Time Tips – You can be effective in spite of ADHD characteristics

I recently had the pleasure (and let me be honest – the honor) of being on a panel with Harold Taylor – Canada’s Time Management expert.

Here is a great post by him – scroll down to see how you can subscribe to his newsletters.

You can be effective in spite of ADHD characteristics
By Harold Taylor

In past issues I have outlined the increase in ADHD symptoms among both children and adults, the role technology plays in this increase, how to avoid outsourcing your life to your electronic devices, and some basic suggestions for managing time when you exhibit ADHD-like symptoms. In this issue I offer some further “quick tips” to help you cope.

1. Organize your working area so that everything you use on a regular basis is visible and within reach.

2. Develop routines for repetitive tasks such as checking email, paying bills and writing articles or blogs.

3. Acquire a planning mindset by closing each day with a list of “To Do”s for the following day.

4. Use a planner and use it to excess, blocking off time for projects, recording future “due dates”, follow-ups, appointments, special events, family birthdays and even recording places you visit and people you meet.

5. Assist your working memory by using techniques such as acronyms, visualization, association, and other mnemonic devices described in most books on memory training.

6. Practice stress-relieving activities, since in addition to the usual benefits, reduced anxiety will free up more working memory. (See Boosting Executive Skills in the Classroom by Joyce Cooper-Kahn & Margaret Foster, 2003)

7. Work in short periods of time – breaking longer tasks into “chunks.” Use a timer if necessary.

8. Make up checklists for activities such as travel, shopping, meetings and even for starting the day.

9. Curb lateness by entering the time you must leave your office or home in order to arrive on time. Always allow extra time in the event of heavy traffic.

10. Exercise strengthens executive skills, and research on attention shows that viewing or walking in nature for as little as 20 minutes per week provides the right amount of cognitive input.

In the next issue I will offer some further suggestions relating to physical and mental exercise, mindset and diet.

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