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Memory Cues: How to Set Yourself Up to Remember

Different types of memory cues

  • Internal memory cues are patterns of thinking that help trigger a specific memory. For example, mental imagery, which involves visualizing a certain scene happening, can serve as an internal reminder of an event that happened.
  • External memory cues are objects or events that trigger a memory that they are associated with. For example, a glass of water next to your bed is an external reminder to drink water when you wake up.

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Memory Cues: How to Set Yourself Up to Remember

Memory Cues: How to Set Yourself Up to Remember

https://effectiviology.com/external-memory-cues/

effectiviology.com

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Key Ideas

Memory cues

They are objects or events that help trigger an action or a memory of that action. 

They can be either intentional (a reminder on our phone) or unintentional (seeing a product at the store which reminds us of something that we forgot to add to our shopping list.)

Different types of memory cues

  • Internal memory cues are patterns of thinking that help trigger a specific memory. For example, mental imagery, which involves visualizing a certain scene happening, can serve as an internal reminder of an event that happened.
  • External memory cues are objects or events that trigger a memory that they are associated with. For example, a glass of water next to your bed is an external reminder to drink water when you wake up.

Example of exernal cues

  • To remember to floss your teeth, put the box with the floss on top of your tube of toothpaste.
  • To remember to take a pill each morning, put the pills next to whatever you usually eat for breakfast.
  • To start the day by writing, put a piece of paper with a reminder on top of your keyboard.
  • You can use your watch as a reminder to take things easy, so that every time you look at it you remember to relax a little.

Implementing memory cues

  • You can set up certain things that will serve as cues. You intentionally set up a certain item or event which will appear at an appropriate time and serve as a reminder. 
  • You can also decide that something which occurs naturally will serve as a cue. You intentionally take advantage of something that you encounter naturally or which occurs naturally in your everyday life, and use it as a reminder for something that you need to do.

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Using reminders

We use memory devices to offload our need to remember everything all the time. But these tools have slowly shifted from a source of calm to just another source of interruption.

For ex...

Reminders and mental space

Reminders give us mental space for more important work. They make sense because we can't remember everything.

They keep our most important priorities top of mind. And studies show how reminders can help us save more money, keep up with medical treatments, and be more charitable.

Reminders: the bad side

  • We’re bombarded by reminders and notifications every day and this can mess up our focus.
  • Reminders cause context switching and distraction. They take our focus away from what we're doing.
  • Good reminders lose their influence quickly. The sheer number of them means we’re more likely to miss the ones we do want to pay attention to.

The Science of Memory

  1. Encoding - the stage when the brain consciously acknowledges information based on our senses. When we attach meaning or factual knowledge to any of this sensory input, that'...

Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Memory

  • Get a good night's sleep or take a power nap after learning something new, to help retain and retrieve memories better. Sleep deprivation and acquisition of too much information will not help you save those memories.
  • Get moving, to improve the flow of oxygen-rich blood in your brain and to trigger neuron growth and new connections in the brain - critical for memory.
  • Improve your diet. Fats from food can build up the brain, resulting to poor blood flow.

Mnemonics

Any system or device designed to aid memory:

  • patterns of letters or words (common mnemonics)
  • ideas (memory palace)
  • associations (chunking)

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47/times a day

...is the number we check our phones  on a daily basis. 

And nearly double that if we’re between the ages of 18 and 24. 

We’re no longer weighed down by having to retain trivial data, since all the information we need is one click away, and so we are left with greater cognitive space and with a hard time process...

We’re no longer weighed down by having to retain trivial data, since all the information we need is one click away, and so we are left with greater cognitive space and with a hard time processing the information we take in to form memories.

2 kinds of memories

  • explicit, created through conscious experience;
  • implicit, which form when past experiences affect us, sometimes without our knowledge.

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