Have you tried not to forget something only to realize you've forgotten what that something was?
It’s a confusing question.
Unfortunately, this happens more often than people would like who live with ADHD.
Poor working memory is a common ADHD symptom and one that can deliver severe consequences, from letting people down to low self-esteem.
According to Ari Tuckman author of Understand Your Brain, Get More Done, people with ADHD have trouble holding a thought from the moment they think of it until the moment when it’s time to act.
In our podcast, Building Structure Around New Habits, Pete and I talk about how not to forget what you want to do. We talk about the most common reminder for many, using an alarm.
But we go into greater detail about when alarms work and when they don’t.
We also talk about using visual cues and the importance your accountability partner has as you begin building a new habit.
In addition to the ideas on the show, I want to add a few more for you to consider.
These ideas are not just for building a new habit, but for any time you don’t want to forget something important:
1) It is not uncommon for me to wake up in the morning and see a magazine or t-shirt in the middle of my bedroom floor. This is my husband's way of not forgetting something that he remembered to do in the middle of the night. Now hopefully, he will remember in the morning what it was that he remembered in the middle of the night. Just in case, it’s not a bad idea to have a pad of paper and a pen on your bedside table or kitchen counter to capture those random thoughts when they come at random times.
2) If you are constantly forgetting a certain item, place that item in the most obvious place, like in front of the door, by the coffee maker, or by your phone charger. Place it in a spot that you visit every day so you can’t miss it. Yes, it takes a little planning on your part, but worth it if it means you won’t be embarrassed or frustrated the next day.
3) If someone is requesting something of you, don’t be afraid to ask them to send the request via email or ask them to leave a message on your voicemail with the request. If that’s not possible, carry a little notebook with you and write down the request in your notebook. Repeat the request, so you are very clear on what’s being asked and what the other person expects. Make sure to check your notebook nightly.
4) One of the my favorite features of Evernote is being able to leave a recorded note. If something comes to mind and I’m not in a position to write it down, I will often record my idea or thought into Evernote. I have also been known to leave a voicemail or send an email to myself. You can also use your smartphone's note section to do this.
Thank you for your time and attention..
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