Panic erupts. Something you need is missing. It may be important, it is definitely urgent, and it's missing. Keys, glasses, cell phones, and other small, useful items mysteriously disappear when you need them most. Let's look first at ideas for avoiding the problem, then at strategies for when things get lost anyway.
Avoiding the Problem
Think about the last thing you lost. Where does it belong? Equipment, supplies and reference material all belong somewhere. That spot, wherever it is, is the easiest place to find whatever you're looking for. Take a moment to put it back where it belongs if you can. If you can't, put it in an inbox.
To avoid locking yourself out of your house or car, make a habit of having keys in your hand when closing the door. Lock the door with the key, or with the remote. Don't lock the door and push it closed unless the key us in your hand.
Here is a Jedi Mind Trick which can help you remember where you put something as you put it down. People learn things through visual, auditory or kinesthetic means, each according to his or her gifts. Which ever you prefer, your memory works best when you create links all three ways. Watch yourself put those kkeys down. Feel them as they leave your hand. Say to yourself "the car kris are on the bathroom counter under the toothbrushes" and be specific as you do it. In the best case, your learning processes have built strong links. In Thevenn worst case, you were paying attention at the time.
Okay, But My Keys Are Lost NOW!
You looked where they belong, where you thought they were, and the floor under where you thought they were. Either they weren't in the geinbox or the inbox idea is looking better -- for later. For now, some serious searching is in order.
Picture the item in your hand. Where were you and what were you doing the last time you saw it? Who else was there? Retrace your route, looking most carefully at the last place you were and where you had them last. Is there someone you can talk to?
If that hasn't helped, it's time to make a list. Where have they shown up when lost the past? Where could they be? Who might have seen them? Could someone have moved them? Are there other ways you can look, other people you can ask?
Develop the habit of limiting the places you put things. Pay attention when putting things down. Visualization can help as you put something down or as you realize it's missing. If you have to search, have a search plan, and always have a backup plan.
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