Lists don’t work! —ADD Tip o the day 203

Three people have commented that lists don’t work for them.  Lists is a great strategy if you have ADD or ADHD.  But they don’t work, not by themselves.  You need strategies for using the strategy of lists.

1.  make a long list.  make a short list, 5 items max, off the long list. 

 pick one item off that list.

2. break your item into small steps and make a list of them (5 max), pick one item.  do it.  then another one.  and so on.  always cross items off when they are done (positive reinforcement)

3. always have with you your list of 5  and a way to make lists –  index cards, cell phone, folded paper. 

4. check your list of five frequently during the day. make this a habit.

5. focus on your list of one.     


I have had two comments on the font color- thank you!  one said definitely change to black.  the other said, of course, definitely stick to the blue (easier to see).  maybe i should alternate??

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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8 Responses to Lists don’t work! —ADD Tip o the day 203

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  7. that is a wonderful story. as i’m planning to post, the lists and all can appear to be constrictive, burdensome, hardship, but we (ADDers) are so much better off with them than without.
    thank you for the great comments


  8. Betsy Davenport, PhD says:

    As you say, there are many kinds of lists, and they have different functions. For years when I was learning to cope sensibly with ADD (post Dx and Rx), and my daughter was young and also learning to cope sensibly (post Dx and Rx), I kept two lists in a sacred spot on the kitchen table — one for each of us. These were for the transition periods of every day: getting off to work and school, coming home, and ending the day. These were our guides, and we used them faithfully and effectively for a long time. If either of us strayed, the other could say, “List,” and be put back on track. We surrendered to the authority of the lists, because they were made when we had our wits about us, and when the pleasure of an off-list foray wasn’t interfering with rational thought.


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