Tips on Managing Life with AD/HD

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Here are some tips that I’ve found useful in managing life with AD/HD:

  • Set up automatic deductions for as many of your bills as you can. If you can’t do it through the company, most banks will allow you to set up automatic payments through your checking account.
  • Use two checking accounts. On payday, have your check automatically deposited to one account and then set up an automatic transfer to the second. The amount of the transfer is equal to your monthly bills divided by 4 (or 2 if you get paid twice a month). What’s left in the first account is what you use for things like gas, groceries, and spending money.
  • Assign household tasks to certain days. For instance, I change the sheets every Monday and always clean the litter box on Sunday.
  • Assign certain general meal categories to certain days. You could make Mondays chicken days, Tuesday a pasta day, etc. This streamlines the meal planning process while still allowing you some variety.
  • Make a master grocery list and save it on your computer. You could organize it the way your store is set up – if the first thing in the store is the produce aisle, put produce first on your list – or you could organize it by category. It will probably take you a few weeks to get everything on your list, but you can add to it as you find things you missed. On grocery day, just check off what you need. I have a free meal planning sheet plus 2 grocery lists (and more) in the Library. Just sign up below to get the password.
  • Use one calendar for the entire family and make a habit of checking it nightly. You’ll most likely still need to use a personal planner that travels with you, so make sure that anything pertinent on the big calendar is noted there, too. Some families use color coding for each member as a way to further customize their calendar.
  • Find a way to set alarms for important things that you might forget otherwise. If you use a PDA, that option is built in. If you use a paper planner, use the alarm feature on your cell phone. At home, use the kitchen timer. Most microwaves and stoves have one. I use alarms for everthing: I set one at home when I need to remember to leave or to make a phone call at a certain time, I set alarms for appointments in my PDA, and if I have a task that I absolutely must get done, I assign a time to it and set an alarm for that, too.
  • Assign laundry to days of the week. If you’re lucky enough to be able to do all of your laundry in a day or two, assign days to get it done. Otherwise, you can spread it out over the week, doing a little at a time. At my house, we have a lot of laundry, so towels get done daily, sheets on Monday, and then the rest spread throughout the week.
  • I have several small zipper bags – like cosmetic bags – that I use for my purse. One holds money related items like cash and debit & credit cards, another holds any cosmetic items I carry with me, a third holds things like aspirin, tissue, etc. Each bag is different, so they are easy to spot and identify in my purse. This makes changing purses easy and finding what I need fast.

As you can see, I rely on systems and routines to keep me on track. Sometimes, like lately, things fall apart, but because I have a system and routine to go back to, it makes it easier to get things back under control.

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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