Has this ever happened to you? The alarm goes off and your day starts as usual – rushing around getting ready for the day, showering, preparing and eating breakfast, checking your email for any last minute schedule changes, packing lunches and getting everyone out the door for school and work. Then, as you walk through the office door, it hits you; you left your briefcase, lunch and cell phone back home. Arrrrrr!
An episode of absent-mindedness like this can wreck havoc on your day. Your stress level goes up, plans are altered as you back track for the item you left behind and you may miss an important call. This costs you money and the most precious of all assets, your time. Wouldn’t it be great to eliminate those situations and cut down on the wasted time?
If the answer is “yes,” then you are ahead of the game! Having the “desire” and willingness to change is half the battle. To get a different result, you have to take different actions, and that requires an open mind. Let’s look at a couple of action steps to cure absent mindedness.
When you need to remember something, all you need is a trigger. A trigger is a word or action that allows an idea to “pop” back in our mind. It invokes a picture. The word “trigger” is a perfect example. When reading that word, you might see a gun or a horse in your mind. As long as you see a clear picture that represents a trigger for you, the actual image is irrelevant. .
A Cure for Leaving Items Behind
Let’s use an example of a trigger that will ensure you don’t leave your house without your lunch. As soon as your lunch is packed, put your car keys with it. You can’t leave without our keys, thus you won’t leave without your lunch. So when you ask yourself, “Where are my keys?” this triggers your lunch.
This same principle applies to anything you want to recall. Whenever I prepare for the next day’s drive, I’ll put my keys on my cell phone, briefcase, CDs, sunglasses, whatever it is I need to bring. This technique has yet to fail me.
A Cure for Forgetting Where You Entered the Mall
Walking in a shopping mall can be hectic. You find a parking spot, rush in, hit all the stores and then, time to leave. But have you ever stopped and thought, “Where did I come in?” You might have even walked around the wrong parking or thought your car had been stolen.
The solution to this program is again a picture that you created in your mind as you enter the mall. When you leave, this picture will trigger what exit you need to take. Many malls have the entrances marked by North, Northeast, South etc. This system assumes we know where north is, but if you are like me, you don’t go shopping with a compass!
If you entered the North entrance, what picture could you create to trigger North? How about an igloo? Picture yourself entering an igloo to do your shopping. What picture could you create for the south entrance? I image that I am floating on the Mississippi River right thru the front doors of the mall. Now that is a memorable picture! For the East entrance, I imagine the Statue of Liberty greeting me. What would a picture for the Southwest entrance be? A cactus is mine, or you may see a desert.
Any picture YOU create will work. As a word of caution, never change your picture. Doing this will take all stress out of creating pictures each time you go shopping, they will automatically be cued up in your mind.
A Cure for Forgetting Where You Parked
Have you ever “lost” your car in a parking garage? Not only is it frustrating and time consuming, let’s face it, it’s down right embarrassing. The solution is again, a picture that creates a trigger.
The location is normally marked to give us a start. For instance “B8” may be your spot. Create the picture using the tree list taught in your Memory Training Workshop for the number and a representative picture for the letter. In this case, the letter “B” is already a picture for a bumble bee. #8 on the tree list is a skate. Now combine the two to picture to have a bee wearing skates and skating all over your car.
Let’s try another example. What about parking spot 11C? #11 on the tree list is a goalpost. Now turn the letter “C” into a representative picture. Think back to first grade, what picture did they always put next to the letter “C”? That’s right, a cat! Now combine the two into a picture of a cat jumping thru a goalpost and landing right on your car.
Any combination of letters and numbers can be turned into an image and create a trigger for where you parked your car.
A Cure for Forgetting that “Great Idea” in the Middle of the Night
Here is my favorite. This gem of an idea will ensure you never forget that “great idea,” or the thing that needs to get done tomorrow, that pops into your head while you are falling asleep.
The next time you are falling asleep and remember that your dog needs his medication; you need to call the dentist to make an appointment; get the oil changed in the car or whatever it is, try this. Have a tissue box beside your bed. When the idea comes to you, take out a tissue out. Imaging it wrapped around the “trigger” to the idea. A large pill could represent the dog’s medicine; a tooth for the dentist; the tissue soaked in oil for an oil change. Take the tissue and toss it on the floor where it can be seen as you get out of bed the next morning. When you see it in the morning your mind will then see the trigger picture. This will remind you what you needed to do. Sounds strange? Try it. It is amazing how well this works!
Just knowing these simple tips will go a long way to cutting down on the stress and wasted time throughout your day. The best way to turn these tools into habits is to implement them. Start today!
- Do you have an absent minded situation you need help with?
- Do you have any other cures for absent mindedness?
Post your questions and thoughts below and I would be happy to respond.