Mental Alarm Clocks and Post-It Notes

The human brain has so many applications of which most of us aren’t even aware. Video playback machine, audio receiver, computer, calculator…these are the applications with which most people are familiar. But did you know that the brain can also function as an alarm clock and Post-It note pad?

We hear a lot about the internal clock, but it has an alarm feature and snooze function if you know how to operate it. I remember as a child my grandmother would take naps and always wake up at 4PM because that’s what she would tell her brain to do. She would just focus on that particular hour and she would always wake up at that time. I’ve learned that you can even teach your brain to snooze in as little as 15 minute increments. Sometimes at the office during lunch I would take naps in the workout room and I wouldn’t let myself sleep longer than 15-20 minutes. Most of the time, it worked.

Recently I’ve also discovered the wonders of the Post-It note capacity. If you have a task that you need to accomplish at some point in the future, you can associate it in your mind with some other non-unique coinciding task. For example, the other day as I was going to bed I knew I needed to email my friend Robin, so I focused on my morning routine of opening the laptop, and I attached her name to that task. Or last month when I was leaving Heath’s place I knew that I’d be getting into my car to leave at some point, so I associated the word “pizza” to that task to remind myself not to leave my pizza in Heath’s fridge.

Try these on your own and let me know how it goes.