I just traveled for work on the wrong week. I am always so distracted, how to improve?

spocchio

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#1
I had to meet (on another state) a student of a collegue of my supervisor. This guy starts working next week.
I knew it from the email we exchanged that I had to go next week, but I still managed to f*** everything up.

Also, just to give you an idea about me, I often forget my keys inside my home, or I forget notes (even private ones) on the wrong place.


I have a large number of lists to check and I live of todolists in order to not get lost in the procrastination. Still I make such mistakes.

How can I improve this part of me? I want to be more cautious and attentive. But I have no idea how to do it.

I also wonder if there some generic first principle I could try to apply evry time in order to achieve this?I just traveled for work on the wrong week. I am always so distracted, how to improve?
 
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#3
Based on what you wrote, I'm guessing that you either have far too many things to do or too many problems (either real or imagined) on your mind, which is causing your mind to wander. Does this sound like you? I mention it because it sounds exactly like I was during a pretty hectic period of my life.

Here are a few things that worked wonders for me:
  • Simplify your life: Sit down for a while and write a list of all the things that are taking time in your life (work, family, relationships, social stuff, etc.). Are you juggling way too many things at once? I think most of us don't realize how many things we have going on in any given moment until we're drowning in them. If you do have too many things to do, either delegate the things you can, or let go of those less-important things. One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of things we think are important aren't really important if you dig deep - you need to spend some time figuring that out. Personally, I found a lot of things I thought I needed to do were insignificant - I let a lot of things go and I haven't missed them at all.
  • Try meditation if you haven't: You might be thinking "I'm way too busy, I don't have time to sit still and meditate!". If that's the case, you're actually a prime candidate to get the most out of meditation. Sitting still, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath for 5-15 minutes a day clears your head and the benefits stay with you throughout the day. I did not believe in meditation at all until I started to try it regularly. I was amazed at the increased focus and clarity it provides.
I've also done a few other things like journaling (to clear my head) and focusing on the 2-3 most important things of my day instead of having a miles-long todo list (to not overwhelm myself) successfully as well, but I would recommend simplification and meditation above everything else first since I believe those would help you the most.

Don't be too hard on yourself, and work at it a little every day. You don't have to immediately drop a ton of things or start meditating for 15 minutes from the get-go. If you can delegate or drop one thing, and/or meditate for just 3-5 minutes, that's a great start and might even see some small results instantly. If you delegate or drop things regularly and slowly increase the amount of time you meditate, the results will be amazing. Let me know if you'd like more info or resources for any of this. Best of luck!
 

Sarah Carlson

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#4
I'm a bit forgetful myself Spoc so I can sympathise. I recommend you watch these two videos

10 Morning Habits Geniuses Use To Jumpstart Their Brain By Jim Kwik
How to break bad habits that hold you back
 
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#5
These are awesome suggestions. I would add, don't beat yourself up over the lapses. You are not the only one it happens too. When I travelled more extensively I would sometimes lose track of what city I was in and what meeting I was there for.

Try this quick one too: Take five meaningful breaths. Just focus on breathing in and then breathing out. It creates a moment of free space in your mind so you can refocus. I love the journaling suggestion too. Check out MeetMaple.com (full disclosure this is my site). It has lots of tools to help you clear out some of that mental clutter - and you can use the journal and reflections for free! Good luck!!!