How To: Find A Lost Object
Beth Zeigler
Dec 5, 2008

120508look-01.jpgWhen we were growing up, a certain someone (we'll call her "mom") used to blame us on a consistent basis for losing her items. The truth is that she would usually find the particular misplaced item (which she had lost). While we may have been responsible for some of those items that went missing during our childhood (those times were few and far between). What is frustrating is losing items--period. Looking for keys and cell phones can cause tardiness at work and overall anxiety. So we were happy to learn about Michael Solomon, a findologist who has 10 great tips on how to find a lost object.

  • Don't look for it. That is to say, don't look for it yet. Wait until you are in the proper frame of mind, and are prepared to search systematically.
  • It's where it's supposed to be. Amazingly, our possessions are often right where they're supposed to be. Can't locate your raincoat? Check the closet where it's supposed to be kept (someone may have hung it up for you).
  • Domestic Drift. Sadly, things seldom get put back where they belong. So check the place where the missing object was last used. You may be pleasantly surprised.
  • You're looking right at it. Curiously, it is possible to look directly at a lost object and not see it. We've become so agitated that we don't perceive what is right in front of us. So calm down. You may find yourself staring right at those elusive keys.
  • The camouflage effect. Your object may be right where you recall having had it, or where it's usually kept, but it has become covered up. Check beneath anything that might have been inadvertently placed on top of the object and be hiding it from view.
  • Think back. Can't find your glasses? Somewhere in your unconscious mind, you know their location because you left them there!
  • The eureka zone. Many objects are in the immediate vicinity of where you thought they were--they've merely undergone a displacement. (A pair of scissors, for example, has been shoved to the rear of its drawer). Objects tend to travel no more than eighteen inches from their original location. So measure a radius of eighteen inches--that's your Eureka Zone. Now search it meticulously.
  • Look once, look well. Don't keep going back to check a particular site, no matter how promising. If it wasn't there the first time, it won't be there the second (assuming, of course, that your initial check was meticulous).
  • Tail thyself. Simply follow your own trail. Physically retrace your steps from the last place you remember having the object.
  • It wasn't you. Occasionally, an object hasn't been misplaced--it's been misappropriated. Approach the likely culprit and ask (as tactfully as possible) if he has perhaps taken your magazine or borrowed your umbrella.
Tips excerpted from The Experts Guide to Doing Things Faster

What are your tips for finding a lost item? Any of these tips ring true for you when you're looking for an object you've lost?

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