Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bad memory. A sign of heightened stress

Just read the Reader's Digest May 2008 edition. The article on retention of memories reminded me about my own state.

Recently my memory has been failing me, where I sometimes forget the simplest of things, like forgetting a person's name right after the person introduced his/herself. That's bad... My favorite excuse. I'm getting old.

I've realised is not that. I played the memory games in the article and I had no problems at all recalling things. I had no problems during meetings too.

The only difference now is that I'm much much more stressed compared to a year ago.

Personally, I think its the result of too many things in my head when talking to other people. The memory is not lost, just buried under the tons of things that I'm suppose to do or manage in those tight deadlines. The stress of handling a variety of tasks is overloading my poor brain.

To "improve" your memory, I feel that we have to go back to the fundamentals. Just follow 1 rule:

In whatever you do, you give that person/task your fullest attention.

I think its as simple as that. If a person wants to talk to you, stop whatever you're doing and give your undivided attention. If you are unable to, excuse yourself and continue the conversation again later. Same as working on tasks. Do it with your fullest attention until you reach a logical breakpoint.

I guess I belong to the new generation where I try to do multiple things at any point of time. However, there's a limit of how many times we can partition our mind. By focusing on the object in hand, memory retention should increase.

It's weird that I can follow these rules with regards to work, but not with regards to social interaction. I think I better buck up before I start to irritate my friends. :p

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