Sombrero from MexGrocer.com
Let's say you weren't able to avoid losing your phone, your keys, or whatever. How do you go about finding your lost item?
The most comprehensive advice, involving 12 principles, comes from Professor Solomon. You can read his 12 principles online — and for even more information, you can get his free ebook. Here's an example of his advice, from Principle Seven:
Don’t be fooled. Your object may be right where you thought it was—but it has become hidden from view. Be sure to check under anything that could be covering your object, having inadvertently been placed on top of it.Gretchen Rubin explains a strategy that works for her:
I call this the Camouflage Effect. Among the most common offenders are newspapers and sombreros.
Over and over, I’ve found, if I can’t find something, I just start tidying up. Almost inevitably, the lost thing turns up, even when I’m convinced that tidying won’t make any difference in the search process.Finally, Susan Krauss Whitbourne writes in Psychology Today about why we lose things, and also provides advice on finding them:
Maybe I engage more actively with my surroundings, maybe my vision is sharper — I’m not sure why.
Instead of panicking, sit down and think. Reconstruct the series of steps you followed when you put the item down. Remind yourself of what you were thinking and feeling. Context-dependent memory, in which you put yourself in the same frame of mind, is your best friend right now. You need to reconstruct the entire scenario mentally, walking through it like a crime scene. Eventually little details will float to the surface of your memory and you will have that wonderful "aha" moment when you remember exactly where you put it.There are gadgets that can help you find lost items, too — but that's the next post in this series.