I am an Oaf

OK. I must be the most absent minded idiot on earth.

I did a little self-study last week and I calculated how much time I wasted looking for things, going back in to my house because I forgot something and other miscellaneous things that cause general time wasting.

Wait for it.

6 hours. And thats’s just when I remembered to time myself.

I’ll give you an example: Last week, while going to my “other house” in San Xia, upon arrival I found that I had forgotten my keys. It takes me 40 minutes to get to San Xia from Yong He.

I didn’t learn the first time. The second time I went, I forgot them too.

The San Xia house keys are coupled to my Yong He house keys, so getting back into my Yong He house saw me climbing up the side of the building two floors to get in through the window, much to the amusement of the neighbours. More wasted time.

I had a company class in Xi Men Ting. I usually go by MRT, but last week on Thursday I went via motorcycle. I went home by MRT, forgetting I had gone by bike.
I had to go back to retrieve my bike.

Every time I go out I forget something - phone, keys, money, girlfriend - which causes me to turn around and go back.

I sometimes have to check my tooth brush to see if I have brushed my teeth or not. I can’t remeber things I have done less than 5 minutes ago.I can’t find pens I have just used, cups I have moved.
Heck, I can lose a white piece of paper on a jet black desk.

Is there anything I can do to prevent this kind of thing from happening? I have tried routines - something I am usually good at - but that doesn’t work. I try to put things in the same place all the time, but if I am distracted or in a rush, I forget and then can’t find things.

This really does get me frustrated.

So what I am wondering is:

Is anyone out there as bad as me, or am I the only one?

I am not as bad as you (forgetting your bike), but I do find myself running up and down 5 flights of stairs at least once every morning since I forget something. I even came to work one day with two different shoes on.

I know it’s because I sleep to the very last minute and have to rush out every day.

Did you include the time spent calculating time-wasting? :wink:

I’m gonna laugh if you post this again. :laughing:

Is the girlfriend cute? :smiling_imp:

Yes, but she only dates rodents.

Dm -
Dude, you’re not alone.

Gingko Biloba.

Well, she’s OK.

:idunno:

Gesundheit.

Ratty reminds me of this guy:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norbert_Wiener

Mmmm, okay. Leave her my phone number so that next time you forget her someplace she can call me. You will remember to give her the number, right? :smiling_imp: :wink:

Name: Hill, Tom
Location: Beach, Thailand
Reason for missive: Personal request.
(Go to question 34b)
Nature of request: Suggest user name change.
Reason given for request: Having read the initial post I believe the user has had identity crisis.
Suggested name change: Dangermouse into Penfold.

Request pending.

:laughing:

Hey, Hsaidogah, here’s her number.

Got a pen? OK, here we go.

It’s 0912004…hang on…091204…no, wait…0912723…5…9…no, that’s not it.
Sorry mate, can’t help.

I’m not quite as bad, but I have the bad habit of locking my apartment door, walking down to my bike and then… Hmmm, did I lock the door? Yes. Yes, I’m sure I did. Then I run back anyway and check, only to find that I did lock it. Off to work I go. About to mark someones homework… Damn! I forgot to bring my red pen. :loco:

Woke up once and I was out the door down to my bike. No bike! :frowning: I was sure it was stolen. 15 minutes, and several frantic phone calls later, I realised I had left my bike at the pub and took a taxi home because I wasn’t exactly in any condition to drive. :blush:

More recently, I’m lying in bed all Sunday with my girlfriend all psyched up to tape the last episode of Battlestar Galactica on Cinemax (She doesn’t like Sci-Fi). 10:30 when she’s ready to go home I realise I forgot about it… Now I’m hoping they’ll recast the series sometime.

So…I guess it happens to all of us… Or maybe some of us are just getting old :fume:

Learn to repeat this mantra as part of your “here I go” routine. Say outloud before you change your location “Wallet, phone, keys.”

It’s a start.

You could write a checklist and stick it on the door of your apartamento.

Minimise the opportunities to fuck up. Reduce the number of things to forget, but be aware that this can increase the impact when you do forget them. For instance, I use a bumbag (fanny pack to you yankees) which I keep loaded with the stuff I need on a regular basis: various keys, money, sunglasses, etc. I only have to remember one thing, but when I forget it I’m stuffed.

The other thing is to reduce the demand on your brain by organising your time so that you’re not at a flat run all the time and don’t have too many pre-occupations. I’m less forgetful when I give myself time to think, which means less time wasted, which means you actually get more done.

I rely on my PDA. A ‘to do’ list and a diary and a bunch of notes can really help because you don’t have all that stuff floating around in your mind distracting you. Whenever you finish one activity you have a simple routine: “Wallet, phone keys, OK, where am I going?” And ask your PDA. Free time? “OK, what do I have to get done next?” - you’re not pre-occupied by all the things you have to do therefore you have spare brain power for motorbikes and girlfriends.

Well, she’s OK.

:idunno:[/quote]

No,no … I saw her last week at my place … she’s cute … and you’re lucky you didn’t forget her here … but than my wife wouldn’t agree … if I … :laughing:

Is this the same girl? Looks like she changed skin color … the girl you brought here had a darker skin … hmmmm … two girlfriends? :wink:

[quote=“Dangermouse”]Is there anything I can do to prevent this kind of thing from happening? …
So what I am wondering is:

Is anyone out there as bad as me, or am I the only one?[/quote]
Me: Hi, My name is Seeker4 and I am an oaf.

Oafs Anonymous Group: Hello Seeker4!

You’re definitely not the only one. I’ve come up with a few “methods” to chip away at this problem.

First one is very similar to Loretta’s suggestion. Before I leave anywhere that I’ve been for a long while, like home for work or the opposite, I try really hard to remember to stop and do the checklist – “OK, wallet, cell phone, keys, …”

Additionally, anytime I change locations, period, I do a very quick visual check of my seat, surroundings, etc. to see what I might have left behind. I have probably donated 50 baseball hats to various eating establishments over my lifetime by putting it on the seat while eating (old gentleman’s rule), and then forgetting it on the way out.

Next there is packing. I’ve tried just mentally creating or writing a normal packing list. That can work. What I’ve had much more success with is thinking over (if in a huge hurry) or writing down a list of “activities”. In other words, what activities will I be involved in while out/gone. Then, I think of (maybe write down) what items are needed to do each activity. For example, when going camping, it works very well to list activities: eating, sleeping, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, birdwatching, etc. That way, it is very easy, using those activity titles as mental prompters, to create a packing list that includes all of the stuff that you might forget when going camping – pillow, swim fins, compass, bird book, etc. This works when packing for an extended trip or just for being out of the house all day with a few stops or activities.

Lastly, I swear a blood oath before going on any extended trip. If I don’t pack it, and I leave home without it, I’m not going back, period. I will somehow manage. That has caused some discomfort, but it increases my motivation to plan properly the next time.

Here’s the key: Pausing. It is completely unnatural, but absolutely essential. There will come a moment during every transition between locations when you must pause in order to have the presence of mind to do the checklist or visual check. It is unnatural because you are usually rushing or mentally occupied with something else. All I can say is, it’s like any other habit – cultivate it – learn to pause.

It isn’t fool-proof (I proved that), but it is the most effective thing I’ve seen. Airline pilots use checklists every day, every flight. Not because they’re idiots … because what they’re doing is important and they’re human.

[quote]No,no … I saw her last week at my place … she’s cute … and you’re lucky you didn’t forget her here … but than my wife wouldn’t agree … if I …

Is this the same girl? Looks like she changed skin color … the girl you brought here had a darker skin … hmmmm … two girlfriends? [/quote]

She’s the same girl, but she has just come back from Bali where she stayed for a month soaking up the sun.

I lost my PDA.

This is a good idea and I have been trying to do this. The problem arises when I lock the door - I’ll just walk away from the door with the keys in it.
Or I check that I have my keys in my pocket by taking my wallet out - and leave the wallet.

I think this is the crux of the problem. Time organisation and not flapping around at the last minute helps an awful lot.

[quote=“seeker4”]Lastly, I swear a blood oath before going on any extended trip. If I don’t pack it, and I leave home without it, I’m not going back, period. I will somehow manage. That has caused some discomfort, but it increases my motivation to plan properly the next time.

[/quote]

I don’t noramally have a problem with packing; just short term placement memory. However, I might apply this idea to everyday going out. Don’t have it? Tough, I’ll have to manage through the day without it.

Another good idea.

[quote]It isn’t fool-proof (I proved that), but it is the most effective thing I’ve seen. Airline pilots use checklists every day, every flight. Not because they’re idiots … because what they’re doing is important and they’re human.
[/quote]

Don’t get everyone worried. I am a pilot. Thankfully, not an airline pilot though :laughing:

The foolest proof is to stay always at home, order everything in, have English classes at your house. Never ever leave your house … and tie-up everything, put all the stuff in the same spot all the time. Never ever leave your wife/GF/BF out of your eye sight. :laughing:

Yes, the pausing is always good advice. Pause and make a mental inventory of the things that are of greatest impotance when you’re about to leave the house. Keys are at the top of my list - without them I can’t go back and get other things that I missed. Then money, EasyCard, wallet (which may or may not have money or Easycard in it at the time), cell phone and other necessities.

Often, the night before, I’ll put everything I need in my pants pockets and/or bag, so I don’t have to worry too much about it when I leave. It’s unlikely I’ll leave the house without my bag, let alone my pants!

When traveling, I always gheck the Three Crown Jewels of Travel before departing: Passport, Ticket, Money.

Also, whenever you get out of a bus, cab, train or plane, always check your seat. When leaving a hotel room, always give the room a final once-over.

The key is to make these activities a habit. Repetition.

And don’t forget to check behind the door for your raincoat. I speak from experience.

Here’s a clever one: Yesterday I was motorbiking across Taipei in torrential rain, and later than I wanted to be at the busiest time of day. I usually drive with the assumption that I’m surrounded by people who want to kill me, add the weather and rush factors and it all gets a bit scarey. Paying full attention to ‘now’ is something to do all the time, not just when completing your pre-departure checklist.

Plus, I had another appointment back where I was coming from perilously close in time after the one I was going to. And I was very tired. So I did the smart thing. I parked the moto and taxied for the rest of the day. Back into town by taxi this morning, and taxi to various place until I finished the day close to where I left the bike last night.

Then I walked for an hour in the wrong direction and back looking for it. It was 50 metres from where I started from, but Mr Numbnuts hadn’t thought to take note of any landmarks or numbers on buildings.

I would have given up and gone home in a taxi, if I had remembered to bring enough money or an ATM card with me. :unamused: