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Discussion Starter #1
I'm SUCH an abstract thinker, I've never been able to remember small details. I leave things at peoples' houses on a regular basis and forget things from home too. But lately I've started forgetting big details and every time I mess up, I just want to check out from life and quit.
Right now I'm working with adults with developmental disabilities and I LOVE my job. I get to help people and when it comes to the relational part of my work, I'm great at it, I really am. But I have started forgetting details, BIG details. I forget meds, special diets, I even forgot to pick someone up on my route in the morning. Like I said, it makes me want to quit my job, even though I KNOW I'm good for these people and I know they need me.
So, I need help. How can I better my memory and attention to detail so that I can do the rest of my job, the important part (to me) better? Please give me any ideas. I'm desperate.
 

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Here's one thing which quickly came to my mind: try to set up some micro-routines for yourself. In overall I don't have issues with remembering important stuff which really matters to me or is important from my job's perspective etc but every other detail is easy to miss or just be forgotten. By micro-routines I mean some stuff like this I've set up for myself subconciously: always double-triple-quadro check my keys, wallet, phone, documents etc when I'm leaving my home or getting back from work and also while travelling. Place more important personal things always to the same place in your home so when you don't remember where they exactly are, you just know from where to search first :)

These are just some examples but you get the idea :) Figure out on your own which of analogue stuff could help you according to your needs. It's a bit like using Si conciously although much more in micro-level than higher Si users who do that kind of planning and routines in context of longer timeframe - sometimes it's useful for us too to just do certain things in certain way in order to compensate some of that lack of focus about the details :)
 

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I'd say it comes with time. Remember that Si is the last function we develop, whereas if you are 22 you are still around the age where Te development is coming to the fore. Si develops through your late 20s, into your 30s, 40s +.

I was teaching kids in Korea 1.5 years ago, and I really struggled with this. I tended to make up for it with my ability to improvise. I also did social care when I was around 21-22 and even once took the medicine cabinet keys home with me once which caused a panic at work. Now though, I've started teaching again and I can say I can manage it 100% better. It's no magic thing, it's just the natural progression of maturing as long as you are exposing yourself to challenges and keep trying. The brain isn't even fully grown until age 25 for christ's sake.

In terms of practical advice for now, write things down. Take notes, it does help. Even write it on your hand if it helps and keep washing it off, even if you need it every day just do it.

I dunno, personally going off how I've done things, I'm a big advocate of ENFPs having an exploratory/experimental phase in their early 20s, and taking advantage of the natural fire that is lit underneath your Ne at that age. Of course I don't know the context of your life and what social/financial pressures there may be for you. It's what I did, and I've seen other ENFPs do it, and it does pay off.

Oh.. and drink coffee, eat chocolate if you feel your attention span slipping (but don't go crazy obviously otherwise you will crash), don't eat too many heavy carbs until after lunch (I swear to god I had pizza for breakfast the other day and it was the worst day I've had that I can remember)- protein and veg is best early in the day, drink a LOT of water- like I mean drink twice as much as everyone else. And the big one is exercise, squeeze a jog in where you can because it is a total game-changer. If you're able to do all those things and make them law in your life, you will see your attention span improve 2-3x I guarantee it.
 

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I agree with most of what Tridentus has written for advice.

Nobody has a rock solid ability to remember everything. I used to keep a small notebook with me and used it as my "To Do" list. What worked best for me is that I never gave myself deadlines and I never wrote dates in it. I would just do the tasks I felt like doing and cross them off as they were getting done. I also carried over uncompleted jobs on fresh pages so I didn't have to constantly flip through pages to see what else had to be completed. I liked this setup because it never made me feel like I was a failure when I didn't get everything done and also gave me a feeling of being my own boss and still retaining spontaneity.

Try writing reminders in your phone if that works for you.

For the workplace, try writing notes of each person that you see. Devise a filing system that is easy to access, portable and not too complicated. Go over your notes before you interact with each person to refresh your memory of their special needs. Take them with you so you can refer to them if you have to.

It has been proven that exercise does improve your memory, concentration and cognitive ability.
 

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Okay, so this WOULD be me and if I had a boss that was not laid back it would stress me out completely.

But the thing is, I've had good computer programs that help me with my schedule and helped me early on and so I got habits that helped. To me it doesn't sound like you've got any of this written down and that is going to be TOO MUCH to remember. So in the past when I did my very best with everything (and I was running 2 clinics over 2000 families at that time with 10 employees and I NEEDED to have my shit together just like you need to. People were depending on me and people (read SJs) I needed to look up to me.). I had a screen that had my whole day on it-- all in just 1 place. You need some kind of something like this and you need it bad.

I hate my computer system right now (although it IS adequate) because I have to put my schedule into 2 different calendars to make sure there is no double booking.... and the monotony of setting that up twice is a trial for me. (Don't even tell me you guys don't relate...

So... lets brainstorm what you could use. You could get a planner (like a Franklin planner). You could use your smart phone and even use voice to activate reminders. Something like this, but you are probably going to HAVE to learn to rely on something like this when you've got so many Si tasks to do. There is so much here that is disconnected things, just like a recipe list and our brains cannot connect them and remember because they don't relate to each other (unless you wanted to do a daily mnemonic or something which would be out of the box but a bit obsessive, I'd think) and although we CAN memorize lists, when we are chatting and loving people we are going to get into that and carried away in the moment of focusing on them and not think of the list of stuff.

SO. sorry, but you will have to get a routine of doing something boring like making sure your calendar or smart phone is worthy of you leaning on it.

Good luck.....Let me/us know what you think of this and the brainstorms above. Let us know what you think will work for you. It's true you will need some type of a system! =)
 

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For the workplace, try writing notes of each person that you see. Devise a filing system that is easy to access, portable and not too complicated. Go over your notes before you interact with each person to refresh your memory of their special needs. Take them with you so you can refer to them if you have to.
Yep. I invested a few hours last saturday onto buying a binder, stickers and paperclips, and getting the whole organisation of my setup perfect, and I just realised a) how much time and efficiency it saves, but also b) how it alleviates little mini-spikes of stress and extra effort I was outputting during the day which I had not even noticed had been occurring. That's something that 2 years ago I would stubbornly have plowed on without bothering with. Plus, it creates a better impression with clients looking professional than if you walk in with loose sheets of paper which I've seen other people do- and that does matter, again it's one of those things that I am/was bad at noticing, but it has subtle psychological effects on me that I only notice when I change them.
 

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As soon as you have some important information, write it somewhere on your phone, and even set alarms as reminders. If it's a task you can immediately accomplish, then do it as soon as you think about it. I'm so used to forgetting details (as well as important things...) that I've learned to anticipate the fact I'll probably forget. My phone's notebook is my BFF.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone so much for your thoughts and ideas!

As of now, I'm trying to be more intentional about remembering details, but I lost a clipboard this week too, and got written up for that. I could pull my hair out, I don't know where it went.

I really do need a system, some kind of handy planner, on my phone or otherwise.
It's tricky, because I'm doing a million things with my hands throughout the day, but I'll think of something and maybe try a few apps or planners.

Having micro-routines definitely helps me survive around my home and I have set up places where I put keys, purse, etc. I'll try my best to establish these at work, but because of the nature of my job, it's going to be challenging to say the least. Every day I have a new group with new goals to work on and new plans for the day.
 

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Good job @ElectricBubbles!
Don't try to do it all at once :D Introduce small changes into your routine and don't be hard on yourself if you forget! The main thing is to repeat the changes until they become new habits for you. I know you will succeed! I continue to work on this too!
 

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It really has nothing to do with abstract thinking, it has to do with your ability to focus. You can't remember what you never learned, so, on both ends of the spectrum: Not being able to focus well leaves you overwhelmed with details and some just randomly fall by the wayside. On the other hand, being able to focus extra-sharply means you're absent-minded for the entire rest you're not actively focused on, and hence you can't recall those things either. I suspect that's my problem (but that's just my non-expert take).

Consequently, my solution is 1) to consciously focus on things I mustn't forget -- like, thinking, "I have to pick up the gift today" for the entire day makes it a lot more likely I won't forget. That works semi-well -- I still forget important stuff, but quite less so than without working to remember. And 2), indeed the routine way -- it's impossible to consciously focus on where I put the keys every time I use them, and even if I could, I wouldn't want to, so, I need a default place where I put them when not thinking about what I do. That way, I still forget where I put the keys all the time, but I just have to check two or three places that are likely to hold them, and thus they turn up quickly.


That said, if it's starting to get worse, perhaps visiting a specialist isn't a bad idea. Outside factors (sleep? medicine? etc.) can affect your ability to focus as well as to remember; absent of this, it should basically stay the same all the time, really.
 
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