Award-winning journalist and author of “Is it You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?,” Gina Pera is an ardent advocate for those affected by ADHD. She works to educate people on the condition and its implications, while eradicating myths and stigma surrounding it. One thing she really wants everyone to know: There’s really no such thing as an “ADHD brain.”
In other words, just about everyone can use an extra hand when managing their time, money, and even relationships in the hubbub of today’s world. It’s simply that people with ADHD especially benefit from these tools.
Staying organized is often a challenge and an area where those living with ADHD might need more help than others. Pera shares her favorite tools for doing just that.
1. Task planner and calendar
Beyond the obvious — remembering appointments and commitments — using this tool daily helps you to do two things:
- Visualize the passage of time, making time “real” — no small task for many people with ADHD
- Counter the “big project overwhelm,” by allowing you to break down bigger tasks into smaller ones, scheduling things over time
Writing things down can also help you feel accomplished because it allows you to physically check things off and know you’re getting things done. Moleskin has a number of beautifully designed planners to choose from.
2. Key chain pill container
Remembering to take medication can be a real chore for anyone, but it can feel nearly impossible for someone with ADHD.
While you can set a reminder and store your pills in the same place to encourage some routine, you never know what unexpected events will derail your day. Keep an emergency stash of medication at the ready!
The Cielo pill holder is sleek, discrete, and wonderfully portable. So wherever you go, your pills go too.
3. Command center
Every home needs a logistical headquarters. Check out Pinterest for inspiration that suits your particular circumstances.
Dedicate a spot, preferably near the door, for a:
- Whiteboard — to communicate important messages
- Family calendar
- Drop-off and pick-up point for your keys, papers, handbag, kids’ backpacks, library books, outgoing dry cleaning, and other essentiaals.
4. Charging station
Speaking of command centers, here’s a vital component. Why spend 30 minutes each morning driving yourself and everyone else in the house crazy looking for your phone or laptop — or risk being caught with a dead battery?
My husband, the one with ADHD in our house, loves this compact model made from bamboo.
5. ‘The Pomodoro Technique’
“Pomodoro” is Italian for tomato, but you don’t specifically need a round red timer to employ this technique. Any timer will do.
The idea is to coax yourself out of procrastination and into a task by setting a time limit (e.g. 10 minutes toward clearing off your desk). Pick up a copy of the book and read all about this time-saving technique perfect for anyone with ADHD.
6. Jar of Successes
Especially in the early days of diagnosis and treatment, it’s easy to get discouraged. Progress can feel like two steps forward and one step back — or even three steps back.
Without an active strategy in place, a setback can sink your mood and self-esteem, and pave the way to an attitude of “why try?” Enter: An active strategy to short-circuit a negative downward spiral.
Jot down successes large or small such as: “A student thanked me for understanding her” or “I completed a report in record time!” Then drop them in a jar. This is your jar of success. Later, dip in and read as needed!
Try one of these jars from Fresh Preserving Store to get started.
Gina Pera is an author, workshop leader, private consultant, and international speaker on adult ADHD, especially as it affects relationships. She’s the co-developer of the first professional guide for treating ADHD-challenged couples: “Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy: Clinical Interventions.” She also wrote “Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder.” Check out her award-winning blog on adult ADHD.