Memory System For Schedules And Appointments

As with telephone numbers, many people find appointments and schedules hard to remember. They employ similar systems for coping with their problem, the most common, of course, being the diary. Unfortunately many people don't always keep their diaries with them!

In this chapter I introduce two systems, the first of which is for immediate daily use, the second for remembering schedules and appointments for an entire week.

The first involves your basic peg systems. Simply equate the number in your system with the hour of your appointment. Since there are 24 hours in a day, you can either join the shorter system together, with an appropriate total of 24, or use the first 24 peg words in one of the larger systems.

Let us assume you have the following appointments:

7—Early morning training 10—Dentist 1—Luncheon 6—Board meeting 10—Late film

We will assume that you are using the Skipnum system to remember these appointments. At the beginning of the day, which in this case will certainly be no earlier than 5.30 a.m., you run through the list and check for words with associations.

7 a.m., represented by the word egg, is the time for your Early Morning Group Athletic Practice. Imagine your whole team running on eggshells, or enjoying a breakfast of egg before or after.

At 10 a.m. (toast) you have an appointment with the dentist. Imagine all your teeth sinking into a piece of toast which causes pain.

Your next appointment, at 1 p.m. (13.00) is for lunch. The key word is 'tea'. Imagine the rather depressing prospect of a lunch at which nothing but tea is served.

At 6 p.m. you have a Board Meeting. The Skipnum memory word for 18 (18.00 hours equals 6 p.m.) is 'tape'. The association here is not difficult—imagine the confidential matters of your Board Meeting being tape-recorded on an enormous machine.

Finally you have an appointment at 10 p.m. (2200 hours) to see a late film. The Skipnum key word is 'troop'. Imagine the audience of which you will be a part as a well organised military force!

The second system for remembering schedules and appointments may be used for an entire week. As with the memory system for dates, take Sunday as day 1 of the week and ascribe a number to each of the other days:

Wednesday— 4

Having given a number to the day, we treat the hours as they are treated in the small system discussed above, and as they appear in railway, shipping and airline schedules. The day is considered to have 24 hours, from 2400 (midnight) through 1 a.m. (0100), noon (1200), 1 p.m. (1300) and back to midnight (2400).

Thus for any hour and day of the week a two- or three-digit number is formed—day first, hour second. All that is necessary is to transfer the number into the word of the major system list. Having arrived at the word we link it with the appropriate appointment.

Supposing you had an appointment to see a car you wanted to buy at 9.00 a.m. on Tuesday. Tuesday is represented by the number 3 which in the major system translates to the letter 'm'. The hour, 9, translates to the letter 'b,p'. Referring to the basic list we see that the key word for Tuesday at 9.00 a.m. is 'map'. To remember this appointment you might imagine the car you are going to see either bursting through a giant map, wrapped in a giant map, or driving across a giant map.

As another example, suppose you have an appointment for a guitar lesson at 5.00 p.m. (hour number 17) on a Thursday (day number 5). The number we derive from Thursday at 5.00 p.m. is 517, the word for this being 'leading'. To remember this, imagine yourself leading an entire orchestra with your solo guitar!

You may think this system a bit cumbersome, because it requires a fairly thorough knowledge of the larger numbers in the Major System, but this can be overcome by 'rotating' the hours of the day to suite those hours in which you have most appointments. If, for example, your day does not usually start until 10.00 a.m., then 10.00 a.m. can be considered to be number 1 in your appointment memory system. In this manner the most important and often-used hours in your day will nearly always be represented by only 2-digit numbers, i.e. the numbers from 10 to 100 in the Major System.

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