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  • Writer's pictureMatt James

Burnout brain - (How to fight the forgetfulness)

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

We’ve all done it, put the house keys down, popped into the kitchen for 5 seconds, come back and… ‘where did I put the keys?’

Forgetfulness happens, from forgetting to get the chicken out the freezer to forgetting important anniversaries. It can be frustrating, especially if it becomes a regular problem.

But what can be causing you to burnout?

Man searching for his keys on a green background

Lack of sleep

You might think you’re getting ahead of the curve by waking up at 4am to tackle your emails. However, you might be shooting yourself in the foot, yes you may have replied to all your clients before you’ve got to the office to start you daily tasks, however you’re going to find that completing you days work is going to be incredibly difficult. Not only are you going to be rubbing sleep out of your eyes all day, but also dealing with not being able to remember everything to the best of your ability. Ideally you should be getting the recommended 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, studies show that sleep is key to the retention of memories, so to keep you in peak performance make sure you’re getting those z’s.


Another one of those trying to get ahead of the curve tactics that might just be setting you back. It is estimated that the human brain can only hold between five and nine pieces of information at a time. So as soon as you switch tasks, your brain will drop everything from the first task to focus on the second, this is when small but important details can get forgotten.

Stress & Anxiety

Suffering from stress or anxiety can raise the levels of cortisol in your system. Cortisol is a hormone that is used to help with the formation of memories, however if you have too much of it in your system then it can cause the opposite reaction.

Higher levels of cortisol can affect the ability to make ‘working memories'. If you have trouble creating working memories it can affect your memory of conversations you’ve just had, or task instructions, and information you’ve read.


Ironically one of the side effects of medication to help your stress can also affect your memories. This isn’t limited to just anti stress/anxiety medications either, medicine across the board can possibly cause memory issues. From anti-epileptic medication to none-drowsy antihistamines, they all change the physiological function of the body and can affect your memory.

How to beat the forgetfulness

  • Set a tick list If you have multiple tasks during your working day, then write yourself a little checklist. I find that flash cards are incredibly handy to keep around so you can jot down your upcoming tasks so you always know you're on track!

  • Use calendar reminders While checklists are great for the day to day remembering of little tasks, maybe you have something you need to remember to do in a few weeks time. This is when setting yourself calendar reminders on your computer comes in hand. Not only can you set them to pop up at a specific time, but you can also make them reoccurring reminders from dail, weekly, monthly and even yearly!

  • Do it immediately If you don't think you're going to remember every detail of the task you've been asked to do if you start something else before. Then just do it NOW.

  • Don't hesitate, automate! There are so many apps around today that can help you automate your day, from the important things such as setting up payments that come out automatically, to apps that will post on social media at set times, so you don't ever forget to keep your customers up to date with what you're doing!

  • Keep it healthy While all these tips can help cover your back if you are forgetful, they dont help fix the actual problem. One of the best ways to combat memory problems is to keep your body and brain healthy. Eat you 5 a day and get some exercise in there!

  • Do a bit less! If keeping on top of multiple tasks is a struggle for your memory, then the answer is simple. Get someone else to help out! Strive are here for any task you need to outsource, from bookkeeping to website maintenance.

Don't struggle alone, get us to help!

Call us on: 0333 335 5137 Email us at:

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