Ridiculous Memory

Ridiculous Memory is a cool technique for creating habits.

I have been working with my Antidote to Overwhelm clients on developing routines and habits. At the same time I heard reference to improving memory with a technique called ridiculous association. This is a technique I learned as a kid and didn’t even realize it was an actual method until a couple of weeks ago.

Basically it involves attaching an absurdity to a new task so you will remember to do it. An example would be to tell yourself that if you don’t put your clothes in the hamper, you might trip over them in the middle of the night and crack your head open on the nightstand.

Now when you take off your clothes, you are much more likely to get them in the hamper. I think the best part of this trick is to make the consequence horrible – to the ridiculous level. That way it is actually obvious to your subconscious that you don’t have to really worry.

Your car won’t actually explode if you don’t put the keys on their hook, but you are more likely to remember to put the keys on their hook if you imagine it will.

In fact you will stress and worry less because the actions to avoid the dire option are so much easier.

You can learn more in this fantastic article from a classic issue of Popular Science. Hope you like it.

I dare you to forget to put your clothes in the hamper tonight, and I bet you find your keys in the morning.