Do you feel overwhelmed with all the things you have to do and remember? It seems with each day my memory gets worse and worse. I swear my boss, my husband, and even my Mom think that I am doing it on purpose, but I just feel…ell, overwhelmed. So as I was researching what could be wrong with me (and really I think it’s just stress) I found some great tips to help counter act the problems and be more efficient in my daily life.
Check Your Planner – 3x a Day
Planners are life savers. Getting into the habit of putting all your appointments and activities in a calender. Whether it be a day planner, a smartphone app, or a desk calender, WRITE IT DOWN! Keep it in one spot and check it at least 3x per day; make it a habit to check it on a regular schedule. Maybe first thing in the morning, after lunch, and then in the evenings. This will remind you of what you need to do – or were supposed to do – so it’s not completely forgotten.
Make a To Do List EVERY Day
Each day make a to do list of everything you need – and want – to get done that day. Make it realistic, arrange it in order of importance, and get them done in that order. Schedule your task for specific times each day so you can stay on schedule and check each task off as you go.
Start Organizing — One Room at a Time
Getting organized can be a life saver for the forgetfulness in your life. Getting things put away to where they belong – getting rid of stuff that you no longer need – can help keep the stress level down, and your life on track.
- Tackle one room at a time — start with the easiest. Divide the room into sections if you need to.
- Schedule organization time in your planner. Use a timer to manage your work sessions.
- Ask yourself whether you want to keep items or toss them. If you’re not sure, put them in a separate box to go through later.
Make Organization a DAILY Habit
“A place for everything, and everything in it’s place” is a great motto to live by. Have filing cabinets, labels, storage boxes, organizers. If you get it out – put it back. MAKE YOUR KIDS DO THE SAME (this is soo important). Take the last part of your night before bed to take 10 – 15 minutes to pick up, clean-up, and put things back. Have a box or tote for misc items that need filed or organized and go through those each week. If you keep up at it, it won’t snowball into a hot mess that you can’t get your foot on.
Have a Rotating Menu
Planning regular meals for the entire family may be a challenge. Create a “Top 10” dinner list or regular rotating menu of dishes that you can cook easily. Try to keep those ingredients on hand, or list the ingredients on index cards that you can take with you. Don’t carry the burden of feeding everyone yourself: Have a floating “free” night when you order takeout, or share the kitchen responsibilities with other family members. THIS IS A HUGE way you can help yourself , and keep your family organized and stress-free.
Use Electronic Reminders
I can’t tell you how setting an alarm for important events have been a life saver – and kept my kids from being mad that I forgot them at practice again (um, yes it’s happened). They have some great apps for your phone (or your computer) to help remind you of what needs done. This is also great for reminding yourself to take medication, remind you to make an important phone call, pick up your daughter at soccer!
Tune Out Distractions
Distractions while you are working make accomplishing anything at work really hard – especially with this great thing we call the internet. Wait to check your e-mail until you get a few things from your to do list – set specific times you are checking it so that you don’t waste all day sitting in your inbox. Limit your web surfing to your lunch hour, or afternoon break. Put your cell phone away, or better yet, turn it off. Do one task at a time – studies actually show that you will not be as efficient in any task if you try to do more than one thing at a time.
Fight the Boredom
Many people with ADHD get bored easily — especially during routine tasks or paperwork. This can make it difficult to stay focused at work. Try these tips:
- Break up big tasks into smaller tasks.
- Between tasks, take a walk or get fresh air.
- Take notes in meetings.
Simplify Your Life with Fewer Tasks
Organizing and simplifying your surroundings will help you reduce clutter, keep track of your belongings, and remove some of the distractions that prevent you from focusing. Simplifying can work for your schedule, too. Don’t start a new project or task until you’ve finished the current one. Try not to overschedule yourself with too many projects or tasks at once. You may need to practice saying no to new tasks to stay focused.
Get More Exercise
Though exercise won’t necessarily help you stay organized, it can help you channel extra energy. But regular exercise and team sports can also help you work together with others, learn to set and meet goals, and feel better about yourself. Some research suggests that physical activity may stimulate parts of the brain associated with ADHD. Activities like yoga and karate may be better for attention disorders because they offer opportunities for memorizing movements..