Why Interruptions Hurt Memory

Interruptions will kill your memory. We live in a multitasking world full of disruptions.  Distractions interrupt our thoughts causing us to mentally and sometimes physically switch gears.  We end up multitasking, hurrying and not doing anything well.  More importantly, we don’t remember. interruptions

I remind myself and clients daily NOT to multitask.  Yet, I often find myself doing just that and wind up forgetting important information. It is not good form for someone who helps others with their memories to forget!  But that’s exactly what happens when I try to do too much, compounded by distractions.

I make my mental and physical to do lists and prioritize them. I have every good intention to implement what I need to do first, second etc.  Then someone asks for help, the phone rings, an email comes in and the wheels start coming loose.  I veer off course to help or put out some little fire, then pay attention to another item stealing my attention.  Whatever time later, I THEN try to get back to what I was doing in the first place.  However, I realize in my haste I didn’t write down important info when I was interrupted.  And now I can’t remember it for the life of me.

I try all my memory techniques and it’s just gone. I cannot remember because I simply wasn’t paying enough attention in the first place. It’s time to admit my mistake and vow to STOP MULTITASKING!

When interrupted, hold your thought long enough to write it down, mark your place or otherwise do something with the info so you will recall when you return to it. Even better, see if you can put off the interruption-whether it’s a thought, call, email or person to finish what you were originally doing.  This way you will truly focus on your original task and finish it well.  Then, move on to the new or next thing.

Realistically this isn’t always possible in today’s world. Interruptions are part of our life.  But how we manage them means the difference between remembering what’s important or not.


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