For a number of years now I’ve noticed my short term memory is getting worse and worse. For the majority of us I’m sure we’ll just put it down to getting older. I’m currently 37 (as of the time of writing) so by no means consider myself overly old at this point. I could probably do with doing a bit more exercise and for the first time in my life for a good while I am probably at a position where I can actually fit it into my schedule.
So how is this poor short term memory problem affecting me. To the point where people will tell me things such as their plans for the rest of the week and then me asking them again to remind me a day later of which day it is they are working away.
I’m sure we all go upstairs to do something, end up doing something else, come back downstairs and then remember what we originally went upstairs for. I perhaps do this far more often than I should.
To cope with incoming information I need to remember to do I’m having to use technology more and more. None of the technology available is new and thankfully smart phones were already pretty well matured and equipped with such tools as calendars, alarms & to do lists. Having devices which can sync all this information is also a god send, so I’m not fully reliant on having my phone on me at all times.
I also often end up emailing myself to remind me of things to do. A lot of people probably let their email boxes fill up with all sorts of crap but for me I need to keep it clean as its another reminder list of things i need to do.
A major factor in all this is probably a poor attention span. If I was at school now I’m sure it would probably have been identified better from an earlier age and I’d probably have some named condition associated with it. As it turns out once you’re into your late thirties doctors don’t seem to want to know and just say its what everyone goes through and you feel a fool for wasting their valuable time.
So how do I cope with situations like meetings at work. Which often become long drawn out situations and often go off on tangents. I get bored quick, and its probably noticeable I’m also holding in the yawns.
The key here is to write anything relevant down. In my old job this was easier. i had a laptop and could just take it with me. In my current job I have to hand write, which Isn’t the end of the world but adds another step in me remembering to refer back to my notes at a later date. The problem of course of taking notes is having to keep focused and pay attention. Unfortunately for me I’ve found no real solution to this as of yet . Keeping eye contact seems to help but ultimately you don’t want to appear to be freaking out the talker by seemingly staring straight into their eyes constantly.
I’m pretty confident by the time i reach my 80’s I’ll probably be suffering with some form of dementia and this scares the crap out of me.
If you find yourself in a similar situation of have any advice and guidance I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
EDIT: 27th June 2017
Maybe I need not worry afterall: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/forgetful-helps-make-smarter-decisions-study-scientists-memory-learning-a7801371.html