Most of us with ADHD are visual learners. We learn better through pictures and graphs than just listening.
There are a lot of ways that we can use visual cues to help us remember to do things or to plan our day. Here are a few ideas:
I live in a somewhat rural area. It takes a while to get to most places. That means that when I leave the house to go somewhere I have to build in extra time.
I use a visual tool to help me figure out when I need to leave. (This is especially important when I have an appointment because I have to be somewhere at a certain time.)
I draw a simple line on a piece of paper and I write the time I need to be somewhere at the end.
Next I figure out how long it will take me to get there.
10:00 10:30 am
Now I have an idea of when I have to get up.
9:00 10:00 10:30 am
This is also helpful when I have a lot of places to go.
Another good way to use visual cues is to map things out when you have a lot of places to go. You can draw a little map to figure out the best route.
To do lists can be a visual tool, if you look at them. This coming weekend my daughter Sarah is getting married and she has a ton of things to do.
She took her to do list and posted it on the wall where she sees it all the time. This helps her remember what she needs to do and makes it handy to add items to her list.
If I have a reminder for someone in my house and I know I might forget or may not be at home, I leave a big note written in marker someplace where they are sure to see it. The inside of the front door, the microwave or fridge, and the TV screen are all good places.
Once I even pinned a note to my husband’s shirt for my mother in law so that she could make sure he didn’t leave her house without something I needed to borrow from her. She got a good laugh and it worked.
Visual cues can be very effective in helping us remember and understand. In order for them to work, though, they need to be visible.
Sticking a post-it note on the fridge won’t work if it’s already covered in too many papers. As with many things in our ADD lives, the clutter has to be dealt with first.