Memory: A Necessary Soft Skill for a Busy Workplace

Wide Impact
Dr. Salam Slim Saad
By Dr. Salam Slim Saad

In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with information, it can be difficult to keep track of all the details. Add to that the fact that most of us are already juggling multiple tasks at any given time and it’s no wonder why memory is an essential soft skill for professionals in any workplace. Whether you’re in the corporate world or running your own business, having a sharp memory will help increase your productivity, boost morale and allow you to take on more challenging projects. In this blog post, we explore why memory is such an important soft skill and how you can use it to get ahead in the workplace.

As the workforce continues to become more fast-paced, it’s important that employees have strong soft skills to help them stay ahead of the curve. One soft skill that is often overlooked but is essential in today’s workplace is memory.

Having a good memory can help you in a variety of ways at work. For example, if you’re able to remember important details about clients or projects, you’ll be able to provide better service and results. Additionally, being able to remember names and faces can help you build better relationships with co-workers and clients alike.

Moreover, having a strong memory can also help you stay organized and on top of your work. If you’re able to remember deadlines and task lists, you’ll be less likely to make mistakes or miss important deadlines. Finally, remembering key information from meetings or trainings can help you apply it in your own work and contribute more effectively to your team.

In short, having a good memory is a valuable asset in the workplace. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, start working on improving your memory today!

There are nine main types of memory, each with their own purpose and associated functions. Knowing them helps you know what is necessary to be more productive in the workplace.

1- Long-term memory: There are three main types of long-term memory: episodic, semantic and procedural. Episodic memories are personal memories of specific events in your life, such as your first day of school or your wedding day. Semantic memories are general knowledge facts, such as the capital of France or how to tie a shoelace. Procedural memories are motor skills that you have learned, such as riding a bike or swimming.
One way to improve your long-term memory is by using a technique called spaced repetition. This involves spacing out your learning over time so that you can better retain information. For example, if you are trying to learn a new language, you would study for a few minutes each day rather than trying to cram all the material in one go. Another tip for improving long-term memory is to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Sleep is important for consolidating memories and making them stronger.

2Short-term memory: Short-term memory is the system your brain uses to store information temporarily. It’s called “short term” because it lasts for 20 to 30 seconds before the brain releases it or transfers it to long-term memory storage.

Short-term memory doesn’t refer to a type of information but instead, to the system your brain uses to briefly store information for immediate use. Here are some examples of situations you may use short-term memory:

If you’re trying to remember someone’s name, make sure to use it as often as possible when talking with them. This will help solidify their name in your mind.

  • If you’re trying to remember someone’s name, make sure to use it as often as possible when talking with them. This will help solidify their name in your mind.
  • Adding or subtracting by hand

3-Explicit memory: Explicit memory, also known as declarative memory, is the conscious recall of information. It is what most people think of when they think about memory. Explicit memory can be further divided into two categories: episodic memory and semantic memory, Both are necessary for everyday activities.

4- Implicit memory: Implicit memory is often described as nondeclarative or unconscious memory, in contrast to explicit (or declarative) memory, which is conscious and recalled deliberately. A number of studies have demonstrated that there are two types of implicit memory: procedural and priming. Procedural memory refers to our ability to learn new skills and how to perform certain tasks, such as riding a bike or playing the piano. Priming occurs when previous exposure to a stimulus affects our current perception or behaviour towards that stimulus. For example, if you hear the word “banana” repeatedly, you are more likely to identify a picture of a banana when shown a selection of pictures including other fruit.

5- Episodic memory: Episodic memory is our memory of past events and experiences. It’s what allows us to remember specific things that have happened to us in the past. For example, you might have a clear memory of your first day of school, or of a particular vacation you took. Episodic memory is our recollection of personal experiences and specific events that have happened to us. It includes the who, what, where, when and why of our past experiences. 

Your episodic memory, on the other hand, may assist you:

  • Remember your first day of school 
  • The time you got lost in the city. 
  • Remember a wonderful meal you had at a certain restaurant.
  • Remember the trip to dubai you took with your family a couple of years ago
  • Remember your high school years or graduation ceremonies.

6- Semantic memory: Semantic memory is the part of long-term memory that stores knowledge and concepts that are not tied to personal experience. This includes things like the names of countries, the colors of the rainbow, and the capital of France. Semantic memory is sometimes referred to as “general knowledge.”

Semantic memory is our store of general knowledge and facts about the world around us. It includes things we have learned through experience or from books.

Your semantic memory might help you:

  • know the capital of France 
  • Know how to tie a knot.  
  • know that the word “airplane” refers to an aircraft of varying sizes.
  • recall that Beirut is the capital of Lebanon.

7- Working memory: Working memory is the type of memory that you use to store and retrieve information in the moment. It is the type of memory that allows you to remember what you are doing while you are doing it. For example, when you are reading this sentence, you are using your working memory to remember the beginning of the sentence so that you can understand the end of the sentence. Your working memory is also what allows you to hold a conversation while simultaneously doing other things, like cooking dinner or driving a car.
The capacity of working memory is limited, which means that it can only hold a certain amount of information at any given time. This is why we often forget things that we were just about to do or say if we are interrupted or distracted. When our working memory is overloaded, we may also have difficulty understanding complex information or multitasking.
There are a few ways to improve your working memory. One way is to practice “chunking” information into smaller pieces. For example, instead of trying to remember a string of numbers like “1654237986,” it would be easier to chunk it into smaller groups such as “16542, 3798, 6.” 

8- Visual-spatial memory: Visual-spatial memory is the ability to remember and recall visual information. This type of memory is important for activities such as reading, driving, and navigating.

9- Sensory memory: The human brain is constantly taking in sensory information from the world around us. This information is stored in our sensory memory, which acts as a kind of buffer for the incoming data. This memory is very brief, lasting only a few seconds, but it is important for helping us to process and remember information.

There are three main types of sensory memory: visual, auditory, and tactile.

  • Visual sensory memory is responsible for storing information about what we see. It is believed to be located in the back of the brain in an area called the occipital lobe. When we look at something, visual sensory neurons send signals to this area of the brain where the information is encoded into neural activity. This activity then decays over time, meaning that we can only hold onto visual information for a few seconds before it fades from our memory.
  • Auditory sensory memory is responsible for storing information about what we hear. It is located in the temporal lobe of the brain, which is just behind the ear. Auditory neurons send signals to this area of the brain where they are encoded into neural activity. Like visual memories, auditory memories also fade over time and can only be stored for a few seconds before they are forgotten.
  • Tactile sensory memory is responsible for storing information about touch and movement sensations. It is located in an area of the brain called the somatosensory cortex, which runs along the top of the head from ear to ear.

Tips for improving memory in the workplace

There are a few things you can do to improve your memory if you find yourself forgetting things often. One is to keep a journal or planner with you to jot down important events or tasks. You can also try memory games and other exercises to help keep your mind sharp. Additionally, staying organized and taking breaks throughout the day can help you retain information better. The additional following tips will also help you improve your long-term memory and avoid memory loss:

1- Get Enough Sleep: The first step to improving your memory is getting enough sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your brain is just too tired to work as well as it could. Not only that, but your body has been through a lot of physical activity and stress, so it needs time to recover from all of that.

Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night. Consider going to bed and waking up at the same time each day to help regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm. Taking a power nap during the day can also help boost your energy and focus. 

If you can’t get enough sleep at night, try napping during the day. A 20-minute nap can be just as effective as an hour’s worth of sleep at night!

2- Avoid Multitasking. One of the best ways to improve memory in the workplace is to avoid multitasking.

Multitasking can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for people with poor memories. When you’re trying to juggle multiple projects at once, your brain is forced to switch back and forth between tasks and keep track of everything you’re doing. This results in what psychologists call “context switching,” which requires even more energy from your brain than focusing on one task at a time.

Focusing on one task at a time will help you improve your memory in the workplace by allowing your brain to focus its energy on remembering things without having to worry about anything else.

3- Stay active. When you’re feeling stressed at work, it’s easy to just sit down and do nothing. But staying active can help you remember things better.

Whether you take a walk around the office or go for a run after work, physical activity can help clear your mind, improve your mood, and boost your memory.

And if you want to go even further? Try taking up a new hobby or learning something new!

4- Exercise Regularly: Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can help improve cognitive function. A healthy lifestyle overall will also reduce stress levels, which can negatively impact memory retention.

5- Exercise Your Brain As Well.mental exercise is key to keeping your mind healthy and productive.working out your mind can help you stay sharp and improve your memory.  Try to find ways to challenge yourself mentally throughout the day—whether it’s by trying out a new app or learning something new, there are plenty of ways to make this happen.

Try these exercises:

  • Read a book that’s slightly more advanced than the one you’re currently reading.
  • Take notes on what you hear at meetings or when someone shares information with you.
  • Practice memorizing a list of items 
  • Create a memory “toolbox”: Developing mnemonic devices—such as acronyms, associations, and visualizations—can help you remember information more effectively. When you come across new information at work, try to come up with a way to connect it to something you already know to make it easier to recall later on.

6- Keep Yourself Organized. One of the best ways to improve your memory is to keep yourself organized. If you know exactly where things are, you can quickly find them when you need them, and that saves time and energy.

There are lots of ways to keep yourself organized at work, such as Make a to-do list for the day and prioritize items on your list in order of importance. Make sure you cross off items as you complete them and keep track of any outstanding tasks. This will help you keep track of what needs to get done and give you a clear goal to work toward. Another way is to keep a calendar or planner that you can refer to throughout the day.

The more organized you are, the less time it will take for you to find what you need when someone asks for something from you.

7- Eat Healthy: Eating nutritious meals helps your mind and body function at their best. Make sure to eat breakfast each morning, and include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Avoid sugary or fatty foods that can make you feel sluggish.

8- Take Breaks And Relax: It’s easy to get caught up in work and forget to take breaks. But taking breaks is crucial to improving your memory.

When you feel tired, your focus and attention begin to wane, which can lead to poor memory. Taking breaks helps your mind relax and refresh itself, which allows it to be more receptive when you return from the break.

You should also remember that your body needs rest as well as your mind. Instead of working all day long with no breaks, try a few minutes here and there where you can stretch or do some simple exercises that help keep your body active and alert.

Memory: A Necessary Soft Skill for a Busy Workplace

By Dr. Salam Slim Saad

The Training Manager of Wide Impact and a Visiting Professor. An executive Consultant, speaker & trainer professional with over 25 years of experience, Dr. Saad has been speaking, writing and facilitating workshops about professionalism, leadership, soft skills and corporate civility for over a decade.

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