Organizing with a planner for ADD ADHD
Homey is THE planner maven. In her great blog about homemaking, cleaning, cooking, etc, she tells all about planners.
Homey uses planners the way I use index cards, plus more. A lot of her posts have ADD ADHD application beyond what she’s writing about. For example, her strategies for housecleaning are useful strategies for all kinds of things.
So I’m very pleased to have Homey’s guest post here. See how you might apply this beyond just using a planner.
Five Ways A Planner Helps My ADD/ADHD
Time management has always been a struggle for me, but never more so than after I quit my job to stay home and raise my children. Taking care of only myself was doable, but adding two children and a husband “tipped me over” as Doug would say.
I quickly learned that I needed help in order to make life work, and that help came in the form of my planner. Thinking back, I always thought I used my planner really well but when I actually looked at my archived pages (I have them from 1993 on), that wasn’t the case at all. My planner use was inconsistent. But you know what? For me, inconsistent was better than nothing. Inconsistent planning helped me way more than having no planner at all.
In case you’re wondering how my planner helped me cope with ADD/ADHD, here are 5 ways (and I have more!):
1. My planner helps me plan more realistically. As is the case with most folks with ADD, we think we can do way more than we actually can. Keeping my planner up to date and using a daily page helps me see how much time I actually have. That helps me plan realistically.
2. Putting information on paper gets it out of my head. My head is a very busy place. I have SO much going on in there and sometimes it seems like it might explode. But if I take the time to write things down as I think of them, I clear the way for more thoughts and ideas and my brain never gets overloaded. I trust my planner so I know if I put the information in there, I can let it out of my head because it’s safe in my planner.
3. My planner helps me focus. Like most of us, I either focus too much or not enough. Having a plan for the day, and having it written down in my planner, helps me remember what I should be doing. It’s not magic – having it written down doesn’t guarantee I’ll do it, but there’s a greater chance if it’s written down than if I’m winging it.
4. My planner helps me keep track of time. Doug talked about how he has calendars in several locations in his house because he has a slippery grasp of time. I do, too. If I’m not looking at my calendar on a regular basis, I can lose track of what day it is, what month it is, what year it is and what’s going on that I need to pay attention to. And an event that’s four months away sneaks up on me and I’m not prepared. Having a planner helps me keep track of what time it is and what’s going on.
5. My planner helps me sleep. I struggle with insomnia. I can’t turn my brain off at night. But I’ve noticed that if I’ve spent some quality time with my planner before I go to bed at night and made a plan for the next day, I have a better chance of sleeping. I know everything’s covered for today and I have a plan for tomorrow and my brain can relax a bit and let me sleep.
These are 5 ways my planner helps me with my ADD/ADHD. I’m sorry to say that every now and then I get tired of using it (bored, probably) and tell my family I’m going to stop using a planner. They freak out! They know that my world and theirs falls apart when I don’t use a planner.
I used to think I had a great memory but my son pointed out to me that I had a terrible memory but I had a great system. And my system is one of the most important strategies I use for managing my ADHD.
#add #adhd @dougmkpdp @addstrategies #homemaker #tck