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mthomps
01-04-2014, 09:25 PM
I thought health and fitness was appropriate because the level of absent mindedness I've developed is unhealthy and is severely affecting me negatively.

We've all looked for things we were holding or scanned our desks for an item that was in front of our face the whole time, but right now my mind is a friggen mess, more so than ever, and I need to consciously change some behaviour patterns.

I'm too the point that I'm late for work a lot because I have to keep going in and out of the house after getting to my car because I check my pockets and realize I'm missing something. This happens at least once a night and sometimes twice or more.

I've always tried to keep my key carry on items in the same place, but the problem is once I lose focus on what i'm actually doing that goes out the window.

2 days ago I lost my keys and have not been able to find them. Which is very bad for me since that keychain also included my work keys. If I don't find this keychain I'm going to be in some trouble.

I ripped half a nail off my dominant hand's thumb last week. So instead of clipping my keys to a belt loop and sticking it in my pocket I've been just throwing them in a jacket pocket so I don't aggravate the injury. Normally I'll leave the house once or twice per day to run to the store but since we had a foot of snow that day I stocked up right after work on crap I needed and didint leave the house. A half hour before I need to be at work I realized I couldn't find the keychain and after ripping my house apart and even digging through the snow I could not find them and was an hour late.

After a metal detector in the snow and taking apart my living space piece by piece I still cannot find my keys and will have to pay at least a 100 dollars to get a new one made, plus take the punishment from my job of losing their key. ( I had no spare car key)

I have to change something but I'm not sure what. I need tips and suggestions on how to be more responsible with my every day shit.:dont:

I think I need to find a way to keep part of my brain in the moment and not working through some abstraction in my skull.

ACow
01-04-2014, 11:00 PM
I try to live in the smallest space comfortable. Orders of magnitude easier to find something misplaced in 1 bedroom+bathroom vs 4 bedrooms+2 living areas+basement+2 bathrooms+garage. When we first moved out we just found extra bedrooms just become storage areas for junk in which to forget about things.

Clean out everything each year. Sell everything you don't need. Throw it out. Give it away. Minimize all STUFF. Bias strongly towards getting rid of things rather than keeping them.

I've gone as paperless as I can. Bills/papers are scanned and fed through OCR software to become searchable PDFs. I sell books if they're freely available and if I wouldn't care if my children didn't get to read them. Otherwise e-book readers shrink clutter and space again.

I've used 3G hook things immediately beside the door to try to mange keys. That's where the keys live now. Last thing going out the door. First thing coming in because they're basically still in your hand.

By using a robotic vacuum cleaner, you not only cut down on your work, but you have to design your living space to work with a robotic vacuum cleaner: open spaces and clutter free.

And after doing all that, I just manage to survive :P If I put something down somewhere, it might as well be invisible. But the small space helps you find it quickly when you need to go on that hunt for things...

99Problems
01-04-2014, 11:04 PM
I have to follow a perfectly strict routine or I misplace and lose things constantly. Keys can only be in my pants, in the car ignition or on my desk, no exceptions ever!

mthomps
01-04-2014, 11:37 PM
I try to live in the smallest space comfortable. Orders of magnitude easier to find something misplaced in 1 bedroom+bathroom vs 4 bedrooms+2 living areas+basement+2 bathrooms+garage. When we first moved out we just found extra bedrooms just become storage areas for junk in which to forget about things.

Clean out everything each year. Sell everything you don't need. Throw it out. Give it away. Minimize all STUFF. Bias strongly towards getting rid of things rather than keeping them.

I've gone as paperless as I can. Bills/papers are scanned and fed through OCR software to become searchable PDFs. I sell books if they're freely available and if I wouldn't care if my children didn't get to read them. Otherwise e-book readers shrink clutter and space again.

I've used 3G hook things immediately beside the door to try to mange keys. That's where the keys live now. Last thing going out the door. First thing coming in because they're basically still in your hand.

By using a robotic vacuum cleaner, you not only cut down on your work, but you have to design your living space to work with a robotic vacuum cleaner: open spaces and clutter free.

And after doing all that, I just manage to survive :P If I put something down somewhere, it might as well be invisible. But the small space helps you find it quickly when you need to go on that hunt for things...

Great things to think about. I will keep it in mind. Your system is way different than mine. All of my items go to one place where yours flow with entrances and exits.

mthomps
01-04-2014, 11:38 PM
I have to follow a perfectly strict routine or I misplace and lose things constantly. Keys can only be in my pants, in the car ignition or on my desk, no exceptions ever!

Yes, my problem is reoccurring exceptions as you put it more simply.

I either need to deny exceptions or prepare for them.

skip
01-05-2014, 01:55 AM
I've accepted that I'm always going to be absent-minded to a certain extent, and I've also accepted that I need an uncluttered environment in order to function and that's non-negotiable: home, office, stable, wherever. Not a spartan environment, but uncluttered and visually not "busy." That way even if things are a little messy, it's easier to find the item I'm looking for because it's the thing that isn't usually in that spot. To me it's more efficient to set aside a little time now and then and just organize than it is to minimize space and possessions; I find more living space works better than less because there's more open space. I know I won't fill it just to fill it because my ability to function would plummet.

Can you set out everything you need the night before? Make a list, tape it to the front door, get up earlier to double or triple check everything before you leave?

Are you particularly stressed out right now - I mean aside from losing the keys - or over-scheduled? Lots of stress can throw anyone off their game. Also, snow can be mean. Forgive yourself for misplacing the keys.

P.S. I tried really hard to find some online pictures to illustrate my first paragraph but they were all so dreary and beige they almost left me a little depressed. The closest I could come to what I was trying to describe was this:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_HHeaKJuOaDU/TKc4IWCzMDI/AAAAAAAADn4/_oN4KuHvvTs/s1600/Decorating-Your-Living-Room-With-Elegant-Furniture--500x330.jpg


As opposed to this, which nearly gave me a heart attack just by looking at it. I could find keys in the above room. I couldn't find my own neck in the one below. I'm not even sure I could force myself to enter it:

http://cimots.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Small-Busy-Living-Room-Decoration1.jpg

ACow
01-05-2014, 02:05 AM
I have to follow a perfectly strict routine or I misplace and lose things constantly. Keys can only be in my pants, in the car ignition or on my desk, no exceptions ever!

Growing up, I'd constantly lose my school bag, book, musical instrument, jumpers, you name it by just setting it down some place and walking away. It really became an issue, especially with more expensive items.

If the CIA were watching me, they must think I've been making random drops for the communist spies since I was 3 :\

I wonder whether my current habbit of 1 bag, taken everywhere, always containing the right things, is just an unconscious strategy to defeat this phenomenon :(

PS. Skip: that second room up there is making me anxious just looking at it.

jyng1
01-05-2014, 02:11 AM
I've accepted that I'm always going to be absent-minded to a certain extent, and I've also accepted that I need an uncluttered environment in order to function and that's non-negotiable: home, office, stable, wherever. Not a spartan environment, but uncluttered and visually not "busy." That way even if things are a little messy, it's easier to find the item I'm looking for because it's the thing that isn't usually in that spot. To me it's more efficient to set aside a little time now and then and just organize than it is to minimize space and possessions; I find more living space works better than less because there's more open space. I know I won't fill it just to fill it because my ability to function would plummet.

Can you set out everything you need the night before? Make a list, tape it to the front door, get up earlier to double or triple check everything before you leave?

Are you particularly stressed out right now - I mean aside from losing the keys - or over-scheduled? Lots of stress can throw anyone off their game. Also, snow can be mean. Forgive yourself for misplacing the keys.

P.S. I tried really hard to find some online pictures to illustrate my first paragraph but they were all so dreary and beige they almost left me a little depressed. The closest I could come to what I was trying to describe was this:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_HHeaKJuOaDU/TKc4IWCzMDI/AAAAAAAADn4/_oN4KuHvvTs/s1600/Decorating-Your-Living-Room-With-Elegant-Furniture--500x330.jpg


As opposed to this, which nearly gave me a heart attack just by looking at it. I could find keys in the above room. I couldn't find my own neck in the one below. I'm not even sure I could force myself to enter it:

http://cimots.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Small-Busy-Living-Room-Decoration1.jpg

Looks like the hired help are keeping both places fairly tidy...

skip
01-05-2014, 02:15 AM
duplicate post deleted (crazy room picture upset me so much I somehow posted twice)

skip
01-05-2014, 02:16 AM
Who the hell would design a room like the second one? I mean which MBTI type? And WHY? I was eating when I found that and I had to put my plate down and to one side for a while.

99Problems
01-05-2014, 02:19 AM
I done a lot of remodeling & designing in the course of that career, I like picture #2, a lot of well delivered complexity.

Hexchild
01-05-2014, 07:21 PM
I've progressively been conditioning myself into doing a mental excercise whenever I'm putting something away. The idea is to put myself into the mindset that, rather than holding the item, I'm currently looking for it. The first place I go to look for it without conscious interference is where I put it, regardless of how bizarre or unconventional it may be (unless it would be too impractical or inconvenient).

I don't always remember to do this, but in the long run it seems to have helped quite a lot. It has resulted in some rather peculiar placements, though.

starla
01-06-2014, 12:26 AM
You might be getting old. Things that I used to remember effortlessly now require systems or lists. You might try to designate a place to put these things and then force yourself to put them there until it becomes habit. I have a little dish near the door where my keys go when I get home. I got in the habit of using it by setting it on a ledge just inside the door where I often set things down while taking off my shoes. Once I got accustomed to dropping the keys in the dish before doing anything else, I moved the dish to a less conspicuous place. You could also make lining up your things for the next day something you do before you go to bed. If you don't have the kind of job where you go to work shortly after getting out of bed, you'll need to attach that habit to something else you already do every day, like drinking coffee, reading the internet, etc.

One other thing I do: if for some reason I see my keys somewhere they're not supposed to be, I immediately move them to the dish. I have accepted the fact that I will not remember where I saw them when it's time to go.

I've kind of given up on keeping my brain in the moment, and just do my best to work around the absentminded-ness.

Roger Mexico
01-06-2014, 06:07 PM
I go with "rules" like some of the ones above. Things have places that they go (wallet and phone in left hip pocket, keys in right hip pocket) and this is so practiced it bothers me to have to change it for any reason. (Like at the moment there's a hole in my right hip pocket--I keep absentmindedly checking it because it feels like there aren't keys in it, because they're in the other pocket).

You can build on this by minimizing the number of different containers that any of your stuff ever travels in. Get yourself a bag/case/whatever sufficiently large to contain everything you need to carry anywhere on a regular basis, and then condition yourself into a system where things only go into or out of that container. If you can be fastidious about this, then it means, at worst, you're only ever looking for one item (your "everything bag") which is a hell of a lot easier than looking for a half-dozen things which could each be in a half-dozen different places.

last_caress
01-06-2014, 06:14 PM
yeah keys, wallet and phone always in the same pockets and either stay in pants even after they're off or on my desk. no exceptions. glasses stay on my face until I go to bed.

Ptah
01-06-2014, 06:17 PM
Another vote for the habit-rules thing, here. I come unhinged something awful if I misplace something like my keys or other such needed-now or needed-often object. So, long ago I developed the habit to put things like that in one or two well-known spots. And like had been posted earlier, for less-often-accessed objects, I tend to put them where I'd out-of-context expect to find them, if that makes any sense.