How often did you think “I have to do X when I come home” — but then forgot about it? We sometimes seem to think our brain has an internal reminder system for these things — but it doesn’t. When we finally arrive at home, the brain is buzzing with other thoughts, there’s no capacity to remind us of something that was on our mind hours before.
In order to remember these kinds of issues, now you has to trick future you into doing so. I call my solution to this mental hooks. I create a mental hook by associating two things in my mind. For example: to remember taking off my wedding ring before karate training (it would increase the risk of injury), I visualize how the dojo looks when I enter. Then I take that image and say to myself: when you see that, think “wedding ring”. I repeat this a few times.
Now, what happens when I see the familiar image of entering the dojo? My unconscious connects the dots for me, it goes “Hey, I don’t know why, but ‘wedding ring’ seems important now”. Which is exactly what I wanted.
I use these mental hooks all the time. If not, I would just forget stuff. I could, of course, use the location-based reminders of my smartphone — but that would be too easy, would it?