10 Brain Exercises for Seniors: Exercise #6 To-Do List Training

Running to the grocery store to pick up a few items seems like it should be the simplest of tasks to accomplish. Yet, time and again, we all come home without the one specific item we went for in the first place. Part of the reason is that the whole event is fraught with distractions your brain needs to sort out while trying to remember your list of items; be it traffic, staff trying to restock the fruit and vegetables so your cart can’t pass, the number of last minute additions your partner adds to your list, specials being announced over the store’s speakers, and navigating the aisles full of harried shoppers.

It is no wonder our working memories struggle to sort out anything useful. Our working memory is very good at dealing with quick solutions to problems immediately presented to us. It uses short bursts of information to process a solution quickly and forget it in order to move on to the next quick bit of stimuli it needs to process. This means when someone looking at a peanut butter label wanders in front of your cart, your working memory deals with that rather than recalling your shopping list. It is constantly drawing upon your memory system (previous experiences) to deal with what is directly in front of you.

Improving our working memory to be better prepared for situations like this is exactly what the To Do List Training exercise has been created for. In this exercise, a series of instructions is shared for your brain to hear, and your brain then needs to use its working memory to follow those instructions sequentially. As you progress, your brain will be challenged with an ever increasing and complex list of instructions to follow, and that will gradually help you to get things done right the first time.

Free Brain Training Exercises
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Related Pages:
Different Types of Memory
Description of To-Do List Training Exercise


DynamicBrain Inc. is the Canadian Partner of Posit Science Corporation providing brain fitness program, BrainHQ in English and French.