Do you ever forget errands you need to run? Have you ever forgotten a phone call you needed to make - or something else you needed to do? You might be using one of the 10 ways NOT to remind yourself what you need to do.

  1. Layers of Post-it® notes around your monitor (so any importance is lost). Not only does this NOT work to remind you (because the “reminder” is buried in a sea of other “reminders”) but it makes your work space look ridiculous and as if you have no system in place (which you don’t if this is how you remind yourself).
  1. Writing on your hand. Please. How old are you? This isn’t 7th grade science where you put a formula on your hand to cheat. Surely you’re past this.
  1. Thinking about it while you’re doing something else. Multiminding is not smart and not efficient. I’m sure you’ve tested this one enough to know that it doesn’t work. There’s no need to try it out again, is there?
  1. Post-it® notes on your steering wheel. Even the Super Sticky Post-It(R) notes won’t stick to a steering wheel. And, then when it falls off, you could have an accident while you root around on the floor looking for it.
  1. Depending on someone else to remind you (unless you’re paying that person). You really don’t want the intrusion of another person with you all the time and that’s about the only way this can work (and then only if that person has systems in place to remind him/herself). This is also a no-win way to damage relationships if you ask someone else to remind you to do something, then that person forgets, and then you blame him/her. Don’t try this at home. Not smart.
  1. Not carrying your calendar or PDA with you all the time. Your planner is one of the ways THAT WORKS to remind yourself, but not if you don’t carry it with you.
  1. Overscheduling yourself. As soon as you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off, you are forgetting all kinds of tasks, responsibilities, and commitments. Back off a little.
  1. Sticky notes on your forehead. (You’ve probably seen the cartoon). I just had to put this one in case anyone thought it was worth a try. It’s not.
  1. Saying “yes” to things you don’t really plan to do. There’s a psychological response when we do this…and we are pretty well guaranteed to forget…and then we have to apologize. Why not tell the truth from the beginning.
  1. Deluding yourself that you don’t need any kind of reminder. People at every income and education level say “I can remember.” None of us can. We need systems in place to support our intent to remember.

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, predictably productive professional. Lots of people recommend how you can remind yourself of what you need to do. I thought it was time to make sure you knew the sure-fire ways to FORGET what you need to do.

And if you’d like over 550 practical tips and strategies to stay peacefully productivel, you will be interested in the Top Ten Productivity Tips Collection! 

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