By Hallie Bulkin
As promised in Part One of this series on ADHD/ADD, I am going to share some of my success strategies. Please know that the strategies that work for me may not be the strategies that work for you or your child but hopefully you can take these strategies and use them as a spinning-off point to come up with other strategies that may work for you. I determine the relevance of specific strategies that worked for myself through simple trial-and-error and I KNOW you can do it, too!
So what have I seen work?
- Planning: Monday does not need to be designated as the “milk” day. You might choose to remember M = Monday and Milk, but that is not my preferred means of remembering the things I need to do. I prefer a paper and/or electronic calendar. I used to lug around a paper calendar because I feared losing my calendar if I used iCal but I have overcome that silly fear and now rely on it heavily for my schedule and my to-do list!
- Use Pop-Ups: iCal has a great feature where you can set an event to remind you when it’s going to occur (1 day before, 1-2 hours before, 5, 10 or 15 minutes before, and at the time of the event). You can choose to use these settings or not, but I find that reminding myself I have my next appointment in 15 minutes keeps me focused on being “on time” to my clients, which is imperative in the service industry!
- Google it: Sometimes it can be hard to shut the brain off or put a thought aside. So if you MUST get an answer to something NOW, set a 5-minute timer, Google it, read a little, get your answer and then close Google and move on! Feed the need for information but do it strategically so it doesn’t completely derail your other efforts. This can also be a good way to get a “fill” of information that you want to know more about, but that no one around you wants to discuss at length. 😉
- Email ideas to self: My inbox may become full and overwhelming at times but at least I will not forget a thought, idea, task that I feel the need to remember! It can be stressful to think of ideas and fall in love with that idea just to forget it and struggle to recall it later. Emailing myself “frees” me of these thoughts and the need to hold on to these thoughts, allowing me to better focus on what is directly in front of me in a given moment. Side note: I jotted down this post on my iPad, while sitting in my car for 5 minutes, after my hair appointment on October 24th, just so I wouldn’t forget my thoughts and have to spend a significant amount of time pulling those thoughts back into my mind at a later point.
- Record Thoughts on Phone or Pen/Paper (especially when driving): Use “notes” on your device or good old fashioned pen and paper (you might also try the bath crayons for shower time if you think up ideas in the shower like I do)! It’s always important to drive safe, but it is also important to remember those awesome thoughts that you have while driving. Thank goodness for Siri…she will record your thoughts now without having to start and stop the recording. The dictation capabilities have improved for the better since the last iOS upgrade.
- Eat, Eat, Eat! You may be wondering why this is a success strategy. Well, when I get into the zone, I forget to eat. So this is an activity that should be built into the schedule. It may even need its own phone reminder! After all, food is your fuel that keeps the wheels turning. Don’t be afraid to schedule daily activities that you often forget to do!
If you have specific questions about behavioral means of controlling ADHD/ADD I would love to hear them so they can be addressed in addition to this article. Let us know how we can help you and your little sprout!