Memory hacks. We all need them!
I enjoy reading about hacks and new ways of doing things, always checking out if there are easier and better ways of doing things. Let’s face it, I enjoy my work, but I love my free time as well. So, the more efficiently and effectively I work, the more time I have to do other things – like spend time with family and friends.
Tools are great for recording the things we want to remember, but the task of recording can be formidable. And using several tools at the same time can cause more chaos than clarity.
As I was perusing the Internet, as we are all prone to do regularly – sometimes hourly even, I came across an interesting quote, recorded by Robyn Scott, that shaped a young boy into a highly successful man experiencing a very rich life. His grandfather gave him the best advice he had ever received and he has shared his secret to success.
I am typically wary of simple solutions. They don’t always turn out to be what you expect. However, this just makes sense. Period.
If you only do one thing, do this!
When he was in his teens, about to begin his senior school, his grandfather took him aside and told him:
Immediately after every lecture, meeting, or any significant experience, take 30 seconds – no more, no less – to write down the most important points. If you always do just this, and even if you only do this, with no other revision, you will be okay.
And he was. And his two boys are. And if we follow his advice, we will be too.
Some things to keep in mind…writing important points for 30 seconds after a conversation is not the same as taking notes during a meeting, seminar, etc. This is an act of considering in depth what information you just absorbed. Interpreting it and organizing it. Doing this places the information in your long term memory. Remember, 30 seconds is not that long. So you need to decide what is important quickly. Take these 30 seconds immediately after a conversation or meeting. Timing is essential to its success, because the more time you wait before jotting down your important points the less you will remember and nuances will be forgotten.
Scott mentioned an interesting result of her practicing this method. She said that it made her start listening better and ask better questions. I guess thinking about your important points helps you hone in on what’s critical in a conversation and keeps you focused – so you don’t miss anything. She says it’s hard work, but it definitely gets easier with practice.
Try it out and feel free to share how it helped you!