Remembering Not To Forget in 2010 – Part 2

Referring back to my last post about missing an appointment…what should I have done better? What can you do to prevent yourself from being in the same, awful position?

First, no matter what, write it down! Whether you have your calendar with you or not, write it on something. A napkin, a receipt, even your hand – anything! And if you have to, write it more than once! If you can put it in your date book or type it in your cell phone or blackberry, the act of writing it or typing it anywhere, on anything, will create a deeper memory of the experience. Your brain has to process not only the information, but the physical act of logging that thought somewhere outside of your head. The more you commit the information to more areas (locations) of your memory, the better the chance that you won’t forget it.

Second, tell somebody! I should have told my wife and kids what the new time for my appointment was and asked them to remind me to write it down when we get home. Create a chorus of people who can reinforce the new piece of information. Could you just imagine us driving home with my kids repeatedly singing a jingle to the beat of their latest pop or rap idle, “dad’s new appoint is at noon not at 3 – oh yea!”. Avail yourself of more memory capacity by having other people help you remember stuff.

Candidly, I’ve heard other people refer to their memory lapses as “sometimers disease”, or “intellectual interludes”, or even call them “brain farts”. Anyone know what I’m talking about?

Lastly, send yourself a voice message, an email or text message. Use the technologies available to all of us and protect yourself. You may find this a little desperate or over the top, but we’re talking about preserving precious opportunities here! Regardless of our profession, we’re in very competitive businesses, and missing an appointment can be a deal-breaker.

Think about it – what feels more ridiculous? Sending yourself a text message so you won’t forget something important or getting that phone call that says you missed your really important appointment? Texting yourself may be embarrassing, but missing the appointment is exponentially more embarrassing and potentially very expensive! If you can’t use either of the two previous suggestions, protect yourself and use all of your memory aid devices and tools to help you be more efficient.

Though we’re all human and will never be perfect, we must do everything possible to keep ourselves at the top of our game, for our business partners and customers we serve, as well as, for the family we protect and provide for.

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