Lists and ADHD, or Not? — ADHD Tip O the Day 776

ADHD and To Do Lists?

Some people have graduated from to do lists.  God bless ’em!  I don’t know how they do it.  I can’t function without to do lists.  The long list. The short list.  The list of five.  Sometimes the list of three and sometimes even the list of one.

But some people say that lists don’t work for them.  It’s my belief that they don’t have the right strategies for using them or else they would work.

So here’s the short course, To Do Lists 101:


Lists don’t work with ADHD if you don’t know how to use them


Lists 2

Lists 3

Lists 4

Lists 5


One More List Post


ADHD Ramblings O the Day:

As you can see, there is are a lot of posts about lists on the net.  There are a lot of different strategies and of course a lot of opinions.  The general consensus is that to do lists are essential with ADHD.  Of course, not every one agrees with the consensus.  Everyone is different.

I experimented with the fotos and  facebook.  Made a mess of my facebook page.  Finally got one to work, using one of my favorite fotos, of the little ballerinas.  Now I can’t figure out how I did it.

I’m finally trying out some apps in spite of being severely technologically challenged.

Having lots of fun with Note (thank you Martha B)


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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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7 Responses to Lists and ADHD, or Not? — ADHD Tip O the Day 776

  1. Pingback: ADHD Changes — ADHD Tip O the Day 913 | ADDadultstrategies

  2. Great post Doug as always. With regards to my own to-do lists – I tell people I’m like a toddler who can’t stand their food touching – I can’t have say, financial and family obligations on the same list. My brain can’t process that. So I created a word template that divided my to-do list into domains – work, financial, volunteer, family, social, errands. It made it easier for me to figure out what the priority would be during the time I want to focus on work, for instance, and it keeps me from doing other things during that time. If I need to pick the most interesting thing to do because I need a dopamine boost, at least I’m choosing the most interested work-related activity during the time I’ve designated as work time.

    I find my ADHD coaching clients abandon lists when they don’t really know how to make them actionable – often it’s a challenge with how to figure out priorities. Once we do that, and we work with their learning styles – ie. big white boards with coloured sticky notes might work for visual learners, notebooks or paper planners for the tactile learners – the list is more likely to be acted upon. I do find a lot of tactile, visual people try to put lists on their phone – but keystrokes don’t help us remember, and the list disappears into the phone and isn’t visual – the phone isn’t always the best place to keep lists if you have ADHD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue – a great comment. If you don’t object i will repost it, or an edited version, probably with Rams, as a post, with credits and links. Everyone is different, people need to understand how to use lists, people need to figure out the strategies that work for them, etc.
      Thank you for contributing


  3. rammkatze says:

    I’m still not good with lista. But I do use some helpful tips from this page: the list of one. When I catch myself in a Netflix-induced stupor, I think “if you could do something today, what would it be?”.

    I improvised a couple new ones for myself: When I’m sitting around, bored and think “I need to try and do xyz soneday”, I immediately think “what’s stopping you know?” (Usually, nothing, so I go ahead and do it).
    When I’m procrastrinating on reinforcing a rule I’m trying to learn (like teeth or skin-care) by thinking I don’t feel like it, I stop and think “are you really making the conscious decision of not doing your routine?”
    These variations of the list of one have made an impact in my life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ram – this is really great. i plan to use it in a post. I’m excited because you have really gotten the main point of the book – it’s not that i will give you all the strategies you need, its about learning t how to make your own strategies.
      i’m excited for you
      thank you for all your contributions

      Liked by 1 person

      • rammkatze says:

        Why, thank YOU for being a rock for us ADHDers! 🙂


      • Yeah it is really great – creating questions for yourself, that have meaning for you, to use when you pause really is a great tool. One of mine is to just to take a breath and say, “What am I doing? Is this what I really want to choose? What would I rather be doing?” I stay away from words like “should” and make it all about choice. Should makes me resentful – choice gives me back control over my destiny. Even with something as ADHD unfriendly as paying bills – I might not choose bill paying because it’s fun, but I do choose to do it on time because the consequences of not doing it suck and because I like the feeling I get when I’m on top of things.

        Liked by 1 person

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