Remembering to Remember!
Did you forget to pay your monthly cable bill?
Did you forget to feed your cat this morning?
Were you asked to buy two things at the store but only came home with one?
Living with ADHD often means you forget things OR you remember at the wrong time!
Ari Tuckman, the author of More Attention, Less Deficit, has a chapter about memory and ADHD, I highly recommend you check it out. I will share with you some of my favorite strategies from his book but before I do that, let’s get clear of how ADHD impacts your memory.
What is Working Memory?
Working memory is the part of memory that holds information in the moment it’s being processed and then either generates a response and/or tucks it away for later. This is an executive function and one that many ADDer’s struggle with.
What is Prospective Memory?
Prospective memory has to do with the sense of time. We hold an idea in working memory until our sense of time tells us it’s time act. The challenge with ADHD is getting the timing right, we may remember, but we don’t remember at the right time.
For example: As you climb into bed for the night, you remember you were suppose to call someone back at work.
Unfortunately, when this happens, so do consequences.
What’s important to understand is THIS IS YOUR ADHD. This is not intentional.
In fact, the ADD’er is just as surprised as anyone that they forgot.
Mr. Tuckman says there are Two Prospective Memory Strategy Concepts to keep in mind.
Support your working memory by using external reminders to keep the task in your awareness.
Support your sense of time by setting up reminders and alarms that will trigger your memory at the right time and place.
Here are a few of my favorite strategies from More Attention, Less Deficit and a couple of my own ideas:
1) Use items as their own reminders - If you constantly forget your lunch, stick your lunch bag in front of the door.
2) Place reminders in your path or line of sight - I was working with a client who wanted to remember to check her calendar every morning, so she put a sticky note on her coffee maker that said, “Check Calendar”.
3) Reduce clutter - The less clutter you have, the more likely you will see your reminders and items that matter most in your space.
4) Set an alarm (Do it or Snooze it) - If you’re ignoring the alarm, the timing isn’t right, so either set it for the right time, or snooze it until you get the task done.
5) Check your calendar 2-3 times a day - Your calendar is your number one time management tool, check it on a consistent basis throughout the day, so you see what’s ahead of you. This will decrease the chance of forgetting about important appointments.
Thank you for your time and attention!