For adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), details are a drag. We tend to see the big picture and want to jump straight to the finish line, wishing we could skip all the steps in between. Unfortunately, this perspective often causes us to become overwhelmed when it's time to start a project. We know where we want to end up, but we don't know where to start.
The same is true for day-to-day life. Adults with ADD often start the day knowing what should ideally get accomplished, but not sure where to begin or how to prioritize. This often leads to stress and guilt, which can spiral into more bad feelings, and less action.
In order to avoid this scenario, adults with ADD can learn to make daily planning a routine.
Here are 3 Easy Steps One Can Take to Develop a Daily Planning Routine
1. Plan the Time to Plan
Decide on a time of day when you can consistently take 15 minutes to plan. It can be a set time (8:00 PM) or simply "right before bed."
Most adults with ADD find that the best time to plan is late in the day, when they are more alert. This works easily, as you can plan for the following day rather than stressing about it before you go to sleep!
2. Review Your To-Do List
If you don't already use a to-do list, create one! Review it during each planning session so that you can see not only what you have to do, but also what you have actually accomplished during the day.
Re-write your to-do list, removing completed items and adding things that came up during the day. Move the most important and urgent tasks to the top of the list. Break large projects into 3-5 steps that all go on the list.
3. Review Your Calendar
Take a look at your daily planner (you are using one, I hope!) See what appointments you have scheduled the next day. Block off the times in your planner, along with your travel time. Then, begin to schedule in time for the tasks on your to-do list.
Taking just 15 minutes a day to plan alleviates much of the day-to-day stress of life with ADD, and helps adults move forward.
© Copyright 2005
Jennifer Koretsky is a Professional ADD Management Coach who helps adults manage their ADD and move forward in life. She encourages clients to increase self-awareness, focus on strengths and talents, and create realistic action plans. She offers a 90-day intensive skill-building program, workshops, and private coaching. Her work has been featured in numerous media, including The New York Times Magazine and The Times (UK). To subscribe to Jennifer's free email newsletter, The ADD Management Guide, please visit http://www.addmanagement.com/e-newsletter.htm