ADHD / Adult ADHD / Coping Strategies

ADHD and the Realities of Planner Planning

So I have this 2014 planner thingy.

I really like it so far. I also haven’t written anything in it so far. Ha!

Don’t worry, I will, I will. It’s just that I’m trying not to do this the same way I did before. I don’t have the same life I had the last time I tried to do this. I have a lot to coordinate and consider. Here’s what I HAVE done so far:

  • Cleaned out my purse. I have lots of little notes everywhere and I didn’t want to forget something while I was filling in my schedule.
  • Did a ton of filing. Once I cleaned out the purse, I had piles of paper that needed homes.
  • I cleaned my room. It needed to happen. Totally unrelated to the planner, but did contribute to my overall feeling of being “organizey”. I have become so obsessed with organizing that I was actually able to hyperfocus on this for 7 hours straight. No joke. Omg.
  • I had to go back and find some of my already established organizational tools. Like where did my clear, plastic bank deposit bag go? We moved a bunch of stuff during the holidays and a bunch of my tools got moved. Sidenote: It’s clear and plastic, because I’m more likely to make timely and regular visits to the bank if I can see that there’s something in the bag. Yes, on the way to the bank I stick it in my handbag, which is not clear, so that the whole operation is a little more discreet, but for the purposes of having it on my desk, and me actually remembering to go to the bank, this is a great idea.
  • Omg, if one more family member, of two or four legs, interrupts me during the writing of this blog posts, I’m going to LOSE MY ****! KNOCK IT OFF, GUYS!!!
  • Clearly, my meds are wearing off for the day.

Anyway, I’ve finally “cleared the path” so that I can accurately and effectively fill in my planner. Or at least get a far with it as I can. I’m starting tonight. I’m starting with my kids’ arrival and departure schedule (they travel between our house and their mom’s house during the week, every week, on different days every week – this is the kind of scheduling I’m dealing with here, folks, lol). I’m going to build it out from there, with my largest time commitments accounted for first.

I am going to do the best that I can, to manage a load that will never be totally predictable. I can only do my best, and I am going to write everything in pencil so that I don’t have to be thrown into a panic every time I have to change something.



6 thoughts on “ADHD and the Realities of Planner Planning

  1. Katy,
    Its good you started the process. I have hell starting. I also have the issue of forgetting my organization system. Would you have any tips for remembering my system?

    • In situations where I am more impaired in terms of remembering something, I go big. This is where you kind of have to throw your preconceived notions of what you think your environment should look like right off the balcony. This is where I have to create cues that cannot be ignored. For me, I am going to be most successful with a really extreme visual cue. I have a friend who painted one whole wall of her studio with chalkboard paint so she could write giant notes on the wall. I have done this with paper. I wouldn’t hesitate to take a giant piece of paper, stick it in a high traffic area of my house, where I am extremely likely to see it, and draw a giant picture of a planner on it and write “CHECK YOUR PLANNER NOW” on it. When I say giant, I mean giant. I don’t mean 8.5 x 11 or 11 x 17. I mean multiple feet high. Make it taller than you, if you can. I used to always forget to take out the trash and it would pile up because it involved multiple steps. I started just sticking the trash can, the second I thought “oh I have to take that out”, right in the doorway to the place where you have to take the garbage, so that the next time I went to my car, I would remember to take it downstairs.

      Tech geeks might prefer to set alarms for themselves – I have a friend that does this. That method is too multi-step to work for me. But he goes through his whole day with little alarms going off to remind him of things – and you can’t forget your system if your system is constantly reminding you that it’s there. I fare better with analog reminders though.

      Whatever it is that you need to remember, you need to come up with a way to remind yourself, that YOU can’t ignore.

  2. Planner planning! OMG! Someone else who gets it! I’ll spend 45 minutes looking at planners online or in a store, only to walk away frustrated after a while because they don’t fit my plan man! I JUST started doing what’s called a Bullet Journal and it’s working great (when I remember to look at it, cough cough) because I can set it up as I need to. I’m just using a generic graph paper bound composition notebook and I can put it ALL in there as I need. If I could just remember where I put it.

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