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The mental cost of reminders: Is offloading memory worth the interruptions?

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 example, you're working and you suddenly hear a notification pop, reminding you of a meeting in 30 minutes. Your brain will go in the meeting mode and you won't be able to go back to the task you were doing.

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The mental cost of reminders: Is offloading memory worth the interruptions?

The mental cost of reminders: Is offloading memory worth the interruptions?

https://blog.rescuetime.com/cost-of-reminders/

blog.rescuetime.com

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Key Ideas

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 example, you're working and you suddenly hear a notification pop, reminding you of a meeting in 30 minutes. Your brain will go in the meeting mode and you won't be able to go back to the task you were doing.

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.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Don’t Rely On Your Memory

If you want to remember things, don't rely on your memory. Put it in writing or in a digital notebook.

Make Back-Ups Of Everything
  • Make sure to back up your computer files.
  • Make duplicates for your car and home keys.
  • Scan your IDs, passports and bank details, and put it all in a secured folder on your computer.

Keep all your financial records, birth certificates, land titles and insurance in one folder, preferably in a safe.

Have a designated place for everything
  • Sort out your clothes, cleaning materials and everything else and keep them in labeled containers or closets at home. 
  • Organize your work space well so that your every move is conserved, knowing exactly where everything is.

Doing this will take time, but it is easier to find what you need.

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Memory cues
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 

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.

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Steps for Better Time Management
  1. Add as much as you can into the system. You can email yourself things to do, or put them in your calendar, or take quick notes, or take a picture.
  2. Process it all as fast as y...
Organizing Less And Doing More

It’s easy to spend time organizing a to-do list and forget to do the things in the list to avoid that:

  1. Pick an app that will automatically sync information on multiple platforms so you have flexibility without the work it would take to update manually.
  2. Use an app ecosystem that allows easy integration of calendars, to do lists and email for maximum efficiency.