The Planner: Your External Brain!
Do you remember that almost every negative about ADHD has a valuable positive related to it? Well here is an important one! While we ADHDers can seem quite disorganized, we can really respond well to structure! Once we get into the routine, that habit frees us to let our minds hyperfocus on those great, out of the box ideas that we are great at! One client told me “When I go on autopilot, my brain can soar!” What a perfect way to say it.
One of the most important structures we can adopt is a planner – the ONE place where everything in our lives is organized. Most successful ADHDers – and people in general – use a planner. It is a portable organizational system that they have with them always, to keep on top of life. It holds their calendar and master plans for all kinds of things like money, health, kids, hobbies, dreams, household info, gifts, birthdays, committees, school, etc. Think you don’t need one? Let’s see.
*Do you make lists that you lose or never use?
*Do you write down appointments, number and ideas on sticky notes then lose those notes?
*Do you forget appointments?
Now, one of the great debates is whether to use a paper planner or smart phone planner.
Here are some things to think about.
* Paper planners have a lot of different types to choose from and a wide range of prices.
* It is nice to get a custom fit. You can organize, and reorganize it just your way.
* They allow you to view an entire day, week or month at a glance.
* They are inexpensive to replace and easy to use.
* There is something wonderful about using a pencil to write everything down. Research tells us that physically writing something down helps us remember it.
*Never has to be charged!
*Easy to focus on one day, one week or one month at a time.
*If your phone is with you, then your calendar is always with you.
*You can add and delete information easily.
*With a smart phone, you can download information onto a hard drive , an online calendar, or a cloud.
* The alarms are wonderful to set 1 hour, 30 min or 15 minutes before an event you do not want to forget.
Both have advantages and disadvantages. You get to pick. However, the point is, pick one and ONLY ONE! Duplicate calendars will only cause trouble. Put your entire world in it, work, money, play, family, household maintenance, dreams, health, etc. Then, use it every day. You will be amazed at how this structure will help you go from seeming disorganized to being one of the most organized people in the bunch! Think of it as your external brain!