There are a few pieces of crucial information that I always want to have fresh in my mind, so that I can bring them up from memory without hesitation. This is particularly important when the information is not something I use very often, and I've found that RTM is the perfect way to make sure the information is fresh in my memory.
I got the idea the last time I took a CPR refresher course. The Red Cross and other agencies are constantly improving the CPR and choking procedures (the latter of which used to be called the Heimlich Maneuver) taught in the classes, and from year to year I had trouble remembering the current compression/breath counts and number of back blows and abdominal thrusts to use on someone choking.
So now I have a simple task in RTM that repeats monthly: "First Aid Reminder: 30:2 for CPR, 5 back blows & 5 abdominal thrusts for choking." (This was current as of the last time I took the class last year; you'll want to make sure it is still the recommended numbers.) Once a month I take a moment to re-commit the information to memory, and now I'm confident that if I'm ever in a situation where I need to perform CPR or help someone choking, I'll immediately remember the information even under stress. I won't waste time trying to remember or, worse, doing the procedures wrong.
That's even better than remembering the milk!
Posted at 5:45pm on July 10, 2013