Dear Tereasa:

I am consistently forgetting things.† I forget appointments, forget to call people back, and sometimes I forget to call relatives on their birthdays, even though I have their birthdays written on my calendar.† I have tried planners, sticky notes and computerized planning tools.† Nothing seems to work.† I am dropping the ball in just about all areas of my life.† I am so busy that I meet myself coming and going.† What in the world do you think is going on, and what can I do about it?

Forgetful

Dear Forgetful:

It is so frustrating to be constantly behind the eight ball isnít it?† Believe it or not I have many clients who are frustrated by the same thing.† We live in a fast paced world and it seems to get faster and faster with each passing day.† Some of the tools that were supposed to save us time now seem to eat up our time.† Computers and the internet were wonderful inventions which opened up a wealth of information for us, but now we spend several hours each day reading e-mail, surfing, shopping online, or even watching podcasts.† If we have a question that pops into our heads, we dash to our computers and google it.† We also tend to have more choices to make about all sorts of things.† Have you ever noticed how many brands and varieties there are of crackers, cereal, bread or even coffee and tea?† One could easily spend 10 minutes just trying to decide which cracker to buy.† The number of choices we have causes us to be indecisive.† Indecision costs us time.† When we are unable to make decisions in a timely manner, we start to drop the ball.† I have also seen an upward swing in the number of activities in which people become involved.† If you have children who are also involved in a number of activities, your life really becomes complicated.† These are only a few of the things that I think are contributing to this ďforgetfulnessĒ that you report.† The answer is one that is not usually well received.† You need to simplify your life.† That means that you will need to make decisions involving how much of your time you are willing to spend on activities both for yourself and your children.† Instead of bringing more into your life (which is a common problem for all of us) you need to work on taking things out of it.† You donít mention what is causing you to be so busy, so I cannot address particular issues, but I would recommend that you sit down with your journal or a pad of paper and pen and list all the things you do that keep you so busy.† Then ask yourself which of these you really enjoy and would miss if they were taken out of your life.† Next, start cutting things out. You might also like to begin to minimize your choices.† For instance when you go down the cracker aisle, know which brand and type you want, go straight to it, and put it in your cart. Refuse to be distracted by all of the choices. If the computer is causing you problems, monitor your time on it.† I recommend that you set timers for the amount of time you would like to spend on the computer and make yourself stop when the timer goes off.† If you decide to simplify your life, develop a plan for doing so, give yourself time to implement it, and stick to it, soon you will find that you actually have time to smell the roses and your forgetfulness will decrease.† If these things donít work for you, I would recommend that you get a coach to help you with these issues.† You really do not have to live this way!† I hope this helps.† Good luck.

Tereasa †

Dear Tereasa:

This election year has gotten me to realizing how naÔve I am about politics and world events in general.† When I am with others who are discussing these things, I feel ignorant and I am embarrassed at my lack of knowledge.† I periodically watch the news and read the paper, but I really donít understand much of what I see, hear, or read.† I feel like I am so far behind that I canít catch up.† I have found myself avoiding situations where I think these topics might come up.† What can I do? †

Ignorant

Dear Ignorant:

The first thing you can do is stop beating yourself up and calling yourself ignorant!† There is so much happening in our world these days and there are so many ways the information is reaching us that it is impossible to know all there is to know.† I do, however, understand that you would like to be able to hold your own in conversations about important events that are happening in your world.† Some people enjoy reading the paper each day and watching the news, but if you donít there are other ways to get the information you would like to have.† The internet is a great place to start.† You can look up information on all the political campaigns and each politician also has his/her own website.† I especially like .† I especially like www.2008electionprocon.org .† This site will allow you to compare the views of each candidate according to issues.† It will also give you quick reviews.† There are many more sites, similar to this one, that will also give you a wealth of information very quickly.† If you donít care for the newspaper, you might try going online to read about the important things that are going on.† I sometimes like to just look at headlines when I donít have a lot of time.† Many people listen to talk radio to get a lot of their information.† The possibilities are limitless with all the technology we have today.† Personally, I donít think you can beat the old fashioned printed newspaper. I enjoy the feel of it, the look of it, and I also enjoy just sitting down with my coffee and looking at the news.† Some days I have plenty of time, other days I donít even get to look at the paper, but I donít worry too much about it.† I know that if anything crucial happens, I will find out about it.† I think that if you find a way of getting information that is interesting to you, you will make it more of a priority.† Explore many ways and find out which fits, and then stick with it.† You will be surprised at how quickly your knowledge will grow and in no time you will be holding your own in conversations about current events. I hope this helps.† Good luck.

Tereasa