How many times has this happened to you… You can’t remember if you locked the door, or turned off the curling iron – before you left the house. Well, there’s a psychological reason for that.
According to the University of Illinois, when we intend to do something, our brain creates a false memory of completing the task. It’s called “task execution,” and our mind can trick us into blurring intentions with actions, and the result is, we misremember doing something. And we’re even more likely to misremember when our physical movements mirror the steps we’d actually take to do the task.
So, if you’re on your phone and you intend to text someone back, the similar action of posting on social media could trick your brain into believing you answered the message already. Or, the physical act of closing the door behind you could trigger the idea that you locked the house, too. And the more trivial or routine the task, the more likely it is that you’ll forget if you’ve done it. So what’s the fix? The experts say – make a checklist! So, you’ll know you’ve done what you intended to do when you check that item off the list.