The problem with the human brain is that it does not serve well to remind us of our task list at that magical moment that something needs to be done. While some people are able to supernaturally know what time it is…most of us struggle to think of everything we need to think of – at the moment it needs to be thought.
How many times have we slapped ourselves on the forehead and realized that we forgot an event or a task that we were supposed to do? (for me, that is often)
The brain is great at follow-through, once it receives the “go” command. Therefore, we need to learn how to build better triggers to tell it when to start thinking about a task or commitment. Here are a few ideas:
- If a task is time sensitive, create a calendar event (an appointment) in your phone to remind you at the right time. Smart phones are a great way to create triggers to begin a task.
- If a task is location specific, most smart phones also have GPS triggered reminders. I can have my phone remind me when I arrive at a restaurant what my favorite meal was that I last ordered. I can also have it alert me when I drive by the grocery store that I need to stop.
- I can also create triggers that are a combination of both. If I need to remember to pickup the dry cleaning when I leave in the morning, I tape the dry cleaning receipt on the kitchen door so that I will see it when I leave.
- If a task is project related, I can set a trigger in my filing system. If I drop a note in the manilla folder of my project notes (or an Evernote file), it will be the first thing I see when I open the file.
- If a task is people related, I use an Evernote lists to keep track of my future agendas. Everytime I meet with someone, I check their agenda file to see if any new items were added that I forgot about.
- If a task is trip related, I put my packing list in my suitcases (or saddlebags for my motorcycle) to remind me what I need to take on the next trip. TripIt is another good app for that.
Perhaps you have some tricks that you would share with our other readers?
Thanks for listening. And, thanks for your patience last week. I took some time off and appreciate that so many of you called to check on me!