Picture this. You are at home trying to complete some sort of task in the living room, however, you remember you left an important item in your bedroom needed to complete the task. You walk from your living room into your bed room. However, once you step into your bedroom and look around, you can no longer remember why you entered the room in the first place. Has this sort of short-term amnesia ever happened to you?
Researchers at Notre Dame have attributed these memory lapses as a side effect of passing through doorways. Some people have even dubbed this as the “doorway effect.” Apparently, walking through a doorway ‘divides’ one’s memory.
I often feel the doorway effect. I recently worked on a project, which had me running from room to room delivering missing needed items. Dear Reader, dear god, is it hard to juggle thoughts when you enter and leave rooms! It is enough to drive one mad! Holding onto thoughts can be a real challenge. How do you remember things that basically do not exist?
I have an uncanny ability to have the best thoughts when I do not have access to a pen and paper. Sometimes to help me remember things I repeat them over and over again in my head. They say that the more senses you engage in an experience the stronger your memory of it will be. While this makes sense for things that have happened, it’s a bit trickier for things that only exist in one’s mind.
Yesterday, I had a noteworthy thought in the shower. I was eager to write down the thought as soon as possible. However, as soon as I grabbed my phone and opened the notepad app, the thought had already escaped me! In the shower, I happened to be listening to an audiobook (yes, I have an obsession). Surprisingly though, my little habit helped me! To help me remember the thought, I rewinded the audiobook to a slightly earlier section. The passage described an upscale neighborhood and suddenly, mid-sentence, my thought returned to me. The thought, interestingly enough, had no relation to the passage. However, because I was listening to the passage when I had the thought, it somehow reengaged the thought—I was thinking about the doorway effect by the way.
Aren’t we always thinking, Dear Reader? How many thoughts do we remember and how many many more do we lose? If you need help holding onto your thoughts—engage everything. See everything; hear everything; touch it if you can! The more you immerse yourself in your surroundings the more you engage in your mind.
Keep on thinking!