Whether diagnosed with ADD or just unsure of where your forgetfulness and disorganization comes from, ADD could impact your life in ways that can be frustrating. What does ADD look like? Well, there are many unfinished projects or chores, unorganized, may seem spaced out to others, and interrupts during conversations. The list does go on, but those are the major symptoms that affect me. I wrote a post this, This Mommy Has ADD
Stick To It
I have a hard time keeping my home clean. It's bad enough that I myself have ADD but two out four children have it as well as my husband. So we are all a little unorganized, interrupt each other, and don't really finish anything. Well when I do complete a task or project in its entirety, it's because I make myself stay with it. You see, if I begin a sewing project and stop it to do something else, I know that sewing project will not get done. So I tell the kids, that I am not stopping what I'm working on until it's done.
There are times where I bite off more than I can chew, such as cooking dinner while trying to do a load of laundry. I either forget the water is filling in the washing machine or burn dinner. I have learned that I must only do one task at a time. Laundry is the worst for a mom with ADD. It's not something that is easy to stick to. I mean it takes two hours to do a load from start to finish and all this time in between steps. The problem is that I forget about it. On any given day I can open the lid to the washer and find a load that has been there since yesterday. Ah man, now I have to rewash it.
To Schedule or Not To Schedule
I find a schedule is one of the most difficult things for me. I tried a cleaning schedule, meal plan, blogging schedule. Schedules do not work for me. I don't know if it has anything to do with my ADD or if it's just me. I find schedules hold me back. There are some days where I can clean the entire house because I have the energy and conviction to do so. Whereas other days I barely get the dishes done. You see, as a mom with ADD, I am very spontaneous. I do things on a whim, spur of the moment, very much unplanned. Though I find it helpful to make the schedule as to have something to reference to make sure I have completed everything.
I do however make a meal plan for the week, though it is more like a guideline. I write it all done on the side of the fridge, because I have all of the ingredients for those meals. Some nights I make something that is not even on the meal plan. Again, very spontaneous.
I found it very helpful to break my day up into blocks of time. Now, this contradicts what I said previously about staying with the task until it is done, I know that, but it helps to have an end time. I give myself two hours of computer time and in that time I have a list of tasks that I should do. Then I give myself an allocated amount of time to clean and decide which area of the house I will clean.
There may be times where I get into a project and did not realize the extent of time it would take. Here's a perfect example. I put the boys clothes away and as I hang up their shits, I realize that I need to put away the winter clothes. So I sort through the boys clothes to pull out all the long sleeve shirts. But then I decide I also need to go through their pajamas and then their pants. Oh my it's 6 o' clock now and I have to cook dinner, but I have clothes in piles all over their room. Err, I am going to go cook dinner and come back to it tonight at bed time. Except, by bed time, the boys have destroyed their bedroom and my perfectly separated piles. Err, double err. True story. In retrospect, I should not have taken on the entire project all at once. Perhaps only do the shirts at that time and do the pants another time and then then the pajamas another time.
You see, by allocating certain chores and/ or projects during a certain block of time only, I am putting in place a boundary. I finish what I can in that time and move on. It just helps me. I actually get more work done knowing that I have a due date or end time. I guess I work better under a time restraint and am more motivated in that way. Just like when I was in school. My best projects and papers were completed under extreme pressure because I waited until the last minute to get it done.
Lists & Notebooks
Another thing I do to help myself stay organized is lists, lists, lists. I write everything down. If I don't write it, I forget it. A grocery list is a must for me. I write lists on the fridge, in notebooks, and even scrap pieces of paper. Though scrap pieces of paper are not a good idea. When your biggest challenge is to stay organized, the last thing you want is a bunch of scrap papers. Notebooks work best. I have a very visual memory and I can easily find what I am looking for in the notebook, based on the other things written down. I have different notebooks for different things, such as a blogging notebook, bills and finances, an Etsy notebook, and a sewing notebook. Write it all down so you don't forget.
There you have it. One moms views of working through life with ADD. It can be done and it is not a deal breaker. With each challenge put forth, comes effort and conviction to work through it, What challenges do you face as a mom? How have you worked through it? Anybody else have ADD as an adult? In what ways do you find to work through it? Please share in the comments!