Short Term Memory and Lists

Back when I worked in corporate, I got in the habit of making daily to-do lists. I would review my work emails at the end of each day and make a list for the next day. Over time, to-do lists helped with my time management and staying on task. Making lists worked its way into my personal life, and when I left corporate life, I found ways of using lists for almost everything I wanted and needed to get done. It has been a wonderful productivity tool, and a tool I'd recommend to anyone wanting to get more done without feeling overwhelmed. But there is one draw back I've recently connected to my list-making, and that is bad short-term memory.
I've come to realize by using lists, I have trained my brain to not retain certain information usually stored in short-term memory. I can no longer go to the grocery store without a list if I need more than two items. I've walked out of the house forgetting the simplest things my spouse asked me to do, because I didn't write it down, only to be reminded when I returned back home. And forget about remembering requests for special orders....if I don't write down what I need to do in the studio, it won't get done...and it's not laziness, it is just not in my head.
I'm not planning to stop using lists. In fact, I'll probably find ways of using them more efficiently. We think about all the ways we train our brains to do certain things, for instance, a lot of ceramics is muscle memory and repeating learned actions. But to think about how we train our brains to stop doing something unintentionally is interesting to me. Finding a tool like list making frees up space in my brain, and this makes me realize we can probably change other habits to the point where the thoughts/cravings no longer take up any space in our heads and just disappear. Maybe there's a benefit after all to forgetting I wanted cake and ice cream and instance sticking to my list of milk, eggs, and bread.

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