American living in Gent, Belgium who gets to travel the world for work. Food lover, daily adventurer, complete wanderluster.

Packing Fails and Checklist Protocols

Packing Fails and Checklist Protocols

I'm not even to yet Italy, and I already know I've forgotten numerous things (some more essential than others). Total rookie move on my part, and it annoys me. 

When people do highly stressful tasks where operational failure isn't an option, they follow routine checklist every.single.time. Think of pilots. Even if they've flown tens of thousands of hours, they always go through several checklists before take-off. During an emergency, they follow a checklist. No matter how experienced you are at something, you'll never be perfect 100% of the time. 

When it comes to packing, I've created my own form of the checklist. First, I have doubles of many things so that certain essentials never leave my suitcase. Think glasses, makeup, chargers, and world plugs. Other items, such as medicine, running shoes or my computer that I can't have duplicates of fall under the checklist protocol. So I put little reminders in place so that I can't forget them: laptop case next to my backpack, empty medicine bottle on top of my bag, empty shoe bag in my suitcase, etc. Keeping all these things consistent helps me avoid forgetting anything.  The same goes at a hotel; you put everything in the exact same place, every single time, so you minimize the risk of leaving something behind.

I also take time and only focus on packing. And that's where things went wrong today. I'd run out of time and found myself multitasking. I took a conference call, tried to put away laundry, clean the apartment and pack all at the same time. Instead of focusing on packing and doing that well, I probably did none of the above well.  

What annoys me the most is that the things I forgot, I reminded myself to grab them moments before walking out the door. I just happened to make the mental note in the middle of the call instead of going to do it right away or writing it down. 

Oh yeah, and I just realized I never watered my plants! Ugh. At least I took the trash out..... 

 

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