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ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life Using the book "ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life"

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  #16  
Old 02-10-17, 06:57 PM
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Don't Rule Out Habits (or Routines) for Your To-Do List

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Originally Posted by dvdnvwls View Post
I should have been more specific.

Habits like getting out of bed and opening the window and brushing your teeth, things that are the same every day or the same for a considerable period of time, don't belong on the same list as real to-dos like "take my friend to the airport" or "work on college project due in a week".
For those fortunate enough to be able to form habits and remember routines, it may be fair to say these don't belong on a To-Do list.

However I recall seeing that one of the cognitive deficits (probably in one of those dopamine circuits) listed for ADHD is the poor ability to form habits and remember routines. And these are important for freeing up working memory, which is also typically impaired in ADHD.

So if you don't form habits and routines easily, and also have limited working memory, no wonder you struggle with to-do lists, and just generally getting through the day! Boing, boing, boing! Every minor preparatory sub-task is right up there with your most important priority, competing for RAM. If your subconscious or muscle memory is slow to absorb these important time-saving stress-saving routines, getting them on some kind of list or visual aid is an important compensatory skill.

Maybe these have to be more specialized context-based flags or lists that you post where you need to initiate or carry out the routine: on the bathroom wall to remind you what you have to do morning and evening, in the kitchen to nudge you toward a healthy breakfast, by the computer to remind you to balance you chequebook and pay your bills, by the door (or bed) wherever you keep your keys and plug in your phone. And so on.

I'm starting to think that even though the number of workaround routines I require to reduce the load on my working memory is actually rather mindboggling, each ridiculously small routine I write down and post does result in some small reduction in apathy, some small reduction of mental effort, and some increase in my energy and effectiveness with the brain cells available.

I have come to accept that most likely none of this will ever become effortlessly habitual. But in that case having little lists and reminders, plus pre-packed this and that, are still the next best thing... and the closest I may ever again get to being a fully-functioning adult.
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  #17  
Old 02-10-17, 07:30 PM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

I agree with 20thcentury and fuzzy. The part A should be short. And I like how you put time schedules for everything, you really should keep that.

Is having the list as detailed as it is making you feel overwhelmed or slowing you down in doing your tasks? Cause if not, I don't really see a harm in having such a long list. As long as you put the really important stuff in Part A so you don't miss those items.

Also, I kind of wonder if there is a way for you to make some of those tasks simpler so they become true habits so you don't need to include them in your list like dvdkwls said and still find the motivation to get them done. If not, it's not a big deal. I don't actually feel overwhelmed with your list myself (so as long as you aren't either, it's ok).

Some ideas for simplifying things. Put a laundry basket right by your shower. You're not going to step into the shower with clothes on so if the basket is right next to the shower, it may become second nature to dump your dirty clothes into the laundry basket with just a little practice (I used to be awful and this changed me). I can't imagine you'd accidentally step outside naked so you don't need to include getting a change of clothes on your list. If you forget to get clothes before showering, who cares as you will naturally get them after. Keep deodorant and aftershave in bathroom. Do those there while brushing teach so its just one task combined. I put all my towels in drawers in the bathroom right after laundry is done and laundry is always done on a certain day so I never run out of clean towels. So no task needed for making sure there is a clean towel - there just naturally is one.

I don't make my bed. I never understood that practice and it's just another step for us ADHDers to feel bad about. don't know why you have to open window either. Coffee, I'm naturally driven to drink coke every day - I do wonder if you'd just do that even without it being on your list.

Anyway, just some ideas. Like I said though, I don't think you need to cut your list down at all so long as it's not stressing you out and the priorities are highlighted.
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  #18  
Old 02-10-17, 07:37 PM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

I'm just going to say it, that list freaks me OUT!

Simplify.
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Old 02-10-17, 10:54 PM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

I have actually made lists just like that first one. It felt virtuous to make them, but I never found it to help me.

Everyone's different though.
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Old 02-11-17, 06:23 AM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

I got nothing on the list done anyway. Just slept the whole time! Funny thing is, I probably would have got up earlier if that list wasn't staring me in the face when I woke up!
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  #21  
Old 02-11-17, 01:10 PM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

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Originally Posted by Fraser_0762 View Post
I got nothing on the list done anyway. Just slept the whole time! Funny thing is, I probably would have got up earlier if that list wasn't staring me in the face when I woke up!
If lists don't work for you, just don't use them. I think most of the stuff you listed are habits for most people anyway. We have a harder time making habits but perhaps you can form some if you tackle them one at a time and simplify your life.

I know when I first moved out, I couldn't get myself to cook, clean, wash dishes, or do laundry. I think that's basically every household chore besides my personal sanitation.

Boy, writing this down, I realize what a mess I was back then. I really didn't even realize it back then though cause all my problems were solved with money (the paper dishes so I didn't have to wash dishes, paid the laundrymat to clean my clothes, bought out food or frozen dinners). The only thing I noticed was how messy I was though it never bothered me much (only realized I had an issue after others couldn't stand it).

Anyway,even though I didn't consciously realize I had a problem, I did want to save money. So, I used money to keep my chores light at first and then tackled each problem I had one by one until doing the work became habit. That was how I can now do all the household chores (that and I'm a minimalist). Maybe you can do the same.
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  #22  
Old 02-13-17, 07:22 PM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

Whenever I create my lists I ask myself what are the three most important things I can do today? Everything else is a bonus. I know it sounds stupidly simple, but man, it's effective when you look at a year long span.
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  #23  
Old 02-14-17, 05:34 AM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

I have to remember that I never actually have a completely finished List (unless I've made one for some specific complicated thing; or its a list of errands for one weekend morning)

This concept has really saved me from much anxiety.
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Old 02-14-17, 06:10 AM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

ACDC love the laundry basket next to the shower idea. Brilliant!!
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Old 03-11-17, 11:39 PM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

I found getting a daily planner increddddibly helpful.
I have the "Daily Simplified Planner" by Emily Ley (yes it's expensive but I got it on sale because it's March lol)

Get one with time slots and a to-do list for each day, preferably with only one day per page, so you can move onto a fresh, clean slate for the next day!

I also added some lined paper at the end as a "brain dump" just as a place to dump all the random 'to-do's' from all parts of my life. I also added in some blank checklist pages to keep a running 'to buy' list as well.

I bring it with me everywhere, so it kind of serves as my brain on paper, so I don't forget things.

Then every night, I sit down and write my to-do's for the next day, then organize them into the time-slots. I include all the 'must-do's' for that day (ie. appointments, travel times, class, etc) then I look at how much time I have left over. Then I put in 1-3 'to-do's' in the blank slots.
And ONLY 1-3

I found that because I forget to eat/how long the subway takes, I have to fill in even those things, so then you end up with less 'free'/useable time each day than you think to get 'to-do's done. If you put too many, you're setting yourself up for an impossible task, and it's no wonder you're feeling overwhelmed and not starting, anyone would!

So yes:
1. get planner
2. fill in must-do's
3. pick 1-3 to-do's for each day, depending on how much free time you _actually_ have.
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  #26  
Old 03-12-17, 03:06 AM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

Just wondering how you guys get past writers block?

I can have all these ideas in my mind about what I should be doing today, but when it actually comes to writing them down on paper, I seem to draw a blank.
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Old 03-12-17, 04:01 AM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

Make it as simple as possible, a couple of words.
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Old 03-12-17, 04:45 AM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

scribble them down on any paper, as you think of them
then make a nicer formatted list ( or just keep the scribbly one if it doesnt have too many things on it)
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  #29  
Old 03-12-17, 06:26 AM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

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Originally Posted by Fraser_0762 View Post
Just wondering how you guys get past writers block?

I can have all these ideas in my mind about what I should be doing today, but when it actually comes to writing them down on paper, I seem to draw a blank.
Can you sound-record them someplace? You could transcribe later, if you really needed the paper to look at.
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  #30  
Old 03-12-17, 10:03 PM
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Re: "To Do" Lists are Hard!

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Originally Posted by Fraser_0762 View Post
Just wondering how you guys get past writers block?

I can have all these ideas in my mind about what I should be doing today, but when it actually comes to writing them down on paper, I seem to draw a blank.
I keep a "Brain Dump" list in my planner that is always on me, so every time I have all those ideas at random times, I write them down right away.
It's like a Master To-Do list, (you could have one in your phone too, if that's more your style) and then when I'm making my schedule for the next day, I look over my Brain Dump and see what fits for the next day.

Hope that helps
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