How to "Fail proof" Your Day and your Life

Are you constantly forgetting things when you leave the house, missing appointments, searching for your keys, and more? If so, you’re not alone. Modern life is very hectic. We’ve all got a lot going on and consequently our minds are scattered.

You’ll be happy to know that there is an easy solution. Apply this magic question every time you have something you MUST not forget: “How can I fail proof it?” Make sure there are no loopholes and you’ll be on your way to success.

How to Fail proof It:

1. Things You Need to Bring with You -multiple options:

  • Create a list and tape it to your front door handle.
  • Tape List to your car steering wheel.
  • Place the items right at the foot of your front door.
  • Take the item(s) out to your car as soon as you think of it.

2. Appointments – if you often miss appointments, create more than one reminder to failproof it.

  • Electronic Calendars – GCalendar will send text message reminders if you sign up for it.
  • PDA reminders – Simple enough, we all have cell phones or blackberry’s nowadays, just remember to use it!
  • Phone reminders – set a reminder on your cell phone or set a free phone call reminder with TelePixie.

3. Ideas You Don’t Want to Forget

  • Write it down! – keep one notebook where you write down all ideas and which you check each day/night to assign those ideas into your next actions list.
  • Jott It – send a voice message to yourself which will be converted to text and emailed to you along with the original audio.
  • Use voice memo on your phone, pda, camera, or voice memo device.

4. Items You Frequently Lose – keys, remote control, cell phone, purse, etc.

  • Establish a place for these important items.
  • Always put them in the same place.
  • Create an appropriately sized bin specifically for these items and affix a large label on it to remind you and others.

5. Shared Items That Get Lost – remote controls, keys, etc.

  • Tie them down. This is drastic, but if you live in a household where multiple people use and frequently lose something, you can consider this option.
  • Attach something large to the item. If the item is small, like a remote control, you could try taping it to a very large heavy book. It will still be portable, but less likely to get lost.
  • Consider getting one for each person. This only works if the item in question is inexpensive like keys. This is good if nothing else is working and your frustration is high. Then just make sure you put yours away in a safe place!
  • Lock them. You can use a gun lock type of lock. You can create something to lock it too using duct tape or packing tape. It might look ugly, but it might also work. The most responsible person in the household keeps the key.
  • Attach a homing device to the item. Here is an example:

6. Information and Paperwork – passports, passwords, birth certificates, etc.

  • Establish a filing system.
  • File as you go or at least once a week.
  • Establish one place for important information.
  • Paper system for information. Keep it with all your other files.
  • For really important papers consider a fireproof lockbox.
  • Electronic information systems. Use the simplest possible. Some people use just one long text file and use the
    “find” feature to search. Or you could use something like Google Notebook which is free and has search built in.

7. Your Mind – this one is a little tougher! :)

  • Try and follow the above suggestions.
  • Write everything down so you’re not trying to remember everything in your head. Hopefully, then, you’ll be able to hold onto your sanity!

What are your best tips to keep from losing things and forgetting appointments?

Written for Dumb Little Man by K. Stone, author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. Popular articles are So You Want to Be a Writer and Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?


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