The following post is from Lisa of Working Naked:
Some people think I’m extra organized because I always enter notes in my iPhone. The truth is that I have the world’s worst memory. I can remember faces, not names, and directions, not addresses.
Over the years, I’ve taken a few steps to try to improve my memory or at least fake that I have a better memory than I do. By using the simple strategies below, I’m able to finish projects on time, avoid annoying friends and clients, and remember important dates.
Consider these four steps tips for improving your memory:
Add an attachment to your e-mail before you write your message.
Have you had to send a follow-up e-mail after you’re forgotten to include an attachment? I have. By adding the attachment before I write the message, I don’t have to send the follow-up message. The best part is that my friends and clients have stopped sending me e-mails — some of them in an annoying tone — asking about attachments I was supposed to include.
Use a timer.
Set a timer on your smartphone — or a simple kitchen timer will do — one to two hours before you need to leave for an appointment. When you enter appointments (both personal and business) in your smartphone, use the 2-hour and 1-hour reminder. If you forget to check your schedule first thing in the morning, you won’t forget appointments you’ve set for later on that day. I use the timer on my iPhone to remind me to get ready early so that I’m not scrambling to leave my home in time.
Give yourself a two-day cushion for deadlines.
You know that sinking feeling when you realize a deadline is minutes away and you still haven’t finished the project? If you plan ahead, you can do a better job of scheduling your time, and you can avoid missed deadlines. In addition, you can keep your stress level under control. Keep in mind that projects take twice as much time as you think, and sometimes twice as much money.
Make remembering dates easy.
Have you ever called someone who thanks you for remembering his or her birthday — that’s not why you called, because you forgot —then you quickly enter the date in your calendar for next year? I have, but I’m not going to admit which friend I’ve done that to.
At the beginning of the year, enter birthdays and other special occasions in whatever planning system you use. Several greeting card companies including Blue Mountain offer free, online reminder programs so you can send e-cards at the last minute.
Whether you have a perfect memory, or a memory as bad as mine, take the strain off your memory whenever you can.
What do you do to remember important dates and projects?
|Home office expert Lisa Kanarek is the founder of WorkingNaked.com and the author of five books about working from home, including Organize Your Home Office For Success. Lisa works with entrepreneurs and home-based employees through seminars and individual consultations, to create functional home offices that meet each individual’s working style.