Your Brain Isn’t for Remembering

I'm reading through the productivity classic Getting Things Done.

This book has helped me create systems to manage the deluge of information thrown at us every day. The never ending stream of information is overwhelming if not managed with discipline and systematically processed using systems. That's what this book is about: creating systems to manage constant streams of information.

One of the main points that David makes is that our brains aren't made to remember information when we need it. Our intellect is great for creative thinking, but remembering that you ran out of paper clips when your at Walmart isn't where we excel – especially when we've processing information all day long.

Our intellects should be used for what they are good at: solving problems, creative thinking, connecting the dots. Not for remembering tasks. Not for recalling a shopping list.

Get those "open loops" – items that you are constantly reminding yourself of – out of your head. Remembering todos, keeping track of who you need to follow up with, etc should be delegated to another person or system.