Little Things Can Make a Difference with ADHD
One of the keys of living well in spite of ADHD is making habits. With a habit, you don’t have to remember, think, or make a decision; you just do it.
Here are some little things I’ve made habits for.
- Whenever I use my credit card, I put it back into my billfold. Then I stop and check that it is in my billfold. Even though I just put it there.
If this seems like silly nonsense to you, a waste of time, too much effort, then you have never spent a day looking for your credit card, calling to cancel it, and having to call to update your automatic payments (and then find it in your shirt pocket, where you never looked because you never put it there.).
- Before I leave home, I tap my left pocket to be sure my billfold is there, and my right pocket to be sure my iPhone is there. I’ve found it is better to have them with me than to have forgotten them.
- As I’ve mentioned before, before I drive away from the pump, I always check to make sure the nozzle is not still in the gas tank. This can save some hassle.
These are small things, but they can prevent some big things.
PS O the Day
In her book about compulsions, Can’t Just Stop, Begley says that many of our minor compulsions are not problems or mental illness, but necessary and useful ways we cope with the anxiety from the chaos of our lives. We need to have some areas where we feel we are in control (even though that may also be an illusion.)
My little habits are not compulsions. I don’t have to do them. I don’t get anxious if I don’t. But they reduce the level of chaos in my life and my life is better.
Quote O the Day:
And O the day before, and O the day before that, and O —
“Well, I won’t do that again!”
@addstrategies #adhd #add @dougmkpdp
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My habit to not forget the keys is to look at them or at least clutch them hard on my hand while closing the door. Also stop the door with one foot while I’m still making sure I’m looking at them or clutching them. A couple of days ago, it was a lifesaver. I was stopping the door from closing with my foot when I noticed my hand wasn’t clutching anything. Looked down, and they weren’t there. Patted my jeans-pocket to see if I had absent mindedly put them there, and they weren’t there. I had left them hanging from the lock on the inside.
This is, by the way, MUCH more of a hassle in Europe than it is in most places in the USA, because our apartment doors don’t habe handles to open them from the outside.
On a funnt note: this is one of the things that baffles us the most in Europe when watching american sitcoms: how people show up uninvited and can so easily get into the appartment because they have handles on the outside :p
ram- a good strategy, and its working. I didnt know about the handles. when i’m away at work i have to be extra careful not to lock my keys in the room.
thank you contributing
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Keys. Designate a place in your home for keys, and that’s where the keys must always be when they aren’t on your person. No exceptions. The minute you get home.
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meg – me too, keys. and you’ve nailed the strategy. see my comment to dino on the point.
thank you for contributing
out of all of the habits that you’ve formed over the years, which one is the most meaningful to you? what I mean to say is, which habit(s) have been the best that you’ve developed?
dino – I’m with meg, keys. because that was the first time i caught onto strategies, even tho I didnt know i had ADHD yet. And because I used it as the prototype for problem and strategies when i started writing. and mainly because i was always losing my keys and it was a major hassle and driving my wife nuts. so, keys.
thanks for asking, great question