Sometimes, you may have so much on your mind that it’s tough to remember simple things like where you put your phone or car keys. And, let’s face it--many of us lose a lot of time looking for these essential items.
The reason we misplace keys, wallets, phones, or even our cars so often is because we store so many similar versions of those memories. Think of how many times you’ve parked your car or tossed your keys somewhere. Your brain has encoded thousands of those memories. Over time, they begin to blur.
To improve your memory, you have to be able to separate those recollections. The next time you set down your keys, try creating a precise scene in your head, suggests U.S. Memory Champion Joshua Foer. Take note of the surface on which you’re resting it. Is it wood, steel, or concrete? Red or blue? Is there a photograph or an object nearby that you can keep in mind? The more detail you can imprint from the scene, the more likely you’ll remember where you put your cell phone or important file folder.