Schedule and Structure and Routine — ADD Tip o the Day 455

Homey and Scott raised good questions about coping with ADD ADHD.  These questions are especially interesting to me since I’m struggling with the same issues, because I’ve just retired and have lost my schedule and much of my structure, and, coincidentally, am dealing with menopause (yes, in myself – long story).

Not all of you have just retired, but you can apply these concepts  to your own circumstance, especially regarding structure and  routine and changes, which can disrupt everything.

I thought that when I retired I’d have lots of leisure time, and could just do what I felt like doing whenever I felt like doing it, follow any whim.  WRONG!

There’s very few things I have to do, some things I need to do, and lots and lots of things I want to do.  With my schedule and routine gone, I’ve been bouncing around from one thing to another, getting some things done, but not really getting anywhere.

So far I have learned:

1. I can’t do it all.  Ex: on the guitar, I want to learn some songs, and the fretboard, and how to play jazz, and the 7th chords for jazz, , and new strums, and master the great free lessons on Youtube, and complete the three courses that I’ve bought over the years, and—–.

Need to organize and prioritize.  Can I learn two songs, and work on the fretboard, and maybe follow one of the Youtube courses?  That may be too much.

I’m currently working on four books, need to choose one.

2. Even retired, I don’t have time for distractions.  Caught myself writing reviews of books I’d read, on Amazon.  I stopped —  “Why am I doing this?”  Nothing wrong with it, but what was it getting me?  Had other things to do (guitar for example).

3. Need routine.  Have some – prayer time when first get up, then e mails, then breakfast and newspaper (can skim most of it, not required to read every word.)  Then exercise.

There’s  a little time left before lunch, so how to use it?  Would that be a good time to do the Spanish lesson?  or work on the blog?  or practice the guitar? do book marketing? writing? Need to choose, so as to make more routine. (Because I have ADD.)

Again, I realized I can’t do it all.  So I made a tentative schedule (on the back of an envelope).  Commit to doing the blog on Mon, Wed, Sat; the guitar on Tues, Th, Sat; writing on Tues, Fri; finances on Sat.   I may do some of those at anytime, but I’m committed to doing them on those days.

Of course: 1. things come up, and I may not be able to do the commitment on some days, but this is a structure.     2. still need to decide when in the day for those things.

Coming up, more on strategies for this, and more on the new New York Times article, and lots more, and, and –  wait a minute!!!!  This is what I’m talking about (but I will get to it).


add,adhd,adult add, adult adhd,attention,deficit,goals,structure,priorities

Eating this delicious quiche quickly became a priority.

adhd and menopause  clik

the have done non list from lucy  clik

this one addresses menopause and ADHD at the end   clik

really good list of many of our common but less often mentioned symptoms (man or woman, menopausal or not, retired or not)  clik

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. 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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10 Responses to Schedule and Structure and Routine — ADD Tip o the Day 455

  1. Pingback: ADD ADHD and Change of Schedule – – – ADD Tip o the Day 521 | ADDadultstrategies

  2. Scott Marckx says:

    I like the blocks of time idea. There are things in my life that I really don’t want to skip each day, that have become anchors, but sometimes when other things interfere, the anchors become the whole day and I don’t get anything else done. Maybe the blocks of time could help by making it more of a priority to get to those important anchors now, in the block set aside for them. That might mean getting up on time even if I stayed up late playing music, or not getting sucked into a book or the computer because it would keep me from doing the important thing during its block of time… I wonder if I could work that into my life?
    Maybe I’ll use your strategy for changing a habit: spotting, to see what distractions are common when and maybe then I could set up a block or two of time just around one problem area and see how it works?

    Thank you Patty and Doug!
    All the best,


    • Scott- using the blocks sounds like a very good strategy. I may write about your comment that the blocks sometimes take up the whole day. maybe that is ok sometimes? if we get the two most important things done, that may be a good day?
      i hope i am addressing some of the issues you have raised as i go?
      as always thank you for your comment
      best wishes


  3. Pingback: Distractions | Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD

  4. I struggled all weekend with overwhelm,despite having a master list and plan and all that. I have several big projects I need to do but I’m procrastinating because they’re hard and I need a block of time without interruptions. Anyway, today I had some unexpected free time and flitted from one thing to another before I finally got myself together. Then I had a brilliant idea for my days. I actually thought of it when I was writing a post about how to create a cleaning routine.

    I’m going to structure my day in blocks. I get up (I have trouble sleeping at night so I sleep a little later in the morning) and get ready, eat breakfast, read email & the news and then it’s 10:00 a.m. From 10 to 12 I’m going to do chores. Then I’ll stop for lunch and read a little. From 1:00 to 3:00 I’ll work on the blog. At 3:00 I’ll stop and drink a coke and read a little more. From 3:30 to 5:30 I’ll make dinner. In the evening, I’ll just see what comes up. And I’ll save paperwork for the weekend. It’s easier to do it then when I have access to all my husband’s receipts (he’s a self-employed remodeling contractor). I think it might work. It’s structured enough to give me a plan but not so structured that I feel claustrophobic.

    I’ll read those adhd/menopause articles as soon as I have a chance.

    I know exactly what you mean about wanting to do everything. I’m a full-time homemaker so I feel like I should have a lot of time. But I have more going on than I realize – the blog, bookkeeping for husband, babysitting grandkids, etc. I really don’t have near as much time as I think.


    • homey
      thats a great strategy! the blocks of time. i’m also trying to come up with some kind of schedule and organization, making some progress.

      you’re procrastinating on hard big projects because you need blocks of time. so theyre hanging over your head, which has a lot of drawbacks. could you break them into smaller steps at all? then you wouldnt need blocks of time and they wouldnt seem hard. so could you think of them as bunches of small easy projects instead of large hard ones?
      depends on the nature of the project i’m sure.

      it’s also really good to be aware of the reality of what’s going on. i occasionally write a schedule of what i’m actually doing and see that usually its humanly impossible, need to cut things out.

      thank you for commenting, i’m getting a lot out of your comments
      best wishes


  5. Pingback: ADD and ADHD and Change and Retirement and Structure and Menopause and and and — Add Tip o the Day 456 | ADDadultstrategies

  6. Scott Marckx says:

    Thanks Doug,
    For me, I have some things I have been able to make into fairly resilient habits. There are other parts of the day though that seem to consistently get lost. I think, in your book, you mentioned using existing habits as anchors for other habits in training. That is what I need to figure out, but the distractions and daily changes seem to keep that from happening. Somehow I want to develop a habit of getting back to (whatever it is I’m trying to get back to).

    One thing that seems to help, when I do it, is, in the evening, writing down an aspiration for the next day. Sometimes I actually do my aspiration!

    I also have some habits that are not serving me well that I would like to modify or even get rid of…

    Lots of work to do!

    Thanks again!


    • scott
      1. writing down the aspiration is a great strategy!! and your attitude of being a little relaxed about it probably helps.
      2. are you maybe trying to change too many things at once?
      3. can you pick one new habit you want to anchor to an old one – depending on how often you want to do it (ex. eating, telephone, bathroom, coffee, water, etc.)
      4. lots in book about getting rid of bad habit. step 1, name it and commit, step 2, spotting etc get back from distractions a number of strategies 1 when you start a task. name it out loud 2 rule- cant start on something new til finish first thing 3. name it – oh, this is a distraction 4. keep a card or on phone, etc – write down distraction, can get to it later
      i’m trying to address these issues in the post
      as always, thank you for commenting, it really helps me


  7. Pingback: From ADD Tip o the Day | Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD

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