We all have experienced it. That 15th time we’ve looked for our phone or keys. Or, maybe that missing pair of shoes that never seem to be ‘where they should be’. Whatever IT is, it’s something we know shouldn’t keep happening. But it does. And every time it happens, we think to ourselves, I’ve got to quit doing this; but rarely take steps to stop it. It’s almost like it’s some kind of game that our subconscious mind is playing with us. And it is, in a way. It’s your hippocampus burying the location information under a sea of other information. When you think about it, items are usually ‘misplaced’ when we are preoccupied with another task. While we’re focused on it, we’re not creating as many markers in our memory regarding our more normal activities. Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to avoid this game.
Here’s a few Steps you can take Today to organize your stuff and help with recall:
1. Create a space just for that item. Weather it’s a basket by the door, or a certain place in the closet. Create a dedicated space to look first.
2. Record that location in a journal or document made for keeping track of things. Writing something down engages another set of brain functions and helps with recall of the event.
3. Use sticky notes to remind you of the items new, intended, location.
4. Create entries on your phone or calendar reminding you of the change.
5. Try doing something different up front. If your constantly losing your keys, hold them differently until you put them down. For your phone, turn it upside down, or stand it on edge; but do something different than normal when you set it down.
6. This sounds silly, but even uttering a certain phrase when setting something down, can help cement the recall information. The more off-beat the better. I recommend “Poughkeepsie” because it’s fun to say.
7. As stated before, engaging different senses is a real help in establish recall for an event. Some people keep a rubber band on their wrist and snap it during an event they want to remember. I don’t do this….yet.
It also may be wise to create a spare set of really critical items. There may not be unlimited time to hunt for things like keys, medications, glasses, or important documents. Make sure that these are always kept in the same place.
As always, thanks for reading.
And remember to take the next step…
For more articles on organizing your home and life, visit www.StepsForToday.com!