Where Did I Put That?
If you’re constantly misplacing your things, try these tips to end those daily search-and-recovery missions
Mobile phones dropped in cabs, rings forgotten at the nail salon after a manicure, phone chargers left behind in hotel rooms after checking out… regardless of how organised (or scattered) we may be, we’ve probably left something behind at some point in time.
In fact, surveys show that we seem to be losing things more often than ever. But why are we misplacing more and more of our stuff?
“In this tech-driven, multitasking world, we’re more likely to get distracted and lose things as a result.”
– Florence Meleo-Meyer, former director of the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
Well if you’re struggling to remember to hold on to your possessions, here’s some expert advice that may help:
MAKE A MENTAL IMAGE
When you put something down, take a second to create a detailed picture in your mind. For example, take note that you’re placing your red gloves on a black table, or create mental imagery and envision a colour explosion on that very spot. “Your brain has an easier time recalling images than words,” says Florence. “This way, you’ll be more likely to remember where you left the object.”
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Do you usually whip out your smart phone to surf the Internet when you’re killing time during commutes or waiting at the café for your friend to show up? Well the next time you do so, opt for a feel-good website rather than a news site. Here’s why: “Negative stress-inducing news causes anxiety and distracts us, making us more likely to lose something,” Jan Chozen Bays, M. D., author of How To Train A Wild Elephant And Other Adventures In Mindfulness, points out. “The happy stuff isn’t as likely to side-track our thoughts.”
MAKE A MUSICAL MEMORY
Make up a mantra composed of three items that you commonly misplace. For instance, hum the words “car keys, handphone, wallet” to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (hum the tune quietly in your head). It might sound corny, try it, it works!