Lost and misplaced keys are a daily pain that just doesn’t want to go away.
If you’re looking for a new way to solve this problem, we have a couple of suggestions.
The first and best is of course the Chipolo key finder. There’s nothing easier than tapping a couple of times on your phone to make your keys ring.
But if you’re looking for an interesting approach that requires a little extra effort from you, we suggest you try the Point & Call method the Japanese railway conductors use in their daily checks.
Point & Call or shisa kanko (指差喚呼) started in Japan in the 1900s as just a shout (call), to make sure the drivers were able to communicate their task over the surrounding noise.
The method was later adjusted by adding the pointing and today it’s used to make sure railroad workers keep their focus during repetitive, mundane tasks.
The method is pretty simple – you look and point at the thing you need to focus on, call out its status and pay attention to what you’re saying.
Doing this helps you focus and create a short-term memory of the task.
How does this help me find my keys?
How many times do you put down your keys, your wallet or your phone without even thinking about it?
Repetitive, boring tasks you perform every day of your life can quickly turn into muscle memory actions; things we do without even noticing, like going to the bathroom in the morning or making your first cup of coffee.
Point & Call is a good way to increase your awareness and to improve your habits.
If you’re pointing at your things and calling out where you put them down, you’ll probably be putting them in their designated spot, not the first available surface.
The Osaka University conducted a study in 2011 to confirm if the benefits of this method could be confirmed in a controlled environment:
The Osaka University study concludes that the Pointing and Calling technique facilitates the cognitive process, working memory, and the subsequent response. In other words, Pointing and Calling improves your accuracy when having to evaluate information prior to making distinct decisions based on that information.
For Japanese railroad workers, the method helped reduce workplace errors by up to 85%. How much do you think it could help improve your habits?