Jiwon's Alcove

Adult Survival #1: Tie Small Things to Big Things

Oct 02, 2023

In the next few weeks, I will be sharing small strategies that helps my disorganized, lazy, forgetful, impulsive self to survive and thrive in a high-pressure adulting environment.

Speaking of forgetfulness, I was that kid who lost their phone every semester. I would lose my keys even more often. I would get late grade penalties for homework I finished on time from forgetting to submit them. I even forgot to bring a calculator to my AP Physics exam! (Somehow, I managed to do all decimal calculations by hand.)

Dad told me that I just didn't care enough about money. But of course I cared. Of course I wanted to stop losing things. People would tell me to double check before leaving a spot. The problem is, I would forget to double check as well.

The first survival strategy is to tie small things to big things to prevent losing them.

This ensures that we don't lose small essential items with no dilligence needed on our part.

As an example, I would forget to wear my watch after taking them off for the night or during shower. To minimize the chances of that happening, I got into the habit of wearing my watch to sleep, tying the watch to my body.

Another example: I use a carabinder to secure my keychain to the bag while allowing for removal when necessary. The keychain always goes back to the backpack after use.

Similarly, a phone can be tied to your body or backpack using a lanyard; Yubikey nano can be plugged into a laptop; pen can be clipped to a notebook.

Even if an item is too large to be physically tied to something else, I strive to put it back on or in something bigger which signifies the context.

For instance, I always hang my bike lock and my bike helmet on the bike itself. I've gone days unable to find my helmet after I lazily tossed it elsewhere! I also strive to put my every day carry items back inside the backpack after use. Otherwise, it will certainly get lost.