Shaky Memory? Try Writing Things Down.


My Shaky Memory

If you are a mom, you have likely heard of the “mom brain.” I have often blamed my forgetfulness or foggy memory on “mom brain” over the years, even though my kids are well past the infancy stages and (mostly) sleep through the night.

Nowadays, I attribute my “mom brain” to the stress and overwhelm many of us working mothers endure as we juggle responsibilities from work, school, home, and our relationships.

Several months ago, I began noticing that I was having trouble remembering things I had done recently – usually memorable things.  I couldn’t remember if I had met a friend for dinner or completed a major task on my to-do list.

Research shows that things like consistently getting a good night of sleep, eating healthy, and moving your body help to improve memory. But I wanted to know, beyond those fundamental things, were there other strategies to help me improve my “mom brain”?

The strategy I have been consistently using lately seems so simple – I am writing things down.  And it helps.

Write it Down

Tip #1: Take notes on your daily experiences.

I write down the tasks and activities I complete every day in a planner. Did I spontaneously go to Anodyne on a Saturday morning with my kids? I write it down. Did the kids have a gymnastics meet? I write it down.  I also write down a few key details of meetings from work to help me better remember the important takeaways.

Tip #2: Brain Dump

A “brain dump” is when I write down all the things I have on my plate and sort into different areas–like work, home, kids, and self-care (this is a necessity). It’s helpful to organize my thoughts when I have all the ideas dumped out on a piece of paper or a computer screen. I use Trello, but there are other apps you can use as well.

Tip #3: Write in a Journal
I try to write in my journal about what I did during the day and as a way to organize my thoughts on life, work, kids, and love. While research shows that writing by hand can help our minds process information differently than writing our thoughts on a computer or phone, I try not to get too picky here. At the end of the day, having my thoughts documented anywhere is better than nowhere.

Writing things down has definitely helped my shaky memory improve lately. It’s also fun to look back at my planner and journal to help me see larger ideas take shape in my life.


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