It’s 8:00 am and you’re rushing out the door to work and you’re pretty sure you have everything.
Organic, fair trade, single source, shade-grown coffee in spill-proof cup…check!
And thankfully your underwear is on the right side of your pants (We’re talking to you here, Superman!). All that’s left is to grab your keys and you’re out the door.
But the keys are nowhere to be found. Checked on the table, by the microwave, on your nightstand.
It’s like they grew little key legs and went and hid under the couch.
Now you’re running late. It’s first thing in the morning and you’re already stressed out.
If this sounds like you then you’re not alone, and I’ve got a solution for you.
It’s easier than you think…
You’ve Got Too Much on Your Mind
The problem is that this isn’t a one-time thing. Today it was your keys, yesterday it was your cell phone, and tomorrow it will be your socks.
You get plenty of advice like “you need to stop being so absent-minded” or “try to be more mindful” or “why don’t you put your stuff where you can find it?”.
And you’re thinking: Really? Hmm, I never thought of that!
They don’t get it.
You’ve got millions of things on your mind all the time between work (Do we really need to have 5 meetings a day; when am I supposed to do my actual JOB?), the house (that faucet is STILL leaking) and the family (have to send Mom a card by Tuesday so that it arrives by Mother’s Day and the kids have soccer AND baseball practice this week).
You’ve also got a stack of dry-cleaning that has to go and there’s that weird smell in the car that you have to investigate.
Can I Take 5?
You’re pretty sure that if you could get just a bit of time to focus on yourself, you could get things organized. Your place would look like a show home: there would be a place for everything and everything in its place.
The problem is that’s never going to happen so you have to limp along and spend every morning on your hands and knees trying to find whatever it is that you’ve lost. You could try the “Honey, do you know where that thing is?” but that’s not as helpful as you might like.
So here’s the trick: Name That Thang!
Any time you are going to put anything down, before you let it go, look at it and say its name out loud. The memory you generate with that important 1 second will sear that item’s location into your brain.
For example, say you just got home and you want to put your keys down somewhere (it doesn’t matter where).
Look at the keys and say “KEYS” as you place them on the table, or behind the microwave or in the fish tank (hey, who am I to judge?).
It is an absolute certainty that when you need those keys tomorrow, you will know exactly where they are. There will be no stress as you stride directly to your not-so-secret hiding spot and retrieve your keys with a big smile on your face.
And it doesn’t just work with your keys. Try it with your cell phone or the remote for the Blu-Ray player or your wallet or even a slow-moving pet (think turtle; cats, not so much).
And just think of the immediate benefits: there’s no spike in stress from having lost something (again), you’re more relaxed and you don’t need to be worried about what the next morning’s going to be like.
You are a picture of calm in an ocean of chaos.
Even better, not having this worry and stress every morning frees up your mental energy for other things. This one little trick could be a keystone habit that opens up a whole range of possibilities for goodness in your life.
See Also: 5 Quick and Easy Memory Tricks
The sky’s the limit!
Over to you. Does this little trick work for you? Please share your experiences in the comments area.
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Author: Aftab Sabir
Aftab Sabir is passionate about helping people cope effectively with worry and stress with humor and compassion. Check out his site at DoneWorrying.com.