How to Remember to Take Things With You
Many people worry about finding themselves several blocks from home and suddenly remembering the keys left behind in the office, or the wallet. Anything can be forgotten. If you’re the type of person who tends to forget things, here are some tips to help you.
- Establish a group of things that you cannot ever forget. This group includes such items as:
- Keys to your home, car, or office
- Purse or wallet
- Money and/or credit card
- Badge for work
- Cell phone
- Memory stick
- Lipstick, Lip gloss, List or Lucky penny – whichever you use most
- Don’t stop to think too much about what you might be forgetting. Most of the time it doesn’t work anyway since there is nothing you’re forgetting, anyway. If there were something, you probably wouldn’t be forgetting it. It’s better to review your list and leave confidently.
- Using the list and the board can be difficult at first. People are creatures of habit and it takes time to change. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t remember to use the board and the list at first. The important thing is to keep trying.
- It’s important that you organize your things for yourself. Otherwise, it’s not likely that you’ll find something quickly when you need it.
- A very easy way to remember things is to attach them to you somehow: for example, a wallet with a chain, commonly known as a “biker’s wallet” or “trucker’s wallet”. Mini-carabiners, sold for about a dollar or less at discount stores, let you expand this idea to several other items. Something large, like a laptop that you leave behind after a few drinks at the bar, can be attached by looping the shoulder strap around a leg. You might fall flat on your face getting off the barstool, but you won’t forget your laptop!
- A very simple way to make sure everything is still with you, e.g. when you get off a bus, is to build the habit to put keys, wallet and cell phone always in the same pockets. In the meanwhile, the quick mechanical movement of touching your pockets on the outside with your hands, will allow you to immediately tell what is there and what is not (if the left pocket, where you usually put your phone seems empty, you have surely forgotten your phone somewhere!). After a while this check sequence will become a subconscious action, and every time you get off the car, leave the house, go through a crowd (risk of pick-pocketing), you will be sure everything is with you.
- If you can’t leave without your car keys (if you have to drive to go anywhere), place your car keys on top of items that you don’t want to forget–your lunch leftovers in the fridge or that pie to take to dinner at a friend’s house, for instance. This way it is impossible to leave without your keys, which are with your ‘don’t forget’ stuff.
- Another can’t miss tip is to put easily forgotten items in your shoes. This is especially helpful with unusual items that you may only need to remember occasionally such as a grocery list or a bank deposit.
- Always lock all the doors to your house, so you get in the habit of always carrying a key. If your front door has a deadbolt lock, use that, because it has to be locked with a key from the outside.
- If you pack your lunch for work the night before, place your keys in your refrigerator next to your lunch before you go to sleep. Never mooch again!
- Have duplicates (when possible) in case you do forget something really vital. For instance, if you’re likely to forget your key for home, have a duplicate at work. Or be sure your roommate, spouse, or friend has a copy.
- Checklists aren’t a sign of weakness. Airplane pilots have a checklist that they use every time they fly, no matter if they’ve just earned their license or have flown for thirty years. Don’t be afraid to use a physical checklist if it helps you.
- Take care to include all the items you need in the list and on the board. At first it’s likely that you’ll forget to write down certain things until you make it a habit to do so. Remember to check your list twice before continuing.
Things You’ll Need
- A basket or other receptacle
- A white board
- White board markers
- A white board eraser
- A sheet of paper for your list
- A pen to write with
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