The ADHD Student: Tracking Assignments

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“I wait too long to work on my assignments, I always think I have more time than I do.”

Sound familiar?

If your a student with ADHD, my guess is you’ve said something very similar the quote above!

Some assignments take longer than expected and some surprise us by not taking as long as expected. 

It’s confusing, frustrating, and stressful when your trying your best to make a deadline!

Here are a few questions to think about before you prepare your next study plan:

  • What do you use now to keep track of your assignments? A planner, a calendar, a to do list, a combination of different tools?
  • What’s working about your current system?
  • What’s not working about your current system?
  • What do you need to change in order to have your system be more effective? (For example, creating a new habit of checking your planner everyday or updating it on a weekly basis?)
  • Do you trust your current system, if not, what do you need to change?
  • How often do you check your syllabus with your planner?
  • Are you clear of the things that need to be done on a daily and weekly basis?

Here are a few questions to consider about your specific classes:

  • Are there certain classes you avoid more often than others?
  • What is it about these classes you don’t like?
  • Before looking for solutions, it’s always good to know the root of the problem.
  • Is it your planner system or a specific class that just bores you, therefore you have a difficult time starting the studying process?

Resisting the Planner  

Many college students resist the planner at first, because they're not familiar with how to use one. Therefore, they have a hard time seeing the benefit. However, it only takes a few missed deadlines and extra stress around midterms and finals to realize there may be a better way to keep track of what they need to do.

The Reality

For the ADHD Student, if you have something due next week, next week seems really far away. Students are only concerned with what’s due today or tomorrow.

For example:

The student has a test next Friday. If the student is not looking at their planner on a regular basis, nor planning how they will study for the test, they run a high risk of not being reminded of the test until it's too late. 

Planning Ahead is Important

One of the greatest habits you can learn early on is to use your planner and practice looking at it on a daily and weekly basis.

Here are some ideas on how to make this work for you:

  • Find a planner that works for you. There is no perfect planner, you may have to try a couple before finding one that's good enough. This is a tool to help you organize your tasks and time, don't let perfection get in your way. 

  • Write all of the due dates into the planner once you receive the syllabus for all of your classes.

  • Work backwards on a weekly basis. Which means looking ahead, if you have a test next Friday, how many days do you need to study for it? Schedule study times into your calendar and planner. It helps to have a clear Daily To-Do List. 

  • Check your planner daily, even if you know what you need to do, this is reinforcement that you haven’t forgotten anything.

  • Plus, most times the week does not go as we originally planned, so checking your planner daily allows you to adjust what needs to be done. 

  • If there are changes with due dates, be sure to update your planner as soon as possible, ideally, the same day. If a professor postpones a test, make sure to add the new dates to the planner.

If you would like to learn more about How to Get out of the Door on Time...

If you would like to learn more about ADHD College Coaching and how it works, please CLICK HERE. 

Thank you for your time and attention... 

- Nikki