Put it in front of you

Photo courtesy of Chapendra (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Chapendra (Creative Commons)

The other day, I gathered up my things to head home after work and got halfway home before I remembered that I had not picked up the mail I was supposed to drop off at the post office. I had to drive all the way back to work to get it.

That is not the only time that has happened, so now I put the outgoing mail with my purse, so I will be sure to take it with me.

If there is something I need to be sure to do first thing the next day at work, I leave either the file or a note right in the center of my desk, so it will be the first thing I see when I walk in the next morning.

It may seem silly to have to prop the book I need to take to the library in front of the door, but it is the only way I seem to be able to ensure I take care of it. I basically have to move it to get out the door and therefore cannot forget it.

We all have so much on our minds, that putting something in front of yourself like that takes the chance out of it and ensures you take care of that important thing.

I’m looking for more ways to put things in front of myself too. I hate the feeling of getting to the end of a day only to realize I did not order those supplies that were needed, or fill out that form, or make that phone call. If I don’t write things down (either on paper or electronically), well then I likely won’t do it.

I am testing some new tricks to help me remember to do things, in addition to the “put it in front of the door” technique. Reminders on my phone, even if it is something seemingly silly like laundry, or stopping at the grocery store, help me when otherwise I would just zip home and get busy on other things.

I have also been using Trello as my task list application and instead of making it a destination, I have set it up so that it is the first screen I see when I open my browser. As tedious as that may seem, it reminds me to check my to-do list and make sure what I am doing is the best way to use my time right then. It also helps me to let go when I see that there isn’t anything urgent I need to be doing – a great tool for being able to say “not now.”

These tricks have been real time savers because by making sure I take care of things early, I relieve that scrambling that happens when you’ve forgotten to do something at the right time.

How do you make sure you’ve done what you need to?