I’ve had an idea for a service business. It’s about helping people to make sure they’re reminded about the things they need to do in their lives.
It’ll work like this. You tell it what you want to be reminded about, and it will remind you.
It will remind you at various times of the day and night, sometimes on the weekends too. It will remind you about personal things at the office, and about work things when you’re at home. Also when you’re out and about. When you’re with friends at a restaurant, and when you’re having dinner at home with your family.
It will be set up to be unpredictable, so you’ll never know when you’ll be reminded about what.
It won’t care where you are or what tools you have to hand when it reminds you. So that, for example, it will remind you that you need to talk to the boss about something when you’re on the train in the morning, and it will remind you that you need to order something online when you don’t have an internet connection.
To be sure you don’t forget anything, it will sometimes wake you up in the middle of the night to remind you about something, even if in the middle of the night there is nothing you can do about it.
It will be comprehensive. It will remind you about high-level strategic things, like the fact that you want your boss’s job, and mundane tactical things, like you need to buy orange juice.
It will also remind you multiple times about the same thing, unpredictably. In fact, it will keep reminding you until you actually do something about the thing it’s reminding you about. By the time you have actually done the thing, it might have reminded you about it many, many times.
So, how much would you be willing to pay for this service?
Well guess what – you don’t need to pay anything for this service, because you already have something that reminds you in these ways.
It’s your brain.
The brain is a marvellous machine in many ways, but it’s a terrible reminder system. Ask yourself how many of the reminders described above are already provided by your brain.
The problem is, the brain isn’t built to be good at reminding.
It’s built to be good at other things of course. Creative thinking? Check. Making connections? Check. Brainstorming? Check. Planning? Check.
Reminding you only when it’s helpful to be reminded about something?
That’s why we recommend that you get things out of your head, and set up an external reminder system that reminds you in helpful ways. So that when you’re meeting with the boss you’re reminded about all of the things you want to talk to her about. And when you have your phone to hand with a good signal you can see the phone calls you can helpfully make.
Using your brain as a reminder system is using the wrong tool for the job. It’s like banging in a nail with a screwdriver.
Give your brain a break and let it focus on what it’s best at.
If there’s something on your mind that needs doing, it’s in the wrong place.