I’m very diligent in my work and all matters that involve people other than myself. I’ll make plenty of notes, plan & schedule and make a thorough check list to ensure everything is done properly in a timely manner. I always made sure that my employers, clients and friends are happy with what I’ve done for them. In summery, I’m a total yes (wo)man and people pleaser.
But when it comes to my personal matters, I’m very absentminded. I leave my shopping bags behind in the shops after paying very often. I’ve forgotten to bring my house keys with me a few times and had to call locksmiths (each costs $200+ per call out) to open my door for me. One time, I left my wallet in the post office after posting a parcel. Though the wallet was recovered later, all the cash in it was gone. It happened I had a few hundreds in my wallet that day. The other time, I withdrew $1000 cash from the ATM and left the machine without taking my cash. Ok, enough embarrassing examples – you get the drift. My personal life can be
a little very messy. I’m not a forgetful person, my memory is rather good, but my mind is too preoccupied with something else.
As I’ve never paid enough attention to this problem and suffered plenty from the consequences, learn to stop being absent minded has becoming increasingly important. Why can’t I apply the same degree of diligence to my personal life? It’s time for a change. In this week’s self motivation instalment, I’m sharing my 7 steps of stop being absentminded:
- Make daily, weekly, monthly and yearly To Do List & Checklist for personal matters as well. To do list and check list don’t only belong to your workplace. They help immensely with your personal life too! Write down everything you need to do as soon as you think of them. Schedule them in your diary. Follow through your to do list to get things done according to your schedule.
- Stop aimlessly daydreaming. Some people are born focused and driven, some people are born daydreamers. I’m definitely the latter. It’s good to have a dream then take actions to achieve your dream. But daydreaming without a purpose is purely a waste of time and huge distraction to your everyday life. Be careful not to daydream while you are doing things like reading, driving or listening to others during a casual conversation.
- Always focus on what you are doing. Give 100% attention to your task on hand. If you are dealing with an important task that has a tight deadline, don’t allow yourself to be distracted until you finish what’s needed to be done. Switch off your phone (at least put it on silent mode). Do not check or reply emails. Don’t serf on the internet. Shut your door or put a “do not disturb” sign if necessary.
- Double check if you’ve got everything you need before going out. I have a list of 4 essential things I need to bring every time I leave home: House key, phone, wallet and glasses. Also make sure to bring things you need for your particular agenda for that trip.
- Take a minute to check your belongings before leaving a place, taxi or plane. Do not leave your shopping bags at the check out after paying for them or your cash at the ATM like I do. I’ve lost numerous pairs of Ray Ban sunglasses because of my absentmindedness. Buying $5 sunglasses so I can’t lose them freely is not a proper solution. The right way is to stop being absent minded and be present.
- Have a fixed spot for everything and always put things back to where they should be. Do you sometimes forget where you put your keys and phone? Do you spend a lot of time looking for things? Always leave your bags, keys etc at the same place. Make it a a habit of yours and keep it forever.
- Always be mindful of your absentmindedness and learn to control your mind. Check in with yourself regularly: are you pay attention to what is happening right now? As soon as you notice that you are loosing focus, bring yourself back to what you are doing right now.
Absentmindedness really is a mental condition. Without proper cure, it can affect our daily life severely. The good news is, you can overcome this habit and stop being absentminded. Just keep trying!