Losing Things, Losing Time

Let me give you an example. Today I was getting ready to buy a cup of coffee at one of my favorite Starbucks stores. I pulled out my gold card to make my purchase and then opted to go to the bathroom before ordering my coffee. I thought I would be saving time by going to the bathroom first because there was a line to order coffee. Instead of putting my gold card back in its usual place, I put it on top of my wallet and put the wallet and my purse on the edge of the sink while I took care of business. When I went to order my coffee, the gold card was nowhere to be found. Gone! I retraced my steps–twice. I looked in the trashcan in the restroom. I searched my purse. Gone!

I initially felt like I was losing my mind. I felt out of control. Then I felt annoyed. Then I went to, “What’s the lesson? What can I learn from this experience?” First, I need to put any credit card type item back where it belongs immediately, even if I’ll use it in the next few minutes. It’s just too easy to lose something like that! And, I became aware that I had a choice: to obsess about the lost card or move on. If I chose to obsess I’d pay for it in lost time and quite possibly still not find the card. If I moved on, I’d have to accept that I lost the card and the money on the card, but I’d be able to get some important computer tasks done. I chose to disengage from the drama of the loss. I asked about replacing the card and ordered my coffee with my debit card. That whole search and evaluation process took about 7 minutes. Not bad–in terms of lost time!

What do you do when you lose things? How much time do you lose per incident?

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