The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

February 6, 2013

Susan Miller: How to remember not to forget

During a corporate retreat, a facilitator asked participants what animal they would like to trade places with if they could no longer be a human. Honestly, I can’t remember why she asked the question, but I do remember my response.

After some thought about what animal traits would serve me best at work, I settled on the elephant. Not because I need any help in the sags and bags department, mind you. Rather, I’d like to believe there is truth in the saying that an elephant never forgets.

Few moments are as anxiety-producing as that second when you remember the call you forgot to make, the form you neglected to mail or the child you forget to pick up early from practice.

Forgetting is also annoying. How many times have you gone to the office supply store to buy copy paper only to return with four packs of pens, an office-sized pack of Twizzlers and no copy paper?

The uber-organized may scoff at those of us with a memory impediment, citing the prevalence of scheduling tools and apps. I sometimes get annoyed at those Outlook messages that remind me of a conference call I’d rather forget!

But even in an age of unparalleled connectivity, we can’t always write an idea down or tap it into an app. Let’s say you’re swimming at the gym, surfing on vacation or singing in the shower and an idea comes to mind.

Hopefully, you won’t interrupt the moment to track down a Post-It or access your smartphone. Note to those of you considering the $80 waterproof case. Despite commercials showing scuba divers using their “waterproof” phones, trust me, they’re not that waterproof.  

Paula Rizzo, who founded the List Producer blog, recently shared the following tips for remembering a task when you can’t stop and write it down.

◆ Focus on an object: When you remember what you need to do — look at something that will jog your memory about it later. If you need to buy toothpaste and you’re at the gym, focus on the TV where the news anchor is smiling.  

◆ Put something out of place: When you think of a task you must remember, take an object like a cup and put it in a place where it doesn’t belong. Think about what you want to remember and walk away. Later on you’ll say, “Why is this here?” and it will help you recall the earlier task.

◆ Say it out loud: Verbalize a task as you do it. Say, “I’m setting my alarm for 6:30 tomorrow morning.” You’re now using your eyes and your ears to reinforce the task you want to remember.   

◆ Tell someone about it: The act of telling someone about something you need to do holds you accountable and may even prompt the other person to bring it up.

Enduring the consequences of forgetfulness can also prevent recurrences. If you don’t want to suffer the consequences of a memory lapse, remember that next Thursday is Valentine’s Day!

Susan Miller is owner of Ewing Miller Communications, an Anderson-based marketing and public relations firm. Her column appears on the first Thursday of the month. Write to her at susan@ewingmiller.com.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • OPN - Mootry column mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Primus Mootry: There is a poet in each of us April is National Poetry Month. Throughout the country, colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, libraries and various publications have hosted poetry readings or featured unpublished poets.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • underwood mug [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Nightmares from high school proms past I wore a salmon-colored tuxedo with a cummerbund and tails to my senior prom. I was 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds. A beanpole.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hayden, Maureen mug Maureen Hayden: Judge in gay marriage decision no activist

    When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn’t resonate with those who know Young well.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd mug [Duplicate] Charo Boyd: Social Security goes green on Earth Day and every day For years, Social Security has been at the forefront of offering convenient, easy-to-use, and secure online services. We, along with those we serve, have saved a lot of paper, shipping costs, and fuel — and cut back on a lot of carbon exhaust and pollution — by going online instead of doing things the old-fashioned, less efficient way.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clark, Big Joe mug [Duplicate] 'Big Joe' Clark: Understanding the risks within fixed income investments Many retirees associate the concept of taking “risk” with the equity markets. However, as 2013 demonstrated, there is also principal risk in the fixed income arena if an untimely liquidation requires you to sell bonds and generate income.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Will you vote in the primary election on May 6?

Yes, on May 6
Yes, will vote early
No
     View Results