Mnemonics vs Mindfulness for day-to-day

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#1 29 April, 2017 - 06:08
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Mnemonics vs Mindfulness for day-to-day


I am interested to hear how many memory practitioners use mnemonics for small, short term day-to-day life activities and tasks? If so, what tasks exactly do you use it for?

I absolutely recognise the value of using mnemonic techniques for knowledge retention. However, from my experience this requires:
- planning ahead (making sure you have enough loci; major vs dominic etc etc)
- summarising (eg chapters of a book, lists etc)
- Repetition

But what if you don't know if you need to remember something? Or it's just a menial everyday task? Do you actively use mnemonics everywhere you go? Examples include:
- walking to a new restaurant and remembering what shop was next to it when a friend asks what is nearby weeks later.
- putting your keys or wallet down somewhere (for instance, Ron White has mentioned imagining something exploding each time you out your keys down)
- remembering what someone was wearing the night before when you were at the pub

To me, and please tell me what you think, mindfulness and simple awareness trumps all memory techniques in this regard. Surely you can't go around filling your world with memorable and creative imagery to help you remember details you might not even need to recall - or maybe you will on a random occassion. Your mind becomes too cluttered and weighed down with the task of coming up with images etc.

Would love to hear what you think. Thanks

29 April, 2017 - 08:20
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Joined: 2 years 1 month ago

Mindfulness is definitely key for remembering certain types of things. Playing off your brain's excellent visual memory, remembering the dress a certain lady was wearing should be easy if you just make a mental note of it when you see her. Your mind should have no problem remembering the dress. Remembering where you put your keys is easy if you always put them in the same place when you get home. I put mine on a hook right inside the foyer when I come in, and I don't even have to remember because they're always there! If I go somewhere, I never take them off my person, so again, I don't have to remember. Being cognizant of nearby restaurants will take a little effort, but you can maybe remember them be creating a little story based on the names of the restaurants. Where mnemonics really shine is in remembering LOTS of data, or abstract data. Much of this has real-world applications, however, like remembering telephone numbers, names, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, etc. For things, like this, you'll need a system of converting numbers to images. Creating a 00-99 system takes some time, but once you learn it, a whole new world opens up to you. There's a sub-forum on this site devoted to stuff like this I urge you to check out.

12 September, 2017 - 12:03
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Joined: 3 weeks 15 hours ago

I am very interested in this as well. Have you found any success with this yet? I'd love to be able to have some temporary mnemonic tools on hand that I could later sort of dump or something like that. But it is hard for very short term things that pop up on my todo list at a moments notice without much to go off of for creating an image, and, even if an image can be created, it's debatable whether or not its worth the effort of committing to memory when it may be done in 15 minutes and then never needed again. Does your workday look like this at all too? It's a bit annoying to have to write and maintain a written list for much of the same reason, and I'd prefer to have it in my head as a way to more or less incorporate some kind of mindfulness. Haven't found a good solution yet.

12 September, 2017 - 19:56
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Joined: 2 weeks 4 days ago

I think part of the issue, from the way you worded your questions, is that you are asking do people use mnemonics for stuff they will likely never need to recall.
I think the basic answer would be no, since it would be a huge waste of time and effort. You have set up the scenarios to mean that one would have to memorize everything since you never know what you will be asked a month down the road.
I think the same could be said of original awareness. Sure, you may be originally aware of things as they happen, but I doubt that would help much in answering a question 6 months down the road.
But if you did want to try to generally remember more, then trying to apply some memory system would enhance that original awareness

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