How NOT to Remind Yourself
Here are some sure-fire ways to FORGET what you need to do.
- Layers of Post-it® notes around your monitor. Not only is any importance lost, but you’ve add all kinds of distraction and invitations to re-direct your attention when you’re working.
- Writing on your hand. Ewww. Whenever I see people who do this, I wonder how long they will go until they wash their hands. Kind of like you sometimes see cars that are dirty with “Wash Me” written in the grime, I wonder if people who write reminders on their hands need to have “Wash Me” as one of the reminders.
- Thinking about what you need to do while you’re doing something else (and somehow hoping you’ll remember it when you’re not still doing that something else).
- Notes stuck on your steering wheel, hanging from your visor, or otherwise distracting you or obstructing your visual field.
- Depending on someone else to remind you (unless you’re paying that person). Whenever the other person who lives in my house says, “Hey, remind me to…” I have the same response, which is, “I can’t be responsible for that. You need to write it down.” I’ve said this for, um…over 30 years. He still makes the same request and I still respond the same way.
- Not carrying your calendar or smartphone with you if that’s where your reminders live. Of course, simply carrying them isn’t magically going to help you remember what you need to do or where you need to be but if you’ve put the information into your phone &/or calendar and you look at them &/or add notification sounds, that’s the magical part (well, if you pay attention).
- Overscheduling yourself. Overscheduling has no benefits for the productive person and that includes the fact that you’re more forgetful when you are overscheduled.
- Saying “yes” to things you don’t really plan to do. Tell the truth from the beginning or at least as soon as you realize it.
- Deluding yourself that you don’t need any kind of reminder.
- Sticky notes on your forehead. (Years ago there was a cartoon and now you can find many images showing this unhelpful tactic).
Being able to remember what you need to do so you can do it (i.e., following through on your commitments) is part of being a peacefully productive professional. Use what you know about good ways to remind yourself and make sure you *aren’t* doing any of the ones in this short article.
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