This drill has happened too many times. The family is lined up ready to leave for work and school, when the plaintive cry goes up “I can’t find the keys.” The whole operation shuts down. People scurry all over the place looking for them. The pressure of the delayed leaving builds and even when the keys are found, the residual tension takes a while to wear off. The equivalent situation at work is when the boss asks immediately for information and you can neither put your hand on the hard copy or the file. The worst, of course, is when you put your hand in your pocket to get your flash drive and it isn’t there.
The time for keeping track of things is past. It’s also too early for recrimination. The focus of the moment is to get your hands on the flash drive. Although we say it’s lost, it’s almost always misplaced. A big difference. The trick is to get it back in hand without aggravation.
The worst action is to search a location and overlook the item. If the item is overlooked once, it will be a while until you get back there because there are so many other places to look. Aggravation. This error happens frequently during the initial frantic moments of the search when stuff is just moved around. Even at the beginning, when you look in a location, search thoroughly so the chances of missing it are a minimum.
The next action, if the item does not turn up in the first two or three obvious places, is just to sit down for a minute or two. Take the time to recollect the time and conditions when you saw it. Don’t force for an answer and let the mind be intuitive and open. Something may come to mind such as a slight variation from your normal routine, leading to new ideas. Then get up and look in those places. Repeat as necessary.