How to manage forgetfulness?

  • Where did I keep my keys?
  • Have I forgotten that credit card payment?
  • Oh, God!  Varun’s marriage skipped my mind!

Are these and similar statements bother you too? Forgetting things, events, places, faces, names or appointments is nothing really very serious. Such temporary forgetfulness can be easily tackled employing suitable props and simple techniques. Senior Citizens can always excuse themselves more easily than others.


Do you often misplace things like pen, keys, spectacles, mobile phone, books etc and keep searching for them? Simplest way to avoid this problem is to develop the habit of “a place for everything and everything in its place”. And when you assign that place make that mnemonically linkable. Footwear in the front room so that you may pick them out before leaving. Keep pens in Pen stand, Keys in Key board, books in book shelf, phone on the phone desk. A friend of mine was worried about forgetting his umbrella when he takes it to the cinema. He always used to take care to place it next to his seat in such a way that it would obstruct him while going back after the show.


When you are trying to locate a missing item try to recall when you used it last. A pen could be in a diary, near phone desk or in shirt pockets. Spectacles could be in Window Sill, cup boards or in the wrong spectacles case. Bank Passbooks may be in the bag, cover that you carried it to the bank last time.  In many cases they get hidden by somebody placing books, newspaper or a tray over it.  Calm application of common sense is all that is needed. It may sound odd to you, but my daughters are good in performing Reiki and almost always we get back things that we miss or misplace!!


Are you worried over slipping up paying Electricity, water, tax, credit card other bills? It is a good idea to make out postdated cheques immediately and drop them in appropriate boxes. Payment through ECS in banks is another option. BSNL offers 1% discount on ECS payments. Or leave standing instructions in the bank for paying certain fixed sum (slightly more than the average) to certain billers on a set date. Online payment facilities are available for most billers.


Do you frequently miss out parties, seminars, meeting etc?  Even simple straightforward Desk Calendar may be used to jot down events to remember. Technology can come to your help if you are net savvy. You may create your own calendar of events that you need to attend and set up a reminder. Even Google Calendar allows it. You have switched on the pump to fill a tank and want to set a timer to remind you? Use your mobile phone to remind you or if you are like me – always on the PC – then you may use a handy program called egg timer from

Do you forget people’s names? Don’t be embarrassed. It is very common. Many people have this problem. Just apologize and ask for his name. If a person has made himself interesting in the first place you will remember him better. I always manage to listen for a few minutes and guess who / when / where I met him. If you don’t get a clue for a few minutes give up and say that you mistook him for xyz and ask.

Forget fretting over forgetfulness. A little bit of frustration or embarrassment is a part of life.


-Dr P Vyasamoorthy




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