7 tips to keep you from forgetting things

9 mins read
7 tips to keep you from forgetting things

7 tips to keep you from forgetting things

Your brain is a complex network of neural connections that allow you to successfully perform extremely complex tasks. In fact, thanks to it, we as humans can acquire and develop new knowledge, learn a new craft, and even build rockets that take us to the moon. However, your brain does not work perfectly and can sometimes lead you to stupid mistakes that can cost you quite a lot.

This paradoxical functionality of the mind leads to the question of why sometimes you forget things and what you can do to remember certain things you need to do. In this article, we will briefly touch on the causes of forgetfulness. Next, we’ll give you seven tips to help you remember things.

There are several factors that can cause you to forget. They often involve changes in your environment or yourself. With these changes, your memory can weaken over time, with contextual changes and conflicts.


The passage of time is one of the factors that has a huge impact on your memory. In fact, in terms of your daily experience, you tend to forget information if you don’t review it. This is because traces of most memories fade over time.

Baddeley, Eysenck, and Anderson (2010) confirm that the reason for forgetting over time is the weakening of memory traces. This idea of ​​weakening over time is known as the decay theory. It is an unproven statement and is not exempt from criticism. Therefore, it cannot be considered as a cause in itself. However, it is associated with two other factors: contextual fluctuations and interference.

Contextual changes

Contextual fluctuations or changes can mean that you forget more when your context of receiving information does not fit the context in which you encoded the information.

This forgetting curve is based on the fact that scenarios change over time. As a result, the import and encode context becomes very different. Naturally, this doesn’t make memory retrieval any easier.


The initiative recommends accumulating experience and structuring new memories. This makes it difficult for you to access the information you have stored. Also, the more similar the information, the more likely interference will occur.

As a result of the interference, the information in your long-term memory may be confused or combined with other information during encoding. This can distort or interrupt your memories (McLeod, 2008). Interference can be of two types. It can be retroactive (new information interferes with the memory of the old) or proactive (old information interferes with the memory of the new).

Seven tips to help you remember
Based on the explanations we briefly reviewed, we’ve developed seven tips to help you remember what to do.

7 tips to keep you from forgetting things

1. Take notes

We have seen that memory weakens as time passes. Therefore, you must help your cognitive system. For example, you can write down the tasks you need to do in an agenda or a post-it note. Because writing not only helps you remember but also makes it easier to consolidate information. Because you’re reviewing it as you write.

2. Relax

High levels of stress can negatively affect the cognitive processes involved in the formation of your explicit memories (Sandi, 2012).

Sometimes you get overwhelmed and stressed by the number of things you have to do. This means that you are not giving your brain time to process and properly encode the information you want to remember later. Therefore, taking a few seconds to relax, breathe, and take a break can help you remember what you need to do.

3.use your feelings

You tend to better remember events in which intense emotions are permeated. This has been proven in several studies. Indeed, they confirm the fact that emotional events are remembered more than neutral ones. Therefore, emotional arousal positively affects long-term memory performance (Cahill and McGaugh, 1995; Bradley et al., 1992).

Based on the foregoing, you can associate tasks with some kind of emotion, preferably pleasant, to increase the likelihood of remembering what to do. In this way, you will facilitate the consolidation in your memory. For example, you can think about what you want to achieve and associate it with the task. For example, if you have to do math homework, you can attribute it to your desire to graduate and how happy you will feel when you do it.

4. Organize things to do

We’ve seen that similar information tends to produce interference. Therefore, when planning your pending tasks, you should try to avoid scheduling two identical tasks for the same day as much as possible. Because they can interfere with each other while trying to remember them.

5. Use multiple undo hints

Another way to remember is to create a few undo hints. However, they should be important or meaningful to you. “Retrieval depends on the number and quality of cues present at the time of recall. Import may fail when irrelevant hints are used. Retrieval may fail when a previously relevant clue changes over time” (Baddeley, Eysenck, & Anderson, 2010, p. 229).

To achieve this, you can set an alarm to remind you of the task, write a note and paste it in a visible place, or ask someone to help you remember it when the time comes, etc.

6. Sleep well

You need to have well-coded and stored information so that you don’t forget what you need to do. In fact, you need to reinforce the instruction so that you can remember it later. There is one process that can help you with this consolidation: sleep.

Diekelmann et al (2013) conducted research showing that sleep can benefit your memory. In other words, it has a positive effect on remembering to do something (forward component) and remembering what to do (retrospective component). Therefore, you should always try to make sure you sleep well.

Sleep is one of the processes that helps you remember.

7. Encode and undo in the same place

We know that information is remembered more easily when the signals present during encoding are also present when the information is received (Tulving, 1974). On this basis, the key to remembering what you need to do is to try to remember where you encoded that information.

For example, if you have an assignment due to the university in three days, the best thing you can do is save this information (“I have to turn in an assignment in three days”) in the room where you study and spend the most time. In other words, you encode information where you intend to retrieve it.

Therefore, you should not try to hide such information, for example when traveling on a bus, because this is not where you want to get it. The point is that the context you encode or store should be the same as where you will remember it. So, if you have a choice, make sure you choose to take an exam in the room where you are being trained.


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