"Forgetfulness - a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience."
--- Ambrose Bierce
I don't like forgetting things. I do it all the time, but I still don't like it. We are told that age has something to do with it, but I don't buy it. My theory is that we are blasted with hundreds of pellets of information on a daily basis and that information, whether useful or not, interrupts our normal patterns of thought and pushes aside things we should be remembering. Forgetting where the car keys were left or forgetting where we parked, or both, is a nuisance, but it doesn't necessarily mean we are becoming more and more forgetful.
But forgetting to pay a vendor, submit payroll, or return a customer's call can have serious consequences and causes all kinds of pain for us, others, and our business. Tying a string around a finger isn't the answer and neither is having our noses in a Franklin Planner all day. I believe that recalling the important things in life requires that we simplify the input we receive and learn to separate the trash from the cash-the junk from the important stuff.
"Let the past be content with itself, for man needs forgetfulness as well as memory."
--- James Stephens
Forgetfulness can be a useful tool if we can control it. For example, forgetting the news clip you heard on the radio this morning about some person named Jolie breaking up with someone in the Pitts. Is that really useful? Does it make or break how you will conduct business today? Of course not! But we still allow that kind of information to push its way into our minds.
Other, more pertinent information may be interesting, but not needed at this time. Your office manager mentions that the company is planning a Christmas party the second week in December. That is good to know, but not relevant to the meeting with a long-term customer you are seeing in an hour. Separating or compartmentalizing that information is a good habit to learn so that you can keep on track.
"I'm losing friendships over forgetting to get back to people. But you can't keep up with everything. I've got a 13-year-old, a nine-year-old and a baby."
--- Reese Witherspoon
We are all extremely busy and have lives that include more activities and things to remember today than what people had to remember just 10 years ago. It takes more juggling of activities to keep it all in line and still run a profitable business. One good technique is to carry around a small notepad and pencil to jot down things that you learn about now, but can think about later.
This simple act of writing it down and then moving on, tricks your brain into believing that it is not something that has to be stored or addressed at this time. It frees up space in your mind to focus only on what is important at this very moment.
"Whether you're an entrepreneur, an employee, a student, a homemaker, a writer, it's time to start forgetting about all the ways the world has promised you safety and comfort."
--- James Altucher
Finally, forget about the perfect world. George Bailey lived in that world, but our world requires nerves of steel and a mind with the capacity that would put IBM to shame. Forget about trying to be perfect and find tools that will help you separate the important from the unimportant-at least for now. In other words, forget about it.