Here I go again talking about structure! As mentioned in the last post, ADHD and structure have a love / hate relationship! But as I point out in the post, if we shift our thinking just a bit, our worlds actually become easier by adding a little structure. Adding routines to our lives is adding a kind of structure. When we have a regular routine, we add some predictability to our lives. We no longer have to stress about what to do next or worse what’s been forgotten.
We have a plan!
I work with clients everyday around routines. Together we come up with different checklists and possibilities. I have worked with people on developing routines around the morning and evening times. Working with folks around work flow routines, what to do first when coming into the office, even routines for packing for business trips. There are a lot of different options when it comes to routines.
The first step in creating a routine that works is figuring out why it matters to you in the first place.
What’s your motivation in creating a new routine - what benefit will you gain?
Next is writing out the routine you want in place. Write everything out, no matter how small the detail.
- What is your ideal routine?
- What does it look like?
- What kinds of things do you need to do?
Now that you have a better idea of what you want, you can start to put the tasks in the order you will do them.
Write out your final copy of the routine and make sure you have reminders set up around your home. Have a checklist you can refer back to and check off as you go. Place sticky notes in places so you won’t forget about the routine. Phone alarms also work really well, as long as you pay attention to the alarm.
Lastly, practice your routine! Give it some time to stick, eventually routines become habits and you won’t need all of the reminders. A mistake I often see is people give up too soon. Just because you had an off day or even an off week does’t mean your routine isn’t working, it just means you need to pay attention to it again until you back on track.
Until Next Time...