This blog entry comes courtesy of Eileen Pease of Dynamic Learning. Eileen is a leader in maximizing your memory and brain function to increase your productivity at work and at home. If you’re interested in learning more or arranging a training session for your organization, please visit her website.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to find a misplaced item. The pressure to find it increases exponentially when it is something really important – like a passport.
Stop searching, sit down and think. There is a 99.9999% probability that the item is exactly where you left it. Here are some brain-friendly steps to help you find it.
- Stop imagining the awful things that will happen if you don’t find it. That distracts your mind away from the work you need to do with your memory to find it. Imagining awful consequences will stress your brain, decreasing your memory.
- Remind yourself in a friendly, optimistic way that you will find it soon because you know there is a logical reason why you haven’t found it yet. When you do find it, you will be relieved and amused.
- Take three deep, relaxing breaths and sit or stand exactly where you were the last time you had the item for sure.
- Keep your focus on that moment, look around slowly, and think about the next steps you took. Don’t let your mind run off into saying things like, “But I already looked there.” You have not found it yet because you have been distracting yourself with other thoughts and commands. Calm your mind and focus on where you were and what you were doing the last time you had it for sure.
- Remind yourself that this is the last place you were when you are certain you had it. Review the evidence. For example, “I had my passport in my hand while I was booking my flight.”
- Identify the one most probable place you would have put the item. Look for it there. If you don’t find it, step back and look to see if it could have fallen somewhere, slipped behind or under something, or been covered up somehow.
- If you still can’t find it, sit down again to think. Remind yourself it is exactly where you left it. What were you thinking about at the time? Was there anybody else involved? Were you listening to your radio or TV? Did somebody phone you or drop in just at that time? Did you go out to your car? Were you cleaning up in a hurry shortly afterward? It is often helpful to actually re-live and act out the sequence of what you remember happened next. Your memory knows what happened next, it just needs you to trigger the reminder.
- Continue to work calmly with your memory. Remind yourself you are going to find it and it is better to keep concentrating on it now, than to give up and search for it later. Acknowledge that physical items do not vanish into thin air and rarely get stolen or deliberately hidden by somebody else. Guard against *fantastic* solutions and reassure yourself there is a logical reason why you have not found it so far. When you do find it, there will be a perfectly logical reason for it to be there.
- If necessary, revisit in your memory the last moment when you are certain you had it in your hands. Are you making any unchecked assumptions about where you were or what you were doing? Look in your planning calendar, talk to anyone who was around at the time, and re-create that moment. See yourself holding the item and mentally follow the scene that unfolds.
- Sometimes the search becomes too irritating. Then it is better to stop and turn your attention to something completely different. Sleep on it. Next morning, rested and with a fresh perspective, start again at step number two.
Once you find the item, note the logic of where it was and recognize the assumptions you were making that stopped you from finding it sooner. I would love to know your lost and found story; please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me at 902-483-5700. If you have faithfully tried every step above with no success, phone me and I will help you get your memory to tell you where your lost item is.
People complain about a lack of time. – Zig Ziglar http://ow.ly/i/mwhr9
People complain about a lack of time. – Zig Ziglar http://ow.ly/i/mwhp2
Sometimes we are waiting for just the right time to let go of some of additional stuff. We know we have too much; there are things we longer use or have duplicates from upgrades or gifts. It’s always a good idea to pack up some items after any gift giving special occasion like Fathers’ Day, a birthday or Christmas. Remember when items come in to your home it’s a good time to also take some things out. And know that there are so many people in the world that can use your unwanted items. Read this card and see if now is the time to pass on your things to someone who could really use them.
Make one of your goals for the New Year to be more selfish. Seriously. Say “no” more often and take time for yourself. Why you ask? Because it’s good for business.
People who take time out of their busy work lives to spend some quality with themselves are more likely to enjoy their work and be more productive. Here are some simple ways to treat yourself right – even when you’re at your busiest.
1) Schedule an hour in your day planner every day that is just for you. Fill it with a hobby, a class, a nap – whatever you like, as long as it’s just for you. If you look at it like it’s an appointment that you have to keep you are more likely to honour that time.
2) Take an electronic break – see what happens when you turn off your phone, blackberry, iPod, TV, computer and radio. A study of 3000 students by the Kaiser Family Foundation ending in May 2009 revealed that on average they were spending seven and a half hours per day working with electronic devices!
3) If it’s in your budget, schedule yourself a massage once a month. If a massage is a little too pricey, enjoy an
at-home spa day once a month. Taking a break under the warm hands of a masseuse or in tub full of bubbles can help with mental vacation from your stress.
4) Go to your to-do list and see what you can eliminate – maybe you don’t really have to do it anyway. If you have been procrastinating doing something for a long time, ask if it is really important. If it, is make a plan. If it isn’t, get rid of it. No sense in it haunting you from the list. Better yet – see who else could do it.
5) Shut your door – Research suggests the average manager spends three hours a day dealing with interruptions.
6) Take a real lunch break. Give yourself time to eat in a relaxing atmosphere and read, listen to music, or do nothing.
7) Say no. We are inundated with requests every day to give up our time – and our sanity! Learn to politely refuse when asked to volunteer or donate your time to a cause that you aren’t fully behind. Save your time and energy for causes you truly believe in. Direct your energies in fewer areas where you can be more and fully engaged.
8) Under promise – over deliver.
9) Break out of “The Zone.” It can be really hard to walk away from a project at the end of the day if you’re feeling in the groove, but you need to respect the boundary between work and home. You’ll find your groove again tomorrow, right now you need to walk away and go do something else.
10) Hit the gym, go for a run, practice yoga, take a walk around the block. Beyond the obvious health benefits, the endorphins that are released when you exercise give you a much needed emotional boost to fight through stress and fatigue.
11) Embrace the power of sleep. It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for your emotional well being. Set your DVR to record, so you don’t miss your favourite show, and head to bed an hour earlier – your brain will thank you in the morning!
Make yourself a priority this year. If you take care of yourself physically and emotionally, everything else in your life will fall into place. Now is the time to make yourself a priority – and you will find that your business ventures will be more successful as a result.
Next, tomorrow, later, now? When is the best time to get started? http://ow.ly/i/mwgOi