I don’t know about you but on some days, when I’m juggling a thousand things at once, I find it difficult to remember what I did that morning let alone what happened a couple of weeks ago! Nowadays I tend to write everything down in my diary so I don’t forget things (I don’t want a repeat of the time I forgot to take my daughter to choir practise and she ended up sitting alone in the school office for half an hour!!).
When it comes to business I’m just as careful and make sure I get everything out of my head and into a system. Because forgetting something important or missing opportunities can be so detrimental to my business.
I hear so many people say ‘It’s okay, I’ve got a fantastic memory. I’ll keep it in my head, I’ll remember it, I remember everything’. The problem is, no matter how hard you try you simply can’t remember it all.
Our minds are like computers and they have a limited capacity. They can only remember a certain amount of information before they become full and start to replace old memories with new ones. They don’t prioritise the way we’d like them to either. So while we may think we’ll remember all the details of that client call that was so important, give it a day or so and our memory will have moved on and half the conversation will have been forgotten!
And did you know that the act of writing something down actually helps you remember it? When we write things down our brain identifies that information as something important and sends it to the ‘let’s remember this’ part of the brain (sorry for the lack of scientific terminology!). Have you ever written a shopping list; forgotten to take it to the shops and still managed to remember most of the things you needed? That’s because you wrote the list in the first place.
When it comes to our businesses it’s not just about remembering specific things either. It’s about the connections you make too. Repeated suggestions of classes on specific days, requests for products or services that are made over the course of 6 months are liable to be missed and not acted upon if you haven’t logged them somewhere.
So many things can get lost, so many chances and opportunities missed if you try and keep it all in your head. The best thing to do is get it out and into something tangible that will do the remembering for you. Whether that’s an electronic system or a paper diary just getting it out will free up space in your head; give you the confidence to know it won’t be forgotten, and alleviate the pressure of having to remember so much in the first place.