The other day I got a couple of miles from my house before I realized I had forgotten my glasses. I don't need them to drive, but I generally wear them all the time. How could I leave home without them? And what clued me in on their absence?
Today I forgot to wear a belt.
I used to have a small white board by the door that said, "Coffeemaker off - stove off - lights off. Vitamins, makeup, earrings." I should add to that "Belt? Glasses? Sweater? Teeth?" Yesterday I forgot to brush my teeth.
With my diminished short term memory, I've learned a few tricks. A sticky note in the car screams "Prednisone!" to remind me to stop at the vet for the dog's medication. "8:30 meeting" on the back of a used envelope next to the coffee maker gets me rushing in the morning. Before I exit the house, I make sure I am holding my keys in my hand, so leaving them by the recharging cell phone ensures I have both. But today I meant to recharge the phone in the car, and I forgot.
Enter the Moleskine notebook. I carry several of these in my purse, jotting down reminders and grocery lists and to-do items with abandon. List making has the additional bonus of giving me something to check off once the task is complete. Uncompleted tasks also nag, nag, nag.
Now, if I could only remember how to do my job.
I'm a software developer who has not developed any software in years. All that "code grinding" has been moved off-shore. Well, almost all of it. I am still responsible for an application that has not required any attention from me since we upgraded to XP. Therein lies the problem. The original development tool is not only defunct, it won't run under XP at all. The libraries we use from that development tool work just fine, but may not if we ever upgrade the operating system again. I procrastinated on rewriting the code because I kept expecting to be "made redundant" - i.e. job eliminated - but I haven't been, probably because I'm the "IT owner" of this application. I made the mistake of listing this task as a goal on my annual review for 2008, which means it should be done by now.
And it has been so long since I wrote any code that I don't remember how.