Time Management with ADHD

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Surely it’s no secret that those of us with Attention Deficit Disorder have trouble managing time. For us, time is a very elastic thing that expands or contracts depending on what we’re doing. Add in the fact that we have trouble remembering things and finding things, and you can see how important the right time management system can be.

For years, I have depended on my Palm Pilot to keep me on track. It stores tons of information, including a calendar, contact list, and to do list, and I can set an alarm to remind me of appointments or things to do. My Palm Pilot helps keep my life running smoothly, or at least it did.

I recently purchased a new laptop that uses the new Windows operating system, Vista. It seems that my Palm Pilot (anybody’s Palm Pilot for that matter) is not compatible with Vista. Any information I put into it cannot be backed up on my computer. That means that if my handheld should crash for any reason, I will lose everything on it. Not good.

Since I did recently make such a huge purchase, I’m not in a position right now to go out and buy a new handheld.

So in the meantime, I’m trying to patch together a system that will help keep me on track. So far, I guess it’s working OK, but then you always think that until you arrive for an appointment a day late or forget to make those 300 cupcakes for the school bake sale.

Here’s what I’m doing – and I’m breaking several important rules here, so I don’t advise following my example.

First, I’m using a couple of different calendars – one on my laptop, the one on the kitchen wall, and sometimes my Palm Pilot. Do I need to tell you why this is a bad idea? 3 different calendars means 3 opportunities to schedule 3 different appointments all for the same day and time.

Second is the matter of remembering any of the 3 different appointments. The calendar on the computer will alarm to remind me, but only if I’m using it. The Palm Pilot used to beep, but not anymore. The kitchen calendar won’t do a thing.

Third – I’ve also taken to using pieces of paper and sticky notes to remember things. I don’t need to go there – you already know why that’s a bad idea.

Now I know there are other things I could be using to keep track of appointments. My cell phone, for instance, has a calendar. Even my iPod has one. They just don’t appeal to me for some reason.

I’ve decided to try and come up with one workable solution, at least for the time being. I’m going to start using just one calendar – I have one like they use in offices that shows the hours of the day so I can block off appointments and write in things to do. It’s portable, so that’s a plus.

I’ll have to make a habit of checking it throughout the day so I don’t forget anything. I can set an alarm on my phone to do that. I can also use Jott to help me remember appointments or phone calls I need to make.

This new system might just work. If it does or doesn’t, I’ll try to remember to let you know. Maybe I should put it in my schedule?

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Lacy Estelle

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

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