Maybe research can find them for us …
Be it car keys or house keys, we are all prone to forgetting where we’ve left them. And always at the wrong time – when we’re rushing out of the house in the morning, usually. We’re all different, and our homes are all different, but can research provide a solution to minimise the time we waste searching for this most indispensable of accessories?
Time for a little desk research. That means googling ‘how to find lost keys’. And sure enough, there are insights aplenty. Starting with the “Eureka Zone” – this is a theory of Michael Solomon, author of How to Find Lost Objects, which posits that most lost items such as keys are found within 18 inches of their designated spot – in other words, they’re just a little off their usual location.
We all know that panic quickly sets in when keys can’t be found. This doesn’t help – it works against systematic searching, which involves moving from room to room only after the previous one has been searched thoroughly. This is the best way to find a lost item. As Solomon says: “There are no missing objects. Only unsystematic searchers.”
Academic research carried out in Scotland tells us that we tend to home in on cleaner areas when we’re looking for something. In other words, we steer our eyes clear of the clutter – even when it’s obvious to the naked eye that the keys we’re looking for are not in the clean areas. So focus on the clutter!
As the New York Times tells us, another wasteful tendency we share, apparently, is to search the same places repeatedly, just because the lost items are supposed to be there. Makes little sense, but we can all recognise this!
If you find yourself constantly in a tizzy because of lost keys, technology is at hand. Use your phone to find your keys with a smart keyfinder tracker, attached to your keys and connected to your smartphone. It will even alert you if you‘re leaving the house or office without your keys.
Putting technology to one side, your brain is well capable of finding those keys. And, ironically, the best way to locate them may be by closing your eyes. Sit down for a second and think about when and where you last had them with you … create a mental image of what you were doing or feeling. This is ‘context reinstatement’, a technique used with eyewitnesses to crimes, and it can save you bundles of wasteful effort.
Serial “key losers”, don’t despair! You’re not alone. On average we each mislay no fewer than 9 items per day.
If you can’t find your keys, Keyfast’s state of the art mobile units can come to you and get you back on the road or into your home with minimum inconvenience. They can also provide you with a replacement set.
Now, where did I leave my phone??
For more see New York Times.