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Say for instance, you want to remember to take out the trash before you leave for work in the morning. Imagine yourself going about your AM routine. Close your eyes and focus on one specific thing. Something you know you’ll do for sure, like putting your shoes on before you head out the door. Got it? Now think about every little action you’d need to take to put on your shoes: kneeling down, slipping your foot in, adjusting the heel and tying the laces. Relive that memory—the more specific, the better. Now comes the fun part. Imagine yourself standing back up, but instead of walking out the door, you walk over to the kitchen, open the garbage can, and lift the bag out. Go back to the beginning and repeat the process a couple more times. The goal is to mash up two memories and create an association between the act putting on your shoes (the trigger) and the act of taking out the garbage (the action). It’s mental rehearsal for something that hasn’t happened yet!

How to remember stuff, by Jack Cheng


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