The Rule for ADD ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 609

The ADD ADHD Problem

I keep losing my car in parking lots.

(Some of you might note that this problem is not limited to ADD ADHD)

The Strategy

 When I park the car, say OUT LOUD where it is -“3rd row from the street, in line with the A in the sign.”

The Rule

Say it out loud every time.  Every time. EVERY time!

The Slip 

I drove to the gym, parked the car, and did not follow the rule.  I didn’t say it out loud.

The Consequence

I couldn’t find the bleeding car!  Took about 10 minutes.  I was mostly looking where I’d parked the day before and it wasn’t near there.  Had the days mixed up. My key thing has a beeper but it didn’t carry far enough.

The Lesson

When I have a rule, I need to follow it every time, every time, so that it becomes a habit.  But for a while I will have slips, but I need to just keep doing it.  It will become a habit.

The Principle

Identify a SPECIFIC problem.  Make a strategy.  Make it a rule.  Stick with it, through the slips.  Make it a habit.

Another Principle

Only work on one or two things at a time.


Bonus Tip

I will remember that ten minutes I spent searching for the lost car.  That will help me remember the rule.  The strategy – remember incidents, both of success and of failure.

Bonus Link

Memory Tricks


If you haven’t already, a review of either of the ADD ADHD books will be much appreciated.  Remember to do that.  Even better, do it right now and save your memory for something else.



ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,,strategy,strategies,rules habits,tips,memory,find your car
Memory needs help.

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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13 Responses to The Rule for ADD ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 609

  1. Pingback: Problems in ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 806 | ADDadultstrategies

  2. Mari Adkins says:

    new here! i followed “comment luv” from homemaker’s daily. 🙂

    “When I park the car, say OUT LOUD where it is -“3rd row from the street, in line with the A in the sign.”

    what started as a joke, i do all the time now. you know how when you go to an amusement park and they always have hilarious names for the parking lots – so you can remember where you parked? i’d park and say, “scooby doo. yellow. row three.” i’ve noted that since i started doing this, at some point in time wal-mart started numbering their parking rows!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perfect example of the benefits of following rules today.

    I was leaving my house and waited in the driveway to be sure the garage door went ALL the way down so I could say to myself “the garage door is down”. About 2 feet from the ground, it went back up. I was so glad I waited. Otherwise I would have left with my garage door UP!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Scott Marckx says:

    Hi Doug,
    It might help with making the habit stick to start saying where you park the car even when you park it in front of your house or in other very familiar spots, so the habit gets connected to closing the car door or taking the keys out of the ignition or some other anchor. Sometimes, when I park in a big garage, I’ll write down the number and the level I parked on and put it in my wallet or something.

    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ken – Brilliant! thats basic strategy, and I havent been doing it. everytime i park anywhere. that will work.
      loved your pictures. very impressive that you can do that.
      thank you for commenting


  5. That car thing is tricky. I always try to park in the same area at stores I go to regularly. I was at Target Saturday night with my husband and he was going to park in a different location. I talked him into parking where I usually do. It makes it so much easier to find.

    Sometimes I take a photo of the row marker or note it in my phone.

    But I absolutely agree – gotta follow those rules or bad things happen.


    • homey- great strategy for places you frequently go. i fear I’m too lazy or rushed or impatient to stop and take a foto=- cant spend the 10 seconds so i wind up spending 10 minutes. i’ll try to remember that for speical occasions – a ball game or something.
      always thank you for commenting


  6. jeff – thank you so much for telling me about the font size. I dont know how that happens, and i dont seem to see it when it does. I’ll try to fix it (lol?)
    suggest you read the book slowly. glad you like it. would appreciate a review when you want if you want.
    dont know why memory is not on the list. I’ll check it when i get home. Is forgetting on the list?
    can i say i forgot to include it?


  7. Jeff says:

    Hi Doug. FYI – Your font size turned LARGE again. It’s easier for me to read when normal size, like the font used on tip 607.

    The thought of losing my car scares me sometimes. Especially the time a friend treated me to an NBA game, and I had to park my car in a large, unfamiliar parking garage. I was alone, planning to meet him at a restaurant. Not only did I have to remember where I parked, but also on which level. Luckily, I remembered to say aloud to myself where I parked, but I was afraid that I would walk away from my car and only realize my mistake when it was too late. Amusement parks are the worst, but luckily my wife always remembers where the car is, when I’m with her. Good thing I didn’t marry a gal with ADD!

    Thanks for the reminder on your book. I bought the book a week or two ago, but never got around to READING it! Starting a project is always tough for me. I sat in the kitchen, with my wife nearby, and read the first 5 chapters. I talked to my wife about some of what you had written. She seemed glad to know that she’s not the only wife dealing with a husband with ADD problems!

    So far your book is better than I expected, and I expected a lot. Excellent introduction and beginning. However, I was surprised when I saw that memory difficulties were not mentioned as one of the many problems that sufferers of ADD have! I would say my memory difficulties are my worst ADD problem. Would you please explain why you left this off your list of problems? Thanks. Jeff


    • jeff – i checked the list of ADD ADHD symptoms/problems in the book. You’re right, no forgetting on there. have losing things, and cant find things, but no forgetting. should be.
      what can i say? except – i forgot.
      thank you for your perceptiveness and your comments


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