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Thread: I need help learning how to keep track of my things.

  1. #1
    Member mthomps's Avatar
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    I need help learning how to keep track of my things.

    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.

    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.
    Last edited by mthomps; 01-04-2014 at 10:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    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...

  3. #3
    In it to win it 99Problems's Avatar
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    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!

  4. #4
    Member mthomps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    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.

  5. #5
    Member mthomps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99Problems View Post
    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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member skip's Avatar
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    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:




    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:

    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

  7. #7
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jyng1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skip View Post
    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:




    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:

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

  9. #9
    Senior Member skip's Avatar
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    duplicate post deleted (crazy room picture upset me so much I somehow posted twice)
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

  10. #10
    Senior Member skip's Avatar
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    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.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

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