October – National Awareness ADHD Month
Have you been diagnosed with ADHD? If not, here is some information that may help you to determine if you might have it.
ADHD affects the ‘executive functioning’ portion of the brain. This area of the brain helps you with organizing, planning, managing time, making decisions, being able to focus and pay attention, and remembering.
Do you have trouble:
Keeping papers and other stuff organized
Wasting time searching for lost items
Losing track of what you need to do
Getting to your destination on time
Concentrating and paying attention
If so, you may be affected by ADD/ADHD.
Here are some tips to help you take control of these issues:
- Plan ahead by scheduling dates and times in your calendar for appointments, tasks, and projects you need to attend to. Refer to these often as a reminder not to forget. Use a kitchen or clock timer, or the ‘reminder’ APP on your smart phone, computer, or watch as a tool. (I use Yahoo calendar which sinks to my iPhone). You can use paper calendars, or other on-line calendars.
- Keep your daily essentials such as keys and eyeglasses on a hook , or in a small bowl or basket near your exit door. To get into the habit of doing this, add it to your list of things to remember to do. (I put my keys in the same place everyday. That way I always know where they are, and don’t have to run around looking for them when I’m leaving the house.) Also, put your keys in just one pouch or section in your pocket book or carry bag; don’t dump them in the large interiors where you waste time having to scrounge for them.
- Purposely allow an extra ten to fifteen minutes when getting ready so you won’t be late to an appointment or meeting. You can set an alarm clock or timer for this. (I try my best to be out the door so I’ll be on time, but sometimes find some last minute thing to do such as fill the cat bowl with water or add a napkin to my lunch bag. Even though I do arrive on time, and sometimes early, I’ve still got to work on this so I’m not rushing around before I leave.)
- Always have a To-do list, and check off each task as you complete it. Write the list of things to do in a small notebook that you keep in your pocket or pocket book, or the ‘notes’ APP of your digital gear, and not on small pieces of paper or post-it notes that will get lost in a pile. (I used to write my shopping lists on pieces of paper, but don’t anymore. I write my daily to-do’s in a composition notebook, and also use the Notes APP on my phone.)
- When you begin a new project such as knitting a sweater, cleaning the car, writing a term paper; put the yarn & knitting needles, the sponge and soap, or the references you’ll need for writing in a central location close to where you will be using them. Do not pile anything on top; keep them in site. Remember: Out of site – Out of mind. NOTE: Try to complete one project before you begin another one.
- If you have trouble remembering these tips after you’ve read them, print them out and either put them on the bulletin board, or tape them to the wall or car dashboard.
- If you find that you can’t accomplish these steps on your own, or you get started and need help to stay focused, check out the:
The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) believes there are safe, extremely effective, scientifically proven methods of treating and coping with the effects of ADHD on adults. On their website https://add.org/adhd-awareness/ you will find sources of information you can trust, resources you can count on, and caring people you can connect with.
In addition, consider hiring a professional organizer to assist you with scheduling, follow through, and getting organized.
If you live in the Boston area, and would like a
FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at: