A bad memory is not always related with age but whatever causes it, this phenomenon can be detrimental. We are not referring to instances where one forgets to take his daily pills for heart ailment or a husband forgetting the birthday of his wife which, incidentally, either may cause the death of the offender. Rather, we are talking about phrase that can ruin business or professional careers.
The deadly phrase is: “I forgot”. It may be a very short phrase but long enough to do considerable damage. Its adverse repercussions may range from traumatic embarrassment to head-banging loss of business opportunity or professional promotion.
Examples of these hard-to-forget instances are: you forget to keep an important business appointment that may result to the cancelation of a multi-million contract; or, you forget the name of the VIP just introduced to you a few moments ago who is responsible for your promotion; or, you forget your sales pitch in an important sales campaign; or, you as the toastmaster in a huge convention forget the name of the prominent speaker you are supposed to introduce.
To avoid these embarrassing or fatal mistakes caused by the phrase “I forgot”, here are some tips that will help:
Remember names. When introduced to someone, mention the name of the person at least 3 times: (1) when he gives his name, repeat it immediately to make sure you pronounce it correctly, (2) ask him to spell it out by saying, “Is it Brian with an “I”, or Bryan” with a “Y”? This will not offend him because a person’s name is the sweetest word for him. Showing your interest in it is most flattering to him, (3) when you are about to part ways. It is advisable to use his name several times in your conversation.
Keep a journal or a small notebook. Always write down events you will attend with times, dates, venues, and topics. Jot down names of people you meet with their titles, contact information, and details connected with them.
Writing down this information also clears your mind of too much details to remember. Just open your journal as soon as you reach your office or carry along your notebook wherever you go for quick reference.
Keep a daily calendar. Get the commercial or diary-type calendar which you can hang on a prominent spot in your office or home. Similar to a desk diary, you can write on this calendar your appointments opposite the dates of the events. A calendar that shows the complete days in a month in a glance helps you tract the spread of your appointments in a week or a month. This will make it easier for you to manage your time effectively.
Use a To-Do list. There are several task management applications in the internet you can use, like the Evernote. This application provides a place to store everything. Create notebooks for each project and for your personal appointments. With Evernote, all your reminders are kept in one place which you can easily retrieve as needed.
Use stick-on reminders. Besides the computer applications where you can set an alarm, small stick-on notepads are very practical and effective to remind you of your appointments, names, and contact numbers. Post them in prominent places you often see like the corner of you monitor screen, door of your refrigerator, water cooler, or at the back of your office door where you see on your way out.
There are no excuses for forgetting if these suggestions are followed. By using them, you can be a powerhouse of memory and the phrase “I forgot” will never be a part of your business or professional worlds.