7 Chaos Taming Strategies for ADD
Put your keys, wallet, and phone in the same place, ALWAYS! Make a specific place for them to hang out when you don't need to carry them and use it. This saves hours of panic time as you chase around the house looking for these things.
To be able to make a quick getaway in the morning, lay out clothes and make lunches the night before for school or work. Put out a complete outfit, which includes underwear and socks. This will prevent hunting all over for parts of an outfit or the indecision about what to wear. Make your lunches and put them in the fridge in insulated lunch boxes. In the morning, add the cold pack, then hit the road.
Before you leave, be sure to touch your door list. Posted on the exit door, this list lets you know what you need to have with you before you leave. Then, you won't get down the street and say, "OMG! I forgot…" A good door list works for a lot of people in the family. You can customize lists for each member. What should you put on the list? Wallet, keys, driver's license, phone, sun glasses, lunch, coffee thermos, and water works well for many adults. A kids list might say, keys, homework, books, lunch, and phone.
A BIG, really big, wall calendar is helpful for keeping everybody's lives in synch. For years, I bought a Day-Timer wall calendar. It costs about $20, unless you can find it on sale. There is a wire hanging hook that is a nice touch. The calendar is 15 inches by 12 inches, with ruled daily squares, and monthly calendars on the bottom for every month. This makes it easier to plan. I liked to save these calendars from year-to-year. Saving them helped me to see the patterns in our lives. Or maybe I am just a bit of a packrat! When you first get the calendar, add all of the birthdays, anniversaries, and special events that you want to remember. The calendar becomes immediately useful. I always hung our family calendar in the kitchen by the door. Seeing it, prominently displayed, on a daily basis was helpful.
Make a master grocery list, put it in a plastic sleeve, and use it to check off what you need to buy each week from the store. These items should include good snacks that can double as emergency meals. A piece or two of cheese, a Kashi granola bar (I like Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt.), a vegetable juice or veggie fruit blend (I enjoy V-8 or Apple and Eve Fruitables.), and a piece of fruit combines to make a quick and easy meal.
Keep your medications in one place. Buy some pill caddies that have enough room for all of your daily meds. You might want to get a separate caddy for supplements that you take. Load your pill caddies on same day of the week. I like to do this when I am "watching" a video. I make sure that I am paying attention to my pills to make certain that they are loaded correctly into their pill caddies.
Put idle time to use! Do you have work that you loathe to do? Find a way to do that work that you always put off by using otherwise non-productive time! Make service appointments for your cars and take work along. This works well for children's practice activities, too. I would take grading to our sons' soccer practices and karate lessons. This gave me several hours, which could have been non-productive, to use on paperwork that I hated. You can also make a list of phone calls that you must make and put your cell phone to work while you wait. Use this down-time for organizing, too.
Of course, some of these ideas might not work for your family, or they could need to be tweaked a bit. What strategies do you already have in place? Be sure to share them in the Attention Deficit Disorder Forum. Life works best when we connect with each other through our ideas.
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