Organisation and planning tip

Core symptoms of ADHD make it difficult for individuals to get organised and have a solid plan. These core symptoms include problems with:

  • Attention (i.e. maintaining vigilance and focus).
  • Inhibition (pausing, and blocking impulses where necessary).
  • Self-regulation (of emotions, behaviour, and attention).

While medication can help with some of these difficulties, some of the time, individuals can also learn and be supported to implement compensatory strategies and make improvements in these areas.

To help with this, start by implementing and consistently using calendar/diary system.

The system could be online using any number of applications such as google calendar, outlook calendar, or specialised productivity planners. Personally I like to use google calendar and the diary within the client management system I use: Halaxy.

Alternatively the old pocket diary can be a good substitute if you prefer pen and paper or something physical. When selecting the system don’t get too hung up on finding the perfect system! Just choose one that will be good enough and implement it for at least a month.

It is also important to do away with ALL pieces of paper, sticky notes, and appointment cards. Carry the diary or your device with you to all appointments and to work or study. When a new event is scheduled, write it into the calendar under the correct date and time, right away.

Beware of unhelpful thoughts which may block your progress such as:

  • “I have never been organised so why start now.”
  • “I have tried calendars before but they don’t work for me.”
  • “This seems too simple to work.”

Disorganisation may have been a problem for you for most or all of your life, but you can make some amazing changes. Remember that this is not an easy thing and takes perseverance. It takes most people about 13 weeks to embed a new behaviour, so give yourself some time.

At face value implementing a calendar system may seem like a simple solution, but it is a powerful one! It is one of the foundational tools to get yourself organised and stay on track, so you will need to be very intentional in its use.

If you would like to explore getting some extra support to plan, strategise, and implement a calendar system please book in for a free 15 minute intro call. I would be pleased to talk with you about how I may be able to help.

Shannon Quinn