. It will atrophy just like any muscle.

    Do you ever think back to the days before cell phones when you actually remember ALL your friend's phone numbers? I challenge you to remember just 5 of your friend's numbers by heart now.

    With technology, we use our memories less and less because we can carry a pocket sized device with everything! Even going to a simple store or your friend's house is not memorized now because of GPS systems.

    Seriously, you need to just exercise your brain. I can do math in my head pretty fast. It's not cause I don't have a calculator, but I consciously work out complicated problems in my head. I want my brain to get some exercise!

    What I suggest is that you start by playing a simple memory game like SIMON. Here is a link to it.

    http://www.freegames.ws/games/kidsgames/simon/simon.htm

    Try it out once a day and see if your score improves.

    I just played it and scored a 20.
     
  5. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Regarding this situation, it seems like you need to anchor your memory with something. What this means is that when you tell yourself you need to do something, you must associate it with something you will remember it.

    It's like meeting someone in person. When they introduce themselves, you should remember their name and notice one thing about the person. So if a guy says "My name is Bob." you shake his hand and notice that he's wearing red hat and you consciously say to yourself in your head "Bob, red hat."

    So even if you think in your head "I need a gallon of fluid", you really need stop and say to yourself, "I need to get a gallon of fluid after work today" and maybe jingle your keys or something. Sometime later when you jingle your keys it may trigger your memory and you'll get the gallon of fluid!

    When I make a memory list before going to the store, the one thing I remember is the number of items on the list. I'll go in thinking 10. I've got 10 items to get. I obviously try to remember them all, but when I've got only 9 items at checkout, I know I missed something. I can usually remember what it was at that time. The point is your can't remember what you forgot cause you didn't remember it so you don't even know to try to remember it. Make sense? :smilielol:
     
  6. BlackHollow
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    BlackHollow New Contributor

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    Clear as mud!! LOL. Thanks for the tips, and the link. I'll try that. Funny, one of the things I did as an EMT/Firefighter was to tell a patient to remember something for me before I started my assessment. "Yellow ball, red taxi cab." I would repeat it a couple of times, and tell them I would ask them again when we got inside the ambulance. If they remembered it, that would give me an indication of LOC (level of consciousnss). Since people would usually associate redwith a ball andyellowwith a taxi cab, I always thought it was a good metal test.

    I guess I need to find some of those mental tests to use on myself. Things I do repetitively seem to stick with me no problem. And I actually do remember phone numbers, at least those that I frequently call. I don't have many in my cell phone's contacts.

    Thanks again!
    Bob
     
  7. JesseO
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    JesseO Contributor

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    I'm in the same boat as you, only to a lesser extent. I get 3-5 phone calls a day for things that a tenant wants; air filters, stove not working, A/C went out, wants a dog, saying they'll pay late, etc. If I don't put each and every item down on a piece of paper, I've forgotten about it by the time I get the first call done. My main problem is that I tend to remember all these things at night and it keeps me awake remembering things that I needed to do but didn't get done. Normally I'd just work an extra half hour or hour and take care of things, but I tend to have forgotten about them until my mind is at total rest. I've probably gone through 3 sticky note pads just for reminders...and counting :wink:
     
  8. Yankees338
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    Yankees338 Bronze Contributor

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    I'm no medical expert, but my dad's a doctor and he shares stuff like this with me all the time (he's a chiropractor/acupuncturist so my views may be biased, but the solutions don't involve drugs or anything). A lot of times, he'll say problems like these can be caused by stress. Something to relieve stress could be acupuncture (don't be afraid of the needles) or eating better. I know there are pills out there that could help - perhaps something like that Focus Factor (I have no idea of the quality of it though)? All of these are just suggestions, but they won't hurt to try. The associating sounds like a good idea too, as do the mind games. Good luck!
     
  9. Jason_MI
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    I'm a moderatly-severe ADD. I can remember something for...oh....HEY! is that a squirrel?

    About that long.

    I do two things: 1) I have a notebook, with individual pages for each thing I'm working on, supposed to do, supposed to study, whatever. It's got it all in there; even a 'daily' page to remind me to come here and look around, rather than get sidetracked by new JG pics on google. I work the notebook; each day, I go through each page, see where I'm at, eat my frog and make the difficult calls, then move on to the next. And I note it.

    2) I carry a small notebook and write EVERYTHING down. An idea, an appointment, a thought, something I need to do, something I should do. Then I schedule those things; it can be as simple as adding an item to a grocery list to starting a new notebook page for a new idea and then working it.

    I'm probably 3 times as old as anyone here; and there ain't no retraining of this brain going to happen, nor, quite frankly, do I want to; so I need to work within those constraints.
     
  10. kimberland
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    kimberland Bronze Contributor

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    I've lived my entire life with a memory "problem".
    If you paid me a million dollars to tell you what 7*8 is unaided,
    I couldn't tell you.

    I work with Jason's notebook idea
    (and yes, we derived that solution separately).
    I have to do lists.
    I have address books.
    I have project binders for new business development.
    I try to do things when I think of them rather than later.
    If I have to take something special to work,
    I leave it near the front door.
    Friends know to remind me about their birthdays or events or heck, even my own birthday (forgot that one year, until someone called me).
    My wedding date is engraved in the inside of my wedding ring.

    Basically, what we're talking about is systems
    and being organized
    and taking action rather than doing it later
    and delegating low level remembering to other people
    and trusting your gut about people rather than past actions.
    All these skills more than make up for the lack of memory.

    Oh, and I swear that my lack of memory is why I'm so darn happy
    (that and maybe all those sex scenes I write).
    I don't hold grudges.
    I may never deal with you again
    but I won't remember why my gut says not to.

    : )
     
  11. Russ H
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    Russ H Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    whups-- double post! :p
     
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  12. Russ H
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    Russ H Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I'd seen Kimber's response on the RD site, and was impressed back then.

    Every successful person is an over-achiever at some level, I think.

    Because everyone has to deal with family, relationships, paying bills, making enough *to* pay the bills, etc.

    And the most successful folks, at least to my eyes, tend to be the ones that work harder at what they're not so good at, so that everything else runs smoothly.

    (or, if you're really lucky, you marry someone who has complimentary traits, and you both are better together than apart-- most awesome).

    Blackhollow-

    I just use my Treo. It has 3 things that make up for my failing memory (and the fact that I load 10x more stuff into my days than I did when I was 25):

    1. Contact phone#s. My phone asks me--automatically-- if I want to put the number in my contacts file every time a new number comes in (either if they call me, or I call them). Fast, convenient.

    2. To do list. I've used the Palm To do list a bit differently than most folks, assigning DAYS as categories. That way, I can move things to days I want to do them-- in my to do list, not my calendar. And as I get them done, I delete them. Works for me.

    3. Calendar. This has become my life saver. I put important things to do-- or meetings-- with alarms that remind me. Say I have to stop by the printers to approve a proof, but I know that i will be so buried on the phone and on jobsites that I will completely forget. I have my phone "alarm" me at a certain time each day (say, 11 am), and the alarm repeats until I mark it as done. I can also reschedule the alarm for later in the day (say, if I have a meeting and don't want alarms going off).

    When I first put the task in, I set it to repeat for at least 2 weeks-- this way, if I'm buried and there is no way I'm gonna get to it today, I know that if I mark it "done" for today, I'll automatically hear it again tomorrow, and the next day, and on and on.

    Again, this stuff works for me. Your mileage may vary. ;)

    It's all about finding something that works for *you*-- no matter how strange it might seem.

    -Russ H.
     
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  13. BlackHollow
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    BlackHollow New Contributor

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    Thanks a bunch everyone! I had to stop by Sprawl*Mart this morning so I picked up a pack of pocket sized notebooks. I'll have to look into a Palm or something similar. The key will be to remember to look at my notebooks!
     
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  14. kidgas
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    kidgas Contributor

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    In a recent article in Businessweek, I read that people can really only focus on 3 tasks (goals) at one time. So, maybe you have too much on your plate. I am going to figure out what are my three most important goals over the next several months and focus solely on them.
     
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  15. Russ H
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    Russ H Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Sorry to sound sexist, but this article was obviously NOT written by a mom! :smilielol:

    Most moms are masterful multitaskers!

    I see my wife handle dozens of things simultaneously each day.

    I can't do it.

    That's where my Treo comes in-- it's my extra brain. :)

    -Russ H.

    PS And please, no jokes about how it takes advanced electronics to make me perform as well as a woman! ;)
     
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  16. JesseO
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    JesseO Contributor

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    lol

    Sometimes basic electronics perform better than us men :blush:
     
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  17. Russ H
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    Russ H Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Yep. Until the batteries wear down.

    Still, you don't want to have a long electrical cord on one of them things-Ouch! :D
     
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  18. kimberland
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    kimberland Bronze Contributor

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    Actually studies have shown that
    while women can successfully multi-task,
    men have challenges.


    : )
     
  19. BlackHollow
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    BlackHollow New Contributor

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    My wife is a master multi-tasker...... she is a 911 dispatch supervisor. I spent 14 years on the other end of the radio, but would never ever think of doing her job!

    OK, now how do I get one of those "my mood" thingys?
     
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  20. Peter2
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    Peter2 Fastane Legend. RIP.

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    You can carry around a note that says, don't forget to remember that you have bad memory. :rofl:

    On a serious note, there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and brain function. I managed to get my IQ from 141 to 151 by adding several nootropics or "smart drugs" to my diet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootropic
     

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