My working memory is pretty awful. It is likely that a concussion on the playground way back in early elementary school is a big factor in this executive functioning deficit. Alas, what is truly scary is that my working memory is getting worse as I age, which is typical for most adults.
Sunday is my morning to complete a three-mile run. I repeat half-mile loops in my neighborhood. As I jog around, my mind is very busy and suddenly I’m wondering if I’d done 1.5 miles, or 2 miles, or 2.5 miles? I’ve lost track! Using a counter doesn’t help because I don’t remember to click it.
Following the Sklar Process ™ First Truth of Time: “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”, I came up with a visual strategy to externally support my brain. I had six coffee stirring sticks in my pocket. As I round the corner on the hill where I slow down, I drop a stick. The next turn around I see it on the ground and it reminds me to drop another one. I leave a visual marker to help me keep track of my laps. I was inspired by Gretel, in the tale of Hansel and Gretel, who left a path of crumbs as a trail home. However, I learned from her mistake and don’t leave crumbs the birds will eat before I do my next half-mile.
If you have trouble with working memory and keeping track of repetitions, consider the this type of strategy. Give yourself a visual reminder to support your executive function of working memory!
Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.
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