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Cures for Absent Mindedness
by On May 8, 2008

Craig Krause HeadshotHas 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.

Triggers

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.

Be Free!

Craig Krause

  1. Craig

    Alison, you have the lingo of a Memory Grad. I would much prefer you try them out instead of calling me to help you remember where you parked! It is fun and it will work. That one with the tissue, that’s the one that will knock your socks off the first time you use it. Try it tonight and let me know the results. Sleep well!

  2. Craig Krause

    Thank you Pat for the cool story. It’s one of those ideas that sounds a bit on the corney side but it works the first time you try it. My only funny quirk is everytime I do it not only do I remember the task I see the person who taught it to me right along with it—Dave Denis!!! (don’t worry Dave, that’s not so bad!)

  3. Craig Krause

    Thanks Douglas. I would love to hear from you when you use one of those ideas that gets you to your destination. We could always use more examples.

  4. Kelsey Mehaffey

    Ok… so what do you recommend for this situation. I put my keys or purse on top of or with whatever it is i need to take with me that day, but then i grab my keys and purse, walk out the door, and remember around noon that i forgot something at home. I’ve also tried putting the stuff right by the door so i can’t miss it, but about 80% of the time i walk right by it and don’t pick it up. Any suggestions?

  5. Katie

    HI Kelsey,

    I do the same thing with my keys. I reccomend putting them UNDER what you need to take with you. When you look for your keys you will have to pick up what you need to take. At my office and home you will often find my keys in the fridge so I don’t forget my lunch!

    As for the door, I always place items so they are touching the door. That way when I go to open the door, something is in its way. I have to pick up the items if I want to get out.

    Hope that helps

  6. milans

    i have problem of absentmindedness due to certain hours of hectic job in an store. I usually forget even ringing up the customers if i ringed the item twice or not at all.

    How can i solve this problem ?

    thank you !

  7. Penny Lingenfelter

    I have a trigger that has worked great for those moments when you go somewhere and forget why you went there or can’t find an item. I did day care for many years and when I forgot what I came after, or couldn’t remember where I put my purse, etc. I could not say Oh #*+#! So I say, “ABCDEFG.. tell me now what do I need? my Purse!!” The trigger became so automatic and powerful that it pops into my head w/out anymore effort.
    I’ve sure enjoyed following along with the video’s and will be sad when they end, but hey, I have a memory after all! Thank you.

  8. phyllis

    Personally, when i need to get ready for stuff tomorrow, I try to always put my purse, glasses and keys in the same place. I have been known to make several trips to my car, at night, before I go to bed, to put things in there that i might need the next day. I keep paper and pens/pencil by the bed and write stuff down. I make lists on paper…..But since attending the memory workshop I have been using my body list. It seems to work for me. Thanks! When I travel, if i stay in a motel and I know I want to get up before dawn to leave, I only take into the room what I need. I take my shower that night, and I go put everything I can back into the car. I feel so much better getting things where I need them when I am on that high between dinner and bedtime. Because, when i get up in the dark, in a strange place, all I need is my clothing, my toothbrush and my purse and keys……coffee/hot choc or pepsi in the lobby or local gas station or cafe on the way, and I am off and running (driving). I was a single parent of four kids. I could not survive without some Pro-active organization. My new spouse and I travel now with two dogs, I do the same things as much as possible. Saves me so much grief! Try Pro-active organization….you will feel so much better…..Good Luck!

  9. Tom

    I also use the trick of placing things I need in the morning by the door. The key is to not have anything else by the door. I have flowers to the right (all the time) but nothing to the left so anything to the left is “out of place” and an instant reminder to remove them.

  10. Adedoyin Ajibola

    Your solution does not cover peculiar area of absentmindedness in child at school and other general activities while others are still present. Your suggestions to address this peculiar case shall be appreciated/

  11. Hiren

    Excellent suggestions I must say. After knowing them, they sound like common sense but they are really worth knowing. All of them.

    I just want to add a bit of big picture scenario. A famous mystic in India said that if you are constantly distracted, that implies that you are simply not interested. If you are an extreme job misfit, that can also contribute to absent mindedness. May blog- Make your passion your profession- http://mypyp.wordpress.com/

  12. Nupz

    Hey! My cause of absentmindedness is that 24×7 my mind stay in a flash back. Whenever i try to concentrate, my mind starts wondering what happend to me a hour before, my mind indulges to think what conservation i had with my friend in the morning etc instead of concentrating on my current work. Because of this 24×7 flash back thing in my mind whenever i wil go for work in a cab everytime i wonder, had i locked the door or not, had i put my lunch in my bag or not Please help if you can.

  13. Rakesh Lunawat

    Hi,

    I am 28
    I have this absentmindedness problem. I would just list few instance. this has lead to serious fights with my wife and I am struggle to live happy. I am in a depression mode.

    I forget where i keep my glass, My wife thinks ( i agree) that I need to flush twice after I use it but i do it one and forget to two two times. I always think of something different which is not the situation I am in. I keep my office access card somewhere and forget. and very often search before i leave. Basically it could be anything I keep and forget where I kept.I used to have such a good memory but now its seems I am gone and I have no life.

    Certain things my wife suggested was to keep the access card in my office bag before i leave office. I forget to keep it inside the bag(i can say 7/10 times i put it)

    What I am concerned is things like flushing twice I dont know how to remember, pls dont think it to be silly thing it is ruining my life. pls help.

    Regards,
    Rakesh Lunawat

  14. Katie (from Freedom Personal Development)

    Hi Rakesh,

    Thank you for your honesty. Have you talked with a medical dr about your situation? In regards to flushing 2x, I might suggest you simply post a sign so that you are reminded as soon as you flush once. In regards to your glass and access card, put them in the same place every time – the first few times this might be difficult, but you need to train your mind to put them in the same place. For your access card, you might wrap a piece of paper around it with a rubber band reminding you where to put it when you are done with it. This will help get you in the habit. I hope that helps you!

  15. Priyanka

    I have very bad habit of absent minded … I don’t realize the surrounding when I work sometimes I get shock attacks when somebody enters the room or office. Besides sometime I forgot what I have done a minute before ….please give me answers to cure… Would it possible that your eAting habits keep you inactive

  16. Shivakumar

    Hi dear one i need your help to over come from my problem as i am going through a tough time because of Absent mind problem .I kindly request you to give me solution for the above mention Behavior problem

    Regards Shivakumar

  17. Joshua

    I have a problem remembering to do simple things like toss out an empty wrapper or close the cupboard doors in the kitchen after making breakfast and turning off the water in the kitchen sink. I’ve flooded the kitchen so many times! I’ve even left the water running at work in fact that is why I looked this up, this is starting to affect me at work.

  18. lola

    i forget alot of things. i forget what i read on my notebook yesterday and am writing my final exams in 2 weeks and i forget alot. Am only 16. please help me i need help

  19. Sunjay kumar

    Sir, These tips were nice, But i am having this problem too much, I am just a 15 years old Student, WHo is not only absent minded, but also in dreams 24/7. Usually while teacher is Giving Lacture in class so i go in my dreams… (Thats bad) And usually when i come back in my sense, The Whole lacture is over…. THis is also affecting my personal life and my Educational life both…. One example is also that while taking a bath i go in dreams and When i come back in my sence it is half an hour or more time passed, Sir Please guide me what to do in that situation….
    (Sorry if u can’t understand me, i am a little weak in English)

  20. AJ

    Hi Craig,

    I have been trying hard to cope with my forgetfulness, i Keep things n forget, i forget any important work that needs to be done, its not age definitely cos m 23. I have been good in my academics, however lately my ability to focus is diminishing. I have serious problems in my relationship, family, friends and office because of this absent-mindedness. I have been trying and failing to improve on this front, all i end up doing is feeling miserable and guilty after an absent minded blasphemy. Please suggest something. Also, Let me know if it is a symptom to something more serious,.

    Thanks in advance

    AJ.

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