Is Your Brain Getting the “Memory Full” Message? 5 Ways to Free Up Room on Your Brain’s Hard Drive


Lynn was selected to lead the project team for a major corporate transformation. You started your first team meeting by delegating steps and deadlines to the various department heads. That’s when she noticed that one member, Bob, wasn’t writing. Lynn knew Bob was a competent guy. However, given the importance of this project, her informal approach worried her.

So after the meeting, he pulled Bob aside. “I don’t want to tell you how to do your work,” Lynn began, “but I noticed you didn’t write any of your assignments down.” “Oh, don’t worry,” Bob replied, pointing to his head, “here everything is fine upstairs”. Lynn barely calmed down. “That’s great, Bob.”

But what happens when you lose your mind? You may not be going insane, but are you getting the “memory full” mental message a little more often these days? With a computer, there is always an option to add memory or get a larger hard drive. Even if memory could be trusted, aside from not being infallible, there is the problem of clutter in the brain, a concern that led Albert Einstein to conclude that one should never bother to remember anything , which is easily accessible. So what can you do?

Since the computer is the closest analogy to the human brain, it makes sense to look for solutions to the problem of brain overload. But first, it’s important to fully understand the issue. Here are some of the nasty things that can happen when a computer’s hard drive fills up. As you can see, similar things can happen when people try to handle more information and perform more functions than we are “programmed”: a crowded computer vs. a crowded brain:

Computers send you error messages. We make mistakes, we forget to do something, things are “overlooked”. Computers run slower. We take longer to process tasks and information, we slow down, we are not very creative, it becomes unproductive. Computers freeze.

We hesitate, we hesitate. computers fail. We get stressed, we experience a total nervous breakdown (extreme cases). The problem of a full hard drive lends itself to a variety of solutions. The same solutions can be applied to the problem of an overly full mind.

Go for a walk. Find a quieter or just another place to work. If you’re suffering from severe “brain strain” it might be time to go on vacation.