Tips for More Fruitful Finding

Though I would share some tips from an article I read in Psychology Today. I found it quite useful so hopefully you do too!

I’m pretty sure it’s happened to all of us (unless you have photographic memory), where it seems so difficult to locate something we’ve misplaced. I know I’m a victim of this, but I seem to be particularly bad at finding misplaced items.  A study from the University of Waterloo finds that we’re rushing, we often see things we are looking for, pick it up and then toss it aside without realizing it. It all makes sense, though I don’t usually leave things to the last minute, I always feel rushed. Our perceptual attention cannot work as quickly as our hands to do when digging through a purse or flipping through a stack of papers.

Here are 3 ways to force your perceptual and motor systems to get in sync so that you can improve your performance when tracking something down:

1. Think out loud: try naming everything you’re looking through, even just in your head, before rejecting it

2. Trust your guy: If you know your wallet is on the chair, its probably worth taking a second peek. Participants in the study naturally slowed down when they selected the sought-after item, right before putting it aside. There seems to be some unconscious recognition that they missed the target.

3. Use all of your senses: pay attention to smells, textures, and sounds to help tell objects apart. Don’t rely only on your eyes; hearing the jingle of keys or feeling the cold exterior of a smartphone can be just the jolt you need to realize what you’re looking at.


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