When you misplace your keys, phone, purse, or wallet, gloves… again and again, it’s a problem. “My wife is always losing things.” “I can’t find my cell phone.” “I keep misplacing my tools.” Why can’t we remember where we put things? We not only misplace stuff, we lose time looking for them. It goes beyond disorganization. Even when we have a place to hang our car keys, they’re never there!
According to the DSM 4, there are 18 symptoms main symptoms common to A.D.H.D. in children. 9 of them centre around Inattention…
And number seven refers to the problem of always losing things, misplacing things…
This is one of the symptoms that seem to evolve by adulthood, and look a little different, as my colleague Dr. Annick Vincent explains.
How can you be expected to remember where you put your keys, when at the time you set them down, your mind was a million miles away.
I’m Dr. Umesh Jain, and as an academic in a University, I know lots of absent minded professors. I also know that dealing with thousands of ADHD individuals, there are a lot of similarities like losing things, poor time management, and lost opportunities. And after a while, a loss in self confidence.
“How could I possibly hope to start my own company when I can’t even remember where I put my shoes last night!”, they might say.
The key is to develop routines. Let’s watch our ADHD poster boy Bill and his ever-understanding wife Constance as they fall back on a routine they’ve developed to deal with his habit of losing things.
Okay, that’s an example of a routine for after the horse has bolted from the barn. A better routine would be to create a spot, something visible, hard to ignore, and right by the door, for Bill’s keys and wallet and so on.
One reason ADDers have stuff everywhere is they don’t actually have a home for it. Have you ever created a spot where it should go. “Where is the camera?” would be easier to answer if everyone agreed where the camera was supposed to be. “In the camera drawer.”
Why not have a bowl, box or funky container by your bed for watches, glasses, earrings, jewellery.
Another by the front door for mail and a garbage can for junk mail. Particular shelves, drawers or boxes for financial papers, sports equipment, or clothes.
After all, you probably have a place for everything in the kitchen right? A cutlery drawer, a pot rack, and vegetable crisper.
Extend that thinking to the rest of the house. And the rest your life.
“Doing my bills and taxes? The third Wednesday evening of every month.” And if that feels restrictive, well, consider how your current system is making you feel.
Make the third Wednesday yours, make it fun, maybe that’s when you buy a new CD and listen to it, while you do your taxes. Make it fun, even a game, and then you own it.
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