# How to cope with absentmindedness?

I work in a bank. In my desk I do 18(eighteen) kinds of tasks. One of them is to handover Cheque Books. The procedure is as follows:

(1) Find the requisition slip.

(2) Inspect if the signature on the requisition slip is verified.

(3) Find the book.

(4) Note down the starting and ending serial numbers form the book on the slip, give an initial on the slip.

(5) Take the signature of the customer in the register and (6)give an initial.

(7) Give an initial on the requisition slip in the book being issued.

(8) Post the issued book in the software.

(9) Send the requisition slip to another person for the authorization of software entry.

(10) Keep the slip in a specific file.

Now, most of the time I forget the point (2) and (6).

I often forget to write the name of my bank in the address section on any letter-envelope. For example, in place of

Card Division,
Abcd Bank Ltd.,
20, X Avenue,
Y area,
Z City.


most of the time I write:

Card Division,
20, X Avenue,
Y area,
Z City.


This is problem from my childhood.

Can anyone please point out the cause?

How to solve this?

How to solve my absentmindedness in general?

NB. My absentmindedness heavily increases when I am mentally disturbed. That is natural. But I become mentally disturbed and excited very easily. I have almost zero patience in everything.

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What happened to #6? –  JB King Sep 14 '12 at 22:10
It is at the right side of the #5. In the same line. –  BROY Sep 15 '12 at 2:31
Ok, so it is there but not quite where I would have expected it. –  JB King Sep 15 '12 at 2:36

## 7 Answers

A useful solution to this is actually very similar to the solution a lot of professionals use when managing large numbers of projects at the same time, or audit firms use to assure themselves that junior auditors will carry out all the tasks required despite being relatively new and not necessarily familiar with the entire process:

Checklists

For any new process, keep a checklist of all required tasks, if necessary in a handy folder you can keep with you. Laminated pages for each process can work well.

The usual idea is that once you become familiar enough with a process you can archive the checklist, but for ones that are too complex, or if you just aren't getting that 'second nature' then just keep the checklist.

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+1 for becoming familiar with the process through checklists - you have to 'Practice perfect', doing things the 'right' way (as per the title of the book). If you do it over and over the right way (by following a checklist for every point), it will become an engrained practice in your mind. For forgetting the names of the banks on the envelopes for example, I would take some time and sit down to write the potential addresses you need a large number of times by hand. When you come to do it again, you won't even have to think about it. –  iteles Jan 9 '13 at 22:03

Though not required by management, I choose to update the outgoing voicemail message of my support desk phone every morning. Without my colorful reminder post-it, I would likely forget to do this occasionally.

The previous response gets my vote too - the laminated list will serve as your training wheels until (if) you ever make those tasks an automatic process. There's no shame in a memory tool! Best of luck!

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Two possible solutions:

• Sleep more.
• Use checklists.

Sleep is really unappreciated in terms of maintaining focus. We can all handle periods of intense activity without sleep (e.g. a bit of coffee to get you through a meeting or focused task). But the less sleep you get, the harder it is to consistently manage your focus throughout a day. Note: this is why new parents are so absent-minded. They can return to work and do complicated tasks. However a lack of sleep leads to an inability to easily focus on long, abstract tasks.

Checklists get a bad rap. Who cares if they signal that you have a hard time remembering things, the world is complicated. The banking procedure you describe had me tune out around step 3 because their is no realistic way I can keep that and 20 other important procedures in my head at the same time that I'm interacting with clients. Do yourself a favour and create easily accessible checklists for complicated or mission-critical tasks (i.e. banking procedure, server maintenance, maintaining hardware or appliances).

It's just masochistic at a certain point to keep all this in your head rather than in a reference. Use your well-rested brain to make decisions rather than remember minutiae and your absentmindedness should noticeably improve.

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Have you considered examining how you remember things? Do you tend to remember pictures, words, sounds, or something else? If you examine how things get filed away in your memory, that is where you could likely find ways to improve your memory retention and overcome the absentmindedness you have.

Another idea here is to consider which strengths do you have and reframe how you do your job to leverage those strengths so that it fits within that context. For example, are you generally a person that gets things done and doesn't stop until something is finished? Are you the type that gets an idea and has to do it right away? Books like StrengthsFinder or StandOut may be useful to find answers here and apply these ideas to improve your productivity.

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Keep notes. Have a notepad/mobile app with you always.

Your brain does not like to "store" useless info, it only likes to "think". Use a paper/mobile to store that info.

The notes also come in handy for future reference.

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It does not happen only with you, its a common problem found in children's, adult's, and also old people. Absentmindedness happens due to lack of attention or forgetfulness. Best thing you can do is constant remembrance of what ever you fear you may forget. You have to memorize while you are free, if you practice this, hopefully you wont forget for next time. Good Luck !

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How to solve my absentmindedness in general?

1) Become conscious of your breathing. Don’t try to control it, just place your attention on it. Remain this way for a minute. When you place your attention on your breath, you are no longer occupied in the mind and you become aware of the present moment.

2) Look around you and become acutely aware of the objects in your surrounding. Don’t try to label the objects but just look and take in the presence of each object in your vicinity. Listen deeply to the sounds around you. Try to detect the most subtle sound that’s audible. Feel the sensation of your touch. Hold something and feel it deeply.

3) If you are eating something, feel the taste and the smell of each morsel or bite. While you are walking, become aware of each step that you take and your body movements. The bottom line is to drag your attention away from mind and place it in the present moment. When you do this you will feel your own presence deeply. The purity of your presence is very powerful and it has the capacity for right action.

i think these are very practical things. practice them see the difference.

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I'm not sure meditation type techniques are best used while working on a banking environment. This is good to practice at home and when not working, add it will have residual value. Your delivery could be better though. –  Tortilaman Dec 29 '12 at 9:05