Quick tricks to boost your workday memory
Monday, July 30, 2018
You're meeting with a trusted client — and you blank on her name. You can't remember for the life of you where you put your pager. You forgot to return one email — which started a chain reaction of confusion among your colleagues regarding tomorrow's presentation.
We've all made a memory-related work mistake or two — it happens when you've got lots on your plate. Here's some good news: There are fast and easy strategies you can employ to effectively jog your memory in the moment, helping you to remember everything you need, no matter how busy your workday is.
Use this research-proven advice:
Follow up a new task with physical activity.
Say you have to learn how to operate a piece of machinery for a product demonstration, and memorize the steps involved. After you use your motor skills to operate the machinery, you can cement the physical procedure you just mastered in your memory by going for a brisk walk around your office building for 15 minutes.
Researchers from McGill University found that a brief period of cardiovascular exercise will strengthen the connection between your muscles and your brain, which helps neural connections that will help you recall the procedure become stronger.
Order Indian food for lunch.
A study from UCLA found that consuming the substance curcumin, which gives Indian curry its bright color, may reduce brain inflammation, helping you remember details better.
In the study, subjects who took a daily supplement of curcumin showed an impressive 28 percent improvement in their cognitive abilities over eighteen months.
Master this easy visual trick.
Reading some data you need to recall perfectly? Move your eyes back and forth a few times over each word you see; this motion of repetition can help your brain store each word more effectively, according to a study from Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.
The researchers report that we tend to do this motion subconsciously when our memory peaks. The process works because it's similar to repeating a phone number or address to ourselves to reinforce our recall.
Drink a bottle of water every two hours.
A study from Georgia Tech found that just 120 minutes of dehydration, especially if you're working in a hot environment, blunts your concentration and logic, which can adversely affect your memory.
The effect can be also be dangerous if you're driving your car to a work meeting — if you haven't consumed enough fluids, you can lose focus, and you're risking an accident. Always carry H20, and/or keep it your desk or in your cup holder so it's easy to sip steadily throughout your workday.
Never forget a name (or face).
Introduced to a new co-worker? Here's a common-sense tip. When he states his name to you, make a point of repeating his or her name back, as in, "It's nice to meet you, Tom."
At the same time, note something significant and memorable about his facial appearance -- the fact that he has a neatly trimmed beard, for instance. Linking these two key elements to memory will provide you with double confirmation of his identity.
You'll automatically think, "Tom's the one with the beard" the next time you encounter him in a group setting. Making the effort to note small details can pay off long-term — and helps you make a personable and professional impression for the future!
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