What things should you forget

Forgetfulness: Causes + 7 Tips That Really Help

Forgetfulness can be really annoying. With your head full of information, suddenly a switch seems to have been thrown - everything gone, as if deleted. Sometimes it helps to think hard and long to think about what you have forgotten. Often the memory comes too late or the forgetfulness is permanent. Constantly forgetting is not only annoying, but highly unprofessional and problematic for your career. That is why we explain to you what causes it and what you can do against forgetfulness ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Forgetfulness: When knowledge and information disappear

Forgetfulness is when you simply cannot remember information, dates, facts, names or other things, although you are quite sure that you actually know them and should be able to call them up from memory. Everyone has experienced this phenomenon before and it can occur in a wide variety of situations. Some particularly common and well-known examples of forgetfulness are ...

  • You want to be on your way, but you have no idea where you put your smartphone or the key.
  • You are in the supermarket and suddenly you no longer know what you wanted to buy.
  • You can't remember the password you've used a hundred times.
  • You want to enter your PIN when paying, but you can't get the numbers.
  • You have difficulty finding words during a conversation.
  • On the way to the parking lot or the multi-storey car park, you realize that you no longer know where your car is.
  • You pick up the phone and no longer know the phone number.

Such everyday forgetfulness is annoying - and often also unpleasant - but the consequences are usually limited. In the job, however, forgetfulness does not go down well - neither with colleagues, with the boss, and certainly not with customers.

Don't send an important email out of forgetfulness, miss a meeting or forget an appointment with a customer? Or you meet an important business contact and you can't think of the name. Not at all helpful for success and a career and in the case of repetition, forgetfulness is even a real career killer.

Causes: where does forgetfulness come from?

Sometimes our thoughts are just elsewhere or we mix up information. There can also be concrete causes behind forgetfulness: For example, fatigue reduces cognitive abilities and increases the likelihood that you will forget things. The same applies to physical and mental exhaustion. The sloppier you are, the more forgetful you become.

Other causes of forgetfulness can be lack of fluids or malnutrition. But the consumption of alcohol, drugs or medication can also lead to forgetfulness. In other cases, frequent forgetting can be promoted or provoked by illnesses - these include thyroid disorders, heart failure or anemia.

Can stress make you forgetful?

A clear answer: yes! In fact, stress is a particularly common cause of forgetfulness. In the job in particular, great tension and exertion lead to overuse of the memory. We literally wear out our thinking apparatus. This creates a mental exhaustion that makes you forgetful. The synapses are constantly running at full speed, countless things are being thought about, capacities are being used to the maximum and beyond - information, facts and details are increasingly being lost.

However, not all types of stressors necessarily lead to more forgetfulness. There is a positive stress, the eustress, which boosts our performance and gives a motivation kick. The unhealthy distress, on the other hand, puts a strain on our short-term memory and the ability to concentrate.

When is forgetfulness a cause for concern?

It's normal to forget things every now and then. As a result, you usually don't have to worry about the occasional forgetfulness. However, chronic forgetfulness can also be a symptom - and in this case, you should pay closer attention to it. A common fear with growing forgetfulness: dementia.

Forgetfulness is a symptom of the disease - but only one. Usually there are other difficulties such as a deteriorating sense of direction or language problems. So not every forgetfulness means the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

You should talk to a doctor about your forgetfulness if it becomes a chronic condition and you suffer from it increasingly. Even if the cause is harmless, in such a case it is better to have a diagnosis from the doctor.

Tips: What can you do about forgetfulness?

For those who are plagued by too much forgetfulness, we have good news. You can do something about it. As follows:

  • Relax
    Targeted relaxation exercises tackle forgetfulness at the root by reducing stress and exhaustion. Yoga exercises or progressive muscle relaxation are also great methods of actively relaxing the body and giving it the opportunity to regain a healthy balance. Those who are relaxed are less prone to forgetfulness and can concentrate better.
  • Take care of your body
    Many causes of forgetfulness can be eliminated by taking care of yourself and your body. Get enough rest, make sure you get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy and balanced diet. This is how you create the best conditions for your memory. This is particularly important as people get older.
  • Exercise
    Another great option is to exercise regularly. Especially sports or movement sequences that you are not yet familiar with. You are doing something good for your body in two ways. Exercise gives the body the opportunity to break down the excess stress hormones and bring them back to normal levels. On the other hand, new movement patterns and sequences train - but also the memory.
  • Create the right circumstances
    A lot of pressure and numerous distractions make it harder to remember certain things. If you have the chance, you should therefore withdraw for a moment. Often you will remember what your forgetfulness has just brushed aside. That is why you only remember what you have forgotten after you go shopping.
  • Relieve the brain
    Digital dementia describes the forgetfulness and ignorance caused by constant digital consumption. The solution: away from the smartphone. This is called a digital detox. Allow yourself more breaks from the screen. Your memory will thank you.
  • Avoid multitasking
    If you do a lot at the same time, you make more mistakes. Multitasking doesn't work, experts have long been certain of that. The mental performance of overstrained workers is the same as that of people who have not slept for a night. In other words, if you do too much at once, forgetfulness increases. Better to focus on one thing at a time.
  • Use mnemonics
    The mnemonic techniques are memorization techniques from memory training. They help to retain extensive information and thus counteract forgetfulness. The story or loci techniques are known, for example. Which mnemonics you use is ultimately personal preference. See what works for you.

Apps against forgetfulness

Despite digital detox and the recommendation to use the smartphone less, it can help us to reduce our forgetfulness - if we do it right. With the right apps, you can counteract forgetfulness, cache information so that it is easy to find, or improve organization.

We have put together a small overview of apps that can help against forgetfulness:

  • Evernote
    With this app you can take quick notes and organize pictures. Working with colleagues is also possible via an interface. For example, notes can be shared or assigned. Evernote is available for Android and iOS. Alternatives for Android: Microsoft OneNote, Simplenote or ClevNote.
  • Microsoft Outlook
    The classic among office products. Appointments, contacts and emails can be easily organized with this app. Android users can download the app HERE. For iOS, Outlook for the iPhone, an iPad or an iWatch can also be installed. Alternatives for Apple users are QuickCal or miCal.
  • Slack
    Slack is a good option for quick exchange between colleagues in group chats or to move documents quickly and easily from a smartphone or PC (the app is suitable for both). Available for both Android and iOS.
  • EboBirthday
    Forgot the customer's birthday again? To prevent this from happening in the future, there are various apps that send messages punctually before the appointment. Not only birthdays, but also other important data such as company anniversaries can be managed with this app. It is currently only available for Android. Alternatives for iOS are called Birthdays, Countdowns or Countdown Timer Plus.
  • Einstein brain trainer
    Would you like to actively train your brain? Then there is also the right app for this: brain training has 30 different tasks with which you can temporarily increase the performance of your head. The app is available for iOS and Android. However, the app is not free. Further alternatives (for both operating systems): Lumosity (iOS, Android), Elevate (iOS, Android) and Peak (iOS, Android).

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October 27, 2020Author: Nils Warkentin

Nils Warkentin studied business administration at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. In the career bible, he is devoted to topics related to studying, starting a career and everyday office life.

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