Let’s talk about why using your memory is bad for productivity and what to do instead. Let’s look at memory vs systems for productivity.
Ah, memories. Makes me want to break out into the theme song from Cats. But I’m not going to inflict Captain Time karaoke on you today – not without a lot more likes in the space down below the video! Instead, I’m going to talk about why, even though memories are lovely and great to spend time with, they’re not really that good for productivity.
We do use memory every day. We use it to remember what am we are working on next, what were we working on five minutes ago? What appointments do I have today? What kinds of things are coming up in the future? What projects should I be working on?
The problem is our memories are not infallible, especially when you get to get to be an old guy like me – your memory just may not quite cut it anymore. So, this is where it’s important to work with systems instead of memory.
For example, when I come home I immediately put my keys always in the same place so I don’t have to remember where I left my keys. Instead of leaving them on the counter, or on the table or in my bedroom, instead, I know there’s one drawer in the house with a little bowl where I drop my keys into the moment I come into the house.
Similarly, you need spots to hold things like tasks and appointments and notes and so on. Whenever I have a new task idea that comes up that I want to remember to do,I immediately drop it into my task management program, set a priority, set a due date and it’s done. I don’t have to keep it in my head.
There are tons of great task management programs out there like Trello, Teamwork or Air Table, so there’s really no shortage of good ones. Just look for one that’s going to work for you but the key is to commit to it as a system. Similarly, for appointments such as remembering to go to the dentist or remembering when you have to pick up a guest from the airport, I use Google Calendar. Google Calendar can remind me when it’s time for my appointment so by putting all my appointments in the calendar I never have to remember anything.
Do you ever find yourself saying over and over again, I’ve gotta remember this? Instead of trying to remember it, the moment it comes up jot it down put it into a system. Get it into some sort of a task management system or a calendar system of some sort and that way it gets it out of your head and then that way you can be empty-headed like Captain Time!!
I really don’t keep anything in my head sometimes it drives people around me crazy because they say “what are you doing Thursday?” and I have no idea until I pull up my smartphone calendar and say Thursday I’ve got the following coaching appointments or I’m speaking on Thursday. I don’t need to keep any of that stuff in my head.
In the video comments tell me about a time when there was a big memory failure – something you forgot to do that really impacted your life or your productivity and please hit the like button and subscribe to my YouTube channel because that encourages me to continue making more of these videos.