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Beats us, but we can help.
Can’t remember what you were just about to say to your boss? You’ll be glad to know a recent study from the University of Toronto found that forgetting
things may make you smarter, optimizing intelligent decision making by letting go of things that don’t matter. But that’s little consolation as you stammer in front of the supervisor who’ll be conducting your next performance review. Here is some advice for avoiding your next brain freeze. —SV
When you meet someone, says Ron White,
two-time national memory champion, more
often you’re thinking, “What do I think of them?”
or “What do they think of me?” Instead, think,
“What is their name?” Turn their name into
a visual as you walk away. “Our mind remembers
what it sees.”
Visualize the event, suggests Allison Lamont,
cofounder of Memory Foundation in New
Zealand. Think about where it will take place,
how you will get there, who you will see, and
what will be discussed. This will plant the date
more firmly in your memory.
To prepare for a speech, create memory
pegs that connect talking points to pieces
of furniture in your home, suggests White.
Remember to discuss sales figures by picturing
money on your table, a timeline by recalling the
clock in your kitchen, goals by seeing a football
goalpost on your TV screen.
Take immediate action on any task that re-
quires less than two minutes to complete,
says David Allen, author of Getting Things Done.
Move emails that will take time to a separate
folder so they don’t get lost. Schedule time to
If the ringer is on: Call yourself. (Oh, wait—
you don’t have your phone.) If the ringer is off:
Apple and Android have options for turning
it back on by logging in to your account.
Use the PAO—person, action, object—formula
from Joshua Foer’s book, Moonwalking With
Einstein. For example, Mom riding a two-person
go-kart filled with spaghetti. Then use this visual
to create a password, such as MoGo-2ghetti.
Name Shark creates a database of names and
faces by tapping into your phone’s camera.
Take photos of people directly, or grab a snapshot of a picture posted on the web.
Countdown counts down the days before an
important event and lets you know how much
time you have left to prepare. Just Reminder
lets you upload important events and then
nudges you via smartphone reminders—days,
hours, and minutes ahead of time.
Speech Buddy helps you prepare by uploading
your talk and quizzing you on how well you
remember the text. Memorize Anything lets
you record and then listen back as you rehearse.
As you memorize, you can set the audio to fade
out then back in if you make a mistake.
Boomerang for Gmail enables you to handle
an email later by clicking a button and choosing
when you need it again. FollowUp Then sends
automatic follow-up reminders to you and your
recipient. It also archives and then returns important emails to your inbox.
Find My iPhone and Where’s My Droid
show the location of your phone on a map via
separate computer. Both apps can also be configured to allow you to lock—or wipe clean—
your missing device.
LastPass and Dashlane browser extensions
and apps generate and organize passwords,
auto-filling them on the sites you visit. You just
need to remember one—your master password
to the service.
80 FAS TCOMPAN Y.COM DECEMBER 2017/JANUARY 2018 Illustrations by Muti