I’m a big fan of Jennifer Louden. Jennifer has written a number of books, including “Comfort Secrets for Women” and “The Life Organizer”. One of the most useful ideas that I have found in her books is the idea of minimum requirements.
Minimum requirements can be daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Jennifer defines a minimum requirement as something you absolutely must have or do in your life in order to “…stay in touch with your center.” In other words, what things do you absolutely need to do for yourself on a regular basis in order to function?
I think that this idea can (and should) be adapted to Attention Deficit Disorder. If you are at all self-aware, you know what kinds of things affect your AD/HD symptoms in either a positive or negative manner.
If you don’t have a clue, then the best way to find out is to start keeping a diary. Keep track of how much sleep you got, what you ate, how much water you drank, and anything else you can think of. Then start noticing when you have really good or really bad days, to see if you can detect a pattern.
Once you have some information about the things that affect your AD/HD symptoms, you can establish your own minimum requirements. For instance, my minimum daily requirements for my AD/HD include:
- At least 8 hours of sleep.
- Protein several times a day.
- At least 8 glasses of water.
And my minimum weekly requirements include:
- Exercise at least 3 times a week.
- Meditating as many days as I can.
Now, I want to stress – just because these things are “minimum requirements” doesn’t mean I meet them all the time. What it means is that I do my best to meet them, because it’s in my best interests to do so. And on the days or weeks when I don’t, I know that I will have more trouble than usual with my AD/HD symptoms. That in turn puts me more in control of my life. If I know I will have a difficult day, symptom-wise, I can use that knowledge to restructure my day or postpone important projects, rather than stress myself out trying to do something on a day when I am not at my best.
Do you see how valuable this idea of minimum requirements can be? See if you can come up with a list of your own minimum requirements, and then use them to put control over your life back in your hands.