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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Getting Organized, Step 4: write things down

Pre-pregnancy and pre-baby I used to have a fabulous memory for pretty much everything. Birthdays, names, faces, things to do, groceries to buy, who said what, what clothes they were wearing that day - all in my little head. 

Boy, has that changed! I have been warned, but of course I thought it wouldn't apply to me - that badly.And it got bad! 

  • I would go to a room and not remember what I wanted to do or get there. 
  • I would take phone calls and say "Baby C is drinking right now, let us finish and I'll call you back" - and of course that's when I lost all of my friends because I didn't return those phone calls. 
  • I would lack vocabulary! I said "I need the... the... just gimme that thing over there!"
  • I would go to the store with the stroller, in the pouring rain, in order to purchase a specific, much needed item - only to come home noticing that I bought some nice stuff, just not the one thing I really needed! Never diapers, though:


A couple of weeks after giving birth, hubby was looking after Colin so I could have some "me time". I went to the mall. Thought I would be in heaven and spend hours at the stores. Instead I was forcing myself not to text "how's it going, has he had his bottle yet, did he burp?" every couple of minutes.
On my way home I stopped at a gas station. And yes, the unthinkable happened: I drove off with the pump nozzle still in the tank!! 



Of course I didn't get far. But this was my hitting rock bottom moment where my sanity was concerned. 

I was forced to start writing everything down. Appointments, shopping lists, things to do. And you know what happened? I went to the store only to notice that I had left the list at home! 

I am not kidding! At least, the fact that I had written down the stuff helped remembering what it was. Mostly. 

To cut a long story short: it got better, but I am still not back at a 100%, probably never will, let's not forget I hit the big 40.

I am not a sticky note person. 




I like them fine, but I prefer using Outlook. I even put alerts in my office calendar saying "take stuff home from fridge". Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't. 

After every phone call for a coworker who wasn't available I send an e-mail, you know, the electronic 

So it happens that the next and the next call don't give you time to write down the first message. Can you see the sweat on my forehead? Fortunately I have managed so far. 

I have my paper notebook where I take notes and write down instructions. 



How to record invoices in the bookkeeping system. What to do if a customer wires too little or too much money than the invoiced amount. Step-for-step payroll cycle. The license plate numbers of my coworkers - so I know who gets the speeding ticket. Things like that. 

I also do it at home sometimes - and on the rare occasion that I have a little time on my hands, I like to I add some scrapbooking / visualizing. I think pictures are a great way to understand and remember things.



Can you guess what was on my to do list for that day? I remember that I got everything done on that day. I felt so guilty about having spent time goggling pictures and printing and cutting them out that I had to make sure to actually do the work, too.

I used to work for a boss who had "idea cards". Now that was great! He carried a stack of business card sized, blank cards in his breast pocket. In the middle of a training session, or a meeting, or lunch, when we were discussing something he would say "gotta write that down, that's a great idea!" And he would actually follow-up on it a couple of days later. He was probably the most charismatic businessman I have met so far. Successful,  too. He sold his business when he was in his mid-50s, and I hear he lives in a former castle. 

Idea cards, people!