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Putting order in my life: what's working for me

Putting order in my life: what's working for me2012-09-15T16:46:50+00:00

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    Post count: 28

    I love reading about what works for other people, so I thought I’d post some current things I feel are generally working well for me in my life.

    It has been a long road for me and sometimes I feel like I never get anywhere. But when I look back 10 years I realize how much has changed, though I still have LOTS to do. So here goes; take from it what you will and throw out the rest!

    MORNING ROUTINE: I broke it down into my essential steps: meds, shower,dressed, makeup etc. Put these steps on dollar store magnets and on a little board (dollar store, too). In making this, I had to fight the idea that I SHOULD know these things, they are so easy and obvious. I think the thing I didn’t understand at the time was that I knew the steps in general, but I didn’t execute them consistently to create habits. And my shoddy working memory was not reliable in cueing the next most important step, my brain would just look for the next shiny thing to move on to. So my daily sequence was constantly changing. Now, I have my basic list and it’s pretty much automated. If there’s anything else that needs to get done, it gets done after or another time, especially if I have to go to work. This has worked wonders for getting me going in the morning and getting to work on time (or pretty close!)


    -for work I have most of my pants basic black- easy to coordinate, doesn’t show dirt as much. I buy them online from one store and wait for their 40% off coupons to restock as necessary. Have some simple accessories to toss on top to colour coordinate. But heck, if I get to work on time, showered and dressed, it is a small miracle in itself.

    -socks- buy many pairs of the same sock to reduce the need to match. I found this awesome tip on the parenthacks site where they had the amazing genius suggestion to buy all children’s socks the same colour (for sibs you can buy each one colour) and this makes life SOOOOOOOO much easier, I can’t even tell you.

    -GO TO SLEEP: the most important ingredient in my morning routine. I have little self control at night and need to be physically separated from the computer prior to bed. I have to ask for intervention from my partner, who will remove the computer from my hands and send me on my way to sleep despite my frequent pleas to check one more website. We are going to try putting the wireless connection on a timer to shut down every night at a specific time. Once there is a step in between me and shutting off the computer, it makes the transition easier for me to move on from this stupid activity.

    The book: Taking Charge of Adult ADHD by Russell Barkley – practical strategies combined with clear explanations. Loving this book; it totally makes sense to me and isn’t filled with torturous exercises, just things I wanted to apply right away. Though I am an obsessive reader and researcher in ADHD, this helped me to better understand my own symptoms and why I keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I refer to his eight steps especially at work for helping me figure out my work process and redirect myself back on track.

    Flylady timer- around $15 online (google flylady store) (plus shipping…but of course I bought it along with too many other things). WORTH IT. You can set it to vibrate or audible; it has a magnet, clip and stand for your desired placement. At work and home I carry it around and often set if just for five minutes to vibrate so I can try to remember what the heck I was supposed to be doing.

    Earphones and my ipod at work for getting through the grind in a cubicle-filled world. Just putting on my earphones even with nothing on makes people less likely to bother me, and probably more importantly, me less likely to bother them. This has done wonders to decrease the idle chit chat, but it’s something I will probably always need to be vigilant about. I have just started to have a notepad where I write down my distracting thoughts when I’m working on one task e.g. I write down office clock is slow instead of jumping out of my seat and going to get new batteries or find someone to fix it; or that I wanted to tell everyone about the guy I saw picking his nose in the car in the morning. And then I (usually) feel better that I resisted that impulse.

    Audiobooks- take up a lot less space when I don’t read them! But seriously, I can listen to them in the car, on my lunch, in the morning, while I’m cleaning. On my ipod now is Spark by John J Ratey. I am also addicted to podcasts.

    Small 3M hooks near front hallway for keys. ALWAYS put them there!!

    Freedom Filer: expensive but I bought the full caboodle where they send you a filing system already made up and labelled so you just need to put your stuff into it.

    Portioning my meds into a weekly pillbox thing with the days of the week on it. It never fails that I can take my meds in the morning with the thought: OF COURSE I will remember this; and two minutes later I can’t recall if I have taken my meds. So this is the easiest way I have found to keep track of this easily and avoid the mental hassle.

    That’s all for now. I still often feel like a giant walking disaster but somehow I am oddly motivated to keep on chugging forward, largely by knowing there are so many of us out there and reading your stories and experiences.

    If anyone has tips for these areas, I am currently looking to work on:

    -getting to the gym/exercise a couple of times per week

    -not taking on too many things at one time (oh the excitement of something shiny and new!)

    -meal plans and grocery shopping

    I hope that’s helpful to someone :o)


    Post count: 802

    Hiya and thanks – some great tips.

    I got sick of my kids’ socks getting mixed up but they both need black for school – so one has all black and one has black with coloured toes and heels.

    I never understood ‘summer’ and ‘winter’ wardrobes – I have jeans and short sleeved tops all year round and when I’m cold I put a cardie over it. I have a pair of ‘wedding’ shoes, a pair of day to day shoes and a pair of walking the dog shoes.

    I keep earplugs next to the bed – I bought a cheap lot of 50 pairs so it doesn’t matter that I keep losing them! They help me get a decent night’s sleep. I have to put them in first time I wake up as I fall asleep with a DVD on. I used to wake up a dozen or more times a night and now I usually just wake up that once. (Remember to put the alarm on LOUD!)

    I put fast, loud music on when I want to get some housework done.

    I work from the top down when I’m in the shower so I don’t forget anything – I got sick of getting out of the shower with conditioner still in my hair and my face not washed!

    I gave up on a handbag – inhaler, cash-card and keys in my jeans pockets and off I go.

    I take deep breaths when I wake up to help get me going – and I allow time for my hands to start working by clenching as much as I can until I can grip again, then I get up.


    Post count: 28

    I totally do the top-down thing in the shower, too! Love it :o) Agreed on the summer/winter wardrobes.

    And the fast loud music with cleaning is great.


    Post count: 146


    OMG! Your post is so like me! I really liked your comment:

    “I think the thing I didn’t understand at the time was that I knew the steps in general, but I didn’t execute them consistently to create habits.”

    That made me get it in a way I didn’t before about basic tasks. Duh!

    I too have that intensive need to investigate AD/HD. And have to work on pulling myself away from it.

    I’ll have to check out the Barkley book. I heard about it this site.

    I’ll check out the flylady timer and see it that is something that will work for me. I’ve been better about tracking my time but it would be nice to take some of the clock watching out of it.

    I also have note books to jot down the random thoughts that pop into my head so I don’t have to act on it right that minuet.

    Great stuff you’ve come up with!

    Got to get to work now. Step away from the site slowly now.


    Post count: 929

    Cool, I was thinking about starting a thread similar to this one. I just don’t feel like writing that much today. How funny, huh?

    Oh yeah, it was an idea for thread about how to explain ADHD to an old friend I just got back in contact with on facebook. Maybe I’ll just go race around the block instead.


    Post count: 596

    The freedom filer looks really cool. I like the rotating color coded system. I’m going to order some. I actually have a good system using different colors of folders for different sections but their labels will make it much easier to swap out.

    Getting to the gym -worked for me when I had a personal trainer – I prepaid so had to go! Although that can get expensive. Other people at the gym told me they would get a work-out buddy and that kept them on the ball since they would commit to meeting someone.

    Meal planning – I kind of fall on and off the wagon with this. But every so often I feel compelled to get really organized in this respect so I try to plan on a SUnday for the week ahead and it always amazes me how smoothly the week goes. Another handy thing is a website call ed AllRecipes.com. They email you recipe Newsletters and you can build your own recipe box online. They also have a mobile app called the DinnerSpinner that helps you choose a meal menu. SInce I often hop into the grocery store at the last minute I’ve used it on the spot to figure out what to make for dinner. It’s great because it gives you a grocery list for the meal plan. So does the website, so if you have a bunch of recipes in your box you can generate a grocery list. very easily without having to think about stuff.


    Post count: 430

    I finally got through the post. I like some of these techniques. I may try them. Pandora.com is my friend with some over-the-ear headphones.

    Friendly request? I don’t know about anyone else, but my ADD is mostly inattentive and I have Dyslexia as well. Reading for me takes a tremendous amount of work. So, when I see a wall of text, I usually skip over it. You caught me on a good day. I have to do chores, and I would rather read, than wash dishes. :)


    Post count: 226

    Great post!

    Somethings that worked for me aren’t working for me anymore. So I am recalculating my life sort to speak.

    Now my mind is post hyper focusing on this letter that I can’t open. About a month ago my manuscript went into reviewing. Today, I got a bigger letter from the publishing company. Okay, half my mind is worried about the letter the other half is yelling at me to do work.

    So my goal is to clean up the house, but it looks like it is not going to work.

    Here is what I am going to do: set my timer to ten minutes, make a short lists of three things I need to do, set timer, see if I can do all three things before the half an hour timer goes off, once timer goes off, make another short list of three things, and set timer all over again.

    So that is my plan of right now. Hope it works.


    Post count: 14413

    All over – That sounds very similar. However one tip is most cells phones if not all have some kind of alarm clock on them to set and remind you of something. Regarding clothing, I ALWAYS put my clothes out the night before.. everything on one chair including keys and wallet, and an emergency set of keys on my fridge if I still end up losing them. It’s the only way I manage to get to work on time.

    Tiddler – I’m the same. I have a large box of “winter” clothes I haven’t touched in five years. Short sleeve shirt and coat or jacket if needed and I’m done.

    I’d like to do recipes but my kitchen is a disaster. And regarding music, my mp3 player has been lost for about two months now. Unlike sharpie pens, they aren’t cheap to simply replace.


    allan wallace
    Post count: 478

    Losing stuff has always been a problem for me, so the easiest way to not lose things was to not have them. I got sick of losing watches, so I just stopped wearing them when I was about 20. I haven’t been so bad at losing keys lately, but I did go a long time without carrying any about with me. I haven’t replaced my last mobile phone which I lost after having for a few days. I’d previously lost the charger for it, but kept the phone until I got around to getting a new charger, I had it in a drawer for over 6 months, but it only took 2 days to lose the bloody thing and I never got the photos off it which is why I kept it in the first place. I keep things to a minimum, but as I’ve finally decided to come to terms with my condition I’m hopeful of being able to for the first time in my life being organised and efficient. Those words are terrifying, but I’m going to give it a crack to attain these elusive and mysterious states….


    Post count: 14413

    Socks: I buy all black socks, the same style, with polyester, for cushioning. When a sock gets a hole, I tie the sock in a knot, and use it for a rag. I fold the top down, to reduce the tension at the top of the sock, to get better circulation in my legs, to my feet.



    allan wallace
    Post count: 478

    I like white socks, and keep my wardrobe to a minimum. I have 2 pairs of shoes, and 2 jackets! Too many choices avoids wasting time…

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