As I've gotten older, sometimes I find myself not being able to remember things as well as I could when I was younger. It manifests itself in many ways. Someone will ask me the name of someone else I know and my mind freezes. I'll forget the name of an artist whose music I've listened to for years when a song comes on and I can't remember the lyrics.

Most of the time I remember things pretty quickly because I've worked hard on setting up proper thought processes to help me get through these things. It's something I never did when I was younger and had a better memory, and yet it often helps me find and figure things out better than I could when I was younger. But that only works with consistent processes; not when something comes at me out of the blue.

These days I sometimes forget why I've walked into another room. I know I had something on my mind before I left the original room, but my mind was thinking about other things almost immediately, and it's suddenly not there. I've found that if I retrace my steps, even if I have to go back to the exact spot I left, it will come to me and I can proceed in going for what I wanted in the first place.

It's a thought process I've worked out that says to do everything I originally did but in reverse, in the exact order, and for whatever reason that seems to work. My mind can remember where my body was almost in perfect order; how's that for surprising? It's what I do to find something I'm suddenly missing... I'm almost perfect at finding things. 🙂

The reason my process today is better than when I was younger is because I didn't need a process to remember anything back then. My memory back then was pretty sharp. I'd never forgotten a phone number I'd heard from the time I knew numbers until I turned 27. I remembered the name of singers, athletes and entertainers who I might have only seen or heard once. Things just went into my mind automatically, and I remembered them.

However, if I lost something, I would have a heck of a time finding it. That's because I relied on my memory for so many other things, I hadn't thought back then about training myself to learn how to retrace my steps. That caused a lot more consternation, because we all know that sometimes we lose things when we don't know we're losing them, such as when things fall out of your pocket or might slip behind cushions. We tend to do many things without thinking, and it's not always to our benefit. Luckily I never lost my keys back then but I was always misplacing my wallet, and I can't remember how many times I left my credit card at a restaurant.

At a certain point we all need to learn how to do certain things to help ourselves out. I tend to write more things down these days to help me when I forget something for a few minutes. I'm glad there's Evernote so I can access notes I write to myself on my smartphone when I'm away from home. I have to write down all phone numbers and save them in multiple places. I set alarms on my cell phone to alert me to things because my recall just isn't what it used to be. All of these things help, and anything that helps is a good thing.

It's because of this that I'm always advocating written policies and procedures when it comes to the workplace. Even the best memories in a department might possibly forget some of the small details. If they're important enough to keep things efficient and productivity high, then they're important enough to catalog and use as both a teaching and refreshing tool.

Have you had to find ways to alter your life or business to help thought processes go better?