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Did You Lose Something?

Did You Lose Something?

By Donna Dunning

Having ENFP preferences, losing things is usually a sign that I am becoming overly disorganized, tired, or stressed.

For example, when I travel across three or more time zones to do training, I can become tired when facilitating a workshop. One signal for me to notice is when I lose my computer remote control several times during the session.

When I find myself looking all over for my remote, my handout, tape, or markers, I know I am becoming less efficient.

When this happens, I pick one spot to put things down and stick with it. This helps me become less distracted and allows me to refocus on my purpose, facilitating learning.

I imagine this tendency to misplace things may be true for other people with Intuitive preferences, especially those who share a dominant function of Intuition (ENTPs, ENFPs, INTJs, and INFJs).

Where are those lost objects?

Where can I find those lost objects? Someone (I think it was Jean Kummerow), years ago, told me that when people with Intuitive preferences lose something they should look right in front of themselves to find it.

In my experience, this has been mostly true.

The “retrace your steps” seeking strategy doesn’t seem to work that well for me. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention to the outer environment to move backward sequentially.

The “Where would I put it if I was to put it down now?” strategy sometimes works for finding objects at home, but not with items I am using while training.

How about you? What are your preferences and when do you tend to lose things?

What are your strategies for not losing items and for finding them when they are lost?

Take another look at the image above. Are mountains too big to lose?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 at 9:27 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Did You Lose Something?”

  1. Christy says:

    Fascinating question.
    I hover somewhere between INFJ and INTP. I tend to have specific places to keep things that you tend to just set down somewhere, like keys, pens, my earphones, my wallet, so I usually know that a lost item will be in one of three or four places. But I tend to lose things when my mind is preoccupied, I set something down, and have no memory of having done so. My house tends to be fairly messy, so it’s really easy to completely overlook something I set down on the table or the counter. In that situation, after driving myself crazy with looking in all the usual places, I have to sit down and try to visualize the last time I remember having the thing. That usually works, after some cogitation. Sometimes the answer arrives like a bolt of lightening out of the blue.

  2. Amber Headlights says:

    I’m fairly sure I have INFJ preferences, and when I get stressed, busy or physically exhausted I tend to lose stuff constantly. A lot of times, it’s little stuff, like my pen or a glass of milk. I tend to lose books constantly, since I have piles of books around the various spots where I work. This used to make me insane when I was in grad school. I’d start off organized, but within a month, the piles would start taking over and by the end of the semester, there’d be a lot of “where did I put this?” freak outs.

    With important things like my wallet or keys, though, I have an established routine. I have a specific place where I put my glasses and my purse. I never leave my wallet outside my purse for very long, or my keys for that matter. When I get up in the morning, I make a point to take my phone off vibrate so that if I forget where I put it, I can always call myself. I’ll often check and re-check to make sure I have my keys when I leave the house, that my diary is still in my backpack before I head home from somewhere and so forth. This evolved due to having lost so many things when I was a teenager/in my early twenties. (I lost a diary one time. Another time, I left my wallet on a table in a coffeehouse and didn’t realize it until I was four blocks away.Fortunately, a friend of mine was still there, guarding it for me.)

    My husband is an ENTP. He’s just as prone to misplacing things, although it’s a lot harder for him to set up routines. He finds it really hard to get into the habit of placing something in the same spot. We lived in a very large loft for about a year where it was very hard to organize the space and very easy to lose stuff. He was constantly misplacing his keys, so I bought him a monkey key holder (something I knew he would like) and put it in a prominent spot in the kitchen. I reminded him the first few times to put it there, but after that, he pretty much always put it there. Our new place is a bit more compartmentalized, and so it hasn’t been so much of a problem. As long as he has a general idea where stuff tends to be (e.g. it gets either tossed on the desk in his office or on the kitchen counter) then he can typically find it. Also, I’ve noticed he’s a lot more confident about his ability to find stuff that he lost and doesn’t seem too concerned about permanently losing important things. I tend to get more stressed by that, and put more effort into prevention as a result.

  3. Donna Dunning says:

    Hi Amber, Thanks for reinforcing my thoughts that people with Ni and Ne dominant functions both tend to lose stuff when stressed. I can relate to your husband when it comes to routines. I know they can be helpful, but I, too, find it difficult to set up and maintain them.

  4. Susan Mazza says:

    It’s helpful to realize I am not alone! My husband would get really frustrated that I was always losing things. He is very organized. So he invented a game – “if you can lose it I can find it”. It was brilliant on so many levels. It took the stress down which was only heightened by my own embarrassment and frustration about being so absentminded. Laughter always helps bring stress down! He was also a keen observer of my habits and by watching him retrace my steps I better understood what had seemed like random habits. I can find my own lost things much easier now! We do joke about how things get lost in plain site! I am grateful for his kindness and ingenuity in supporting me.

  5. Ansley says:

    INTJ here, constantly searching for that which is right in front of me, literally as well as figuratively.

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