How to Set ADHD Friendly Dates and Deadlines

how to set adhd friendly dates and deadlines

 

Deadlines can be scary. These are the ultimate accountability when working on a task or project. You can use these to create momentum and power through to completion with a little insight into setting a date that works taking many points into account, including who is on your team, what resources are available and your work style. Check out these tips on how to set ADHD friendly dates and deadlines for your productivity.

 

Use data to create a deadline

Deadlines depend on how long a task takes and how many tasks are part of a project.  Use real time data to determine how much time is needed by using a timer or Rescue Time on your computer. Gather this data early in order to set up your project management.  With that data, determine how much time you have available and plan accordingly.  One project might take more time and require cutting back on another project. Plan accordingly to set a deadline.

 

Process dates and deadlines with visual tools

We process information with a variety of time management tools. These include a month at a glance planner, a week at a glance planner, and a categorized list of tasks. Use the tools that help you best “see” the needs of your project and when the outcome works best. When finished, be sure to post your work in segments with dates where you can see these at a glance.

 

Untangle the decisions on your project

Your list may be a tangled maze of decisions depending on a sequence of decisions.  In order to simplify the deadline, list details in order of decision or use a mind map to intertwine decisions. Getting clarity on the sequence and creating a sequence of smaller deadlines helps you complete the project.

 

Work backwards to set a date

You may be given a deadline for a project instead of choosing a deadline  You can work backwards to determine the sequence of tasks to complete this on time and the segments to work on.

 

Outsource part of your work

It may be that you can outsource some of the small tasks in your work.  Can a colleague supply data or write up a section for your work? There are lots of creative in person and online tech tools to help you delegate too.

 

Work with a body double

Working in parallel can help you overcome paralysis.  Setting a deadline while body doubling can help you come to a conclusion. That body double can also be a person from FocusMate, a tech tool that partners you up for productivity.

 

Frame your outcome

While working on a project, the goal can become fuzzy.  Be sure to go back and clarify the required outcome. If you are not clear, you will spend more time unnecessarily. Finishing on time is one of the most important objectives too.

 

Check out which tool you want to use to help you set the deadlines for your next task or project. After you practice, review what worked for you!

 

How a Pause Can Help

how a pause can help those with adhd

Life moving too fast? Stuff happening all around and you are feeling out of control?  Ready to hit reset?  There’s a lot of power in a pause. A pause is a simple time out and a break in the action.

 

The Power of the Pause

In a recent Houston Chronicle article, author Marci Sharp talked about “Pausing gives us the opportunity to choose how we want to show up, to stay present and connected, and it’s reliably settling.”  A pause can help us pull back, reset our direction, keep us from regret in a situation, and be more intentional and conscious in any outcome.

 

Not so much power from a pause

Pausing can be especially unnatural for those with ADHD. It’s hard to stop and transitions are difficult. After starting a task, hyperfocus can kick in with an intense period of focus. If you practice the Pomodoro Method, a short pause can be not so helpful in that getting back to work could be difficult.  During a pause you could get distracted and move onto a different, more interesting project or other diversion. A pause is not always the answer for productivity.

 

Pause for emotion regulation

A pause for emotional regulation can help you be your best self.  With a pause, you can identify the emotion you are feeling and choose your response to that feeling. The pause gives you time for awareness and the opportunity to act with a desired emotion and action accordingly. When emotions are ramping up, pay attention and name that emotion. Naming an emotion can be the pause itself.

 

Pause for impulsivity

Creating a break before acting impulsively can prevent regret. Impulsive actions often lead to negative consequences. Use your intuition and self-talk  to create awareness of your impulsivity. Do you remember a time that a pause would have prevented a situation? Inserting a moment to remember a consequence can create an improved response and decision.

 

Pause for processing

Information comes at us quickly, from many sources, at a rate we may need to pause to understand all that is being shared. Having time to process information helps us better understand and more fully integrate information for us to learn.

 

Pause for communication

Active listening helps us communicate effectively.  That is to listening and then repeating back what we hear in a positive way with a partner or colleague to insure we and they are heard. As often as we or our partner feel that they have not been heard, this pause for communication is a powerful positive connection. Give yourself and your partner ample time in your pause. It will help the flow of conversation and engagement.

 

When you use the power of the pause consistently, you are not only using the tool to help with challenges of ADHD.   You are moving forward with emotional intelligence, consistent responses and improved communication.

 

ADHD Friendly Time Awareness Tools

 

adhd friendly time awareness tools

Time awareness is an intuitive sense of how time is passing. For some of us, that’s a built in sense of time passing. For some of us, time varies when we do something we love and something we hate.  Review these analog and digital tools that can help you build your time awareness and help you track your time.

 

TimeTimer

This innovative tool displays time as a red disc that gets smaller as time elapses. It is available as an app and a product.

 

On-Core Time Master

On-Core Time Master simplifies the process by having an app handy on your iPhone or iPod Touch, ready at all times, for you to track your time. You can quickly start tracking time with a few taps on the screen.

 

Pomodoro Tomato Timer

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique created by Francesco Cirillo for a more productive way to work and study. The technique is alternating work and break times for a series of three work sessions.

RescueTime

Rescue Time is a  desktop app, browser extension, and mobile app that tracks where you spend your time. From the reports you can see exactly where your time goes and block distractions that keep you from being productive.

Alexa and Siri

Use “Routines” (under main menu) to set Alexa to play on whatever hours you schedule. Use audible clock for a variety of sounds.

Apple watch

A variety of settings on your watch help you.  You can set an auditory reminder every 15, 30 or 60 minutes. There are different watch faces, displays, reminders, timer and alarms.

Timer on your phone

Set a timer to help you get started and finish a task.

Month at a glance planner

Use this planner to process and plan dates and deadlines.

 

Analog clock

An analog clock helps you visually assess time moving.

 

What tools can you recommend for time awareness?

3 Tips to Maximize Your Vacation While You Are Away

 

3 tips to maximize your vacation while you are away

 

You finally are away on your well deserved vacation.  Congrats on prioritizing your self care in taking time away!  You prepped your colleagues at work and your pet sitter is managing the home front. Now is the time to maximize your time away. No matter where you go or what your plan is, your vacation should provide a change of daily life, a boost to your wellness and self care and a way to make a memory for yourself and your family to reflect on through the next year or beyond.

 

Start with a digital detox

We have been glued to our screens for a long while now. Every day seemed to bring new complex situations. This vacation could be the perfect time for a digital detox.  The reasons are clear that we need time to be present and in the moment with those with us on vacation, as well as time to just sit. Create a common charging spot for your devices and place them in this area each morning and night. Be intentional about your time on vacation. Choose activities that engage you and fulfill your spirit. In the evening set up card games or family games.  You will return to your job more productive.

 

Be intentional and organized about time away

Break your trip into segments that work for your energy level.  There are options for everyone during vacation.

  • New experiences, new connections and learning are exciting and engaging. Decide what kind of experience you want to have while you are on vacation.  Think about hobbies and interests you may not have time for at home.  Consider finding local adventures like zip lining or mindfulness opportunities like yoga. You can find cooking lessons or try new cuisine while away.  Choosing something out of your every day experience that brings you energy and joy.
  • Choose the time you spend with family. We are excited to see family that we have not seen in a while. It can be exhilarating and exhausting. When you feel ready to take a break, spend the time on your own regrouping. Set aside times during the day that you can be together and apart.
  • Maybe this year vacation is all about peace and quiet. Many of us are depleted of energy and motivation after this difficult year.  Intentionally choose to sit and relax. Choose a beautiful view to sit and be quiet. Take a walk in silence to start or end your day. Head to bed extra early while away to gain on your sleep schedule. Being on the go can leave you exhausted after your vacation.

Give yourself re-entry time

A rushed re-entry into real life can take away from your most relaxing vacation. Give yourself the opportunity to easy back into work and life.

  • Bring back a little keepsake, a photo or something to keep your vacation in mind all summer.  That photo can be placed where you see it daily, especially on your phone screen.
  • Get back earlier than you might think. This will give you time to catch up on laundry and meals at home.
  • Start by making a list of what needs to be done, prioritize your list and make a plan. Not everything needs to be done the first day or week back.
  • Allow for time at work for catching up on email. Share responses that acknowledge receipt and time to get back into work flow.
  • Give yourself breaks when you return to work. Conversations with colleagues when you start the day, a walk in the middle of the day, and a recap of productivity at the end of the day make it easier.

 

The pay off to your productivity is huge if you have truly spent your time away regrouping, resetting and refreshing.

Taking Time for Self Care Daily

 

taking time daily for self care

 

We’re coming out of a rough time for the past year or so. Looking through the many possible celebrations this summer, I saw these that made be smile. In the first week of June there are so many things to celebrate. Some of these include National Go Barefoot Day, National Leave The Office Early Day and National Doughnut Day.  That smile brought to mind how important our daily self care is, which could be celebrating each day by running in the yard barefoot or leaving work early from time to time. With all the good things and hope that is coming together, it’s time for us to take time for joy and to prioritize self care.

 

Creating a mindset of self care

We’ve been through some anxious times.  Starting, breaking up or ending your day with self care will help. It is going to be have to be intentional and prioritized.  That means, something else will not happen that is on your list and that you will have know that this is the best way to spend that time. It means that you are setting priorities and boundaries. Self care happens when we stay true to our priorities and block distractions.

What happens when those in your family or those you work with do not understand?  It can be uncomfortable for you and them to explain that this is not selfish.  Self care is about finding meaning and purpose in what you do, not just self indulgent need. Self care promotes personal energy which is required for emotional regulation and refueling. Thinking of yourself as a leader for those around you, especially if this is misunderstood.

 

Daily self care

Daily self care can look and feel like a lot of things. Use this list of simple suggestions and to accomplish self care.

  • A protein smoothie for breakfast (available frozen at Costco, purchased by online shopping, or shipped to your home via product provider)
  • Eating healthy snacks throughout the day (accomplished by ordering online.)
  • Exercising every day, like a short walk or yoga (available on YouTube or by placing your sneakers by your bed.)
  • An evening playlist for relaxing (available on Spotify, Pandora or Alexa.)
  • Routine, same time bedtime each week night (accomplished by charging your devices in a common charging spot.)

Prompt yourself by setting up the first step to do this action. Simple planning and preparation can help you every day.  Automate what you can to provide support for your daily self care.

Remember, every day is a new day to start your self care.

We are going to have days that were over-filled and there was no self care. We start fresh every day with self care. It is there for us all the time to restart.

How to incorporate Self care with the Hybrid Work Model

self care and the hybrid work model

We can tell another transition is underway with work in Houston as rush hour and traffic build.  People are returning to the office to work part of the week.  When we were only working from home, we had more time because of the lack of commute.  We also could wedge in a small piece of self care within the day or week. During this transition, or as your work becomes a hybrid model of home and office, it’s a good time to assess and prioritize self care.

 

Assess and prioritize

Acknowledge that a variety of feelings are going to emerge during the transition back to work. There may be increased anxiety and sadness.  Give yourself time and a way to process these emotions. While we settled into work from home, we are now settling back to work at the office.

Work from home has given us options. Many of us have added walking mid day or specific times for exercise because of available time.  Online grocery shopping for healthy snacks and meal delivery have become more of the norm.  Decide what is non-negotiable for you. There is less time available because your commute takes time away.  Know what is so important to your self care that you must include this in your day and week. Knowing your priorities sets clear boundaries for you.

 

Baseline for self care

Bedtime is always going to be the first step for self care. Sleep schedule consistency for you and your family are critical.  Factors have interrupted our sleep patterns to the point there is a name for this, “coronasomnia.” If you struggle with this, here are a few tips.  Remember to set up a central station for charging devices and placing these in their chargers an hour before bed or at 8 pm every night. Create a bedtime ritual that could include a hot bath, reading before bed and cooling down your space. If you feel you have not had enough time for yourself during the day, set aside an hour before bed as time for you to do what you love whether that is a hobby or other pampering.

Organizing as self care

Spend time on organizing for your return to work. Being organized helps us feel confident and take charge.  Review your wardrobe and see what’s working now. Work attire puts us in the work frame of mind.  Plan your morning and evening routines with respect to the time for your commute.  Refresh the organizing in your office. Digitize to access projects, materials and resources at both locations. Plan a weekly time to reset all your organizing for maintenance.

Start adjusting your routine even while you are at home. Prep meals ahead, plan lunches and move your routine into what you will be doing on those days you commute. It will help you problem solve ahead of time.

Oops are going to happen. It may be that specific daily self care does not happen every day or falters entirely. Look for balance as well as obstacles. Is there a creative way to find the time for that activity? Is that obstacle because of lack of preparation? Don’t give up on your self care however be realistic about the time you have and where you spend it.

 

Adding in time for joy

Laughter and joy have been in short supply while we worked through the pandemic. Now is the time to amp that up. Joy looks like a lot of small things like birds singing or a rainbow. It also feels like sleeping in on Saturday or journaling. Find small things that bring you joy to incorporate in your week as a reminder of your resilience and self care. It may be necessary for you to pause to acknowledge this joy because we are getting so busy again.

Self care is one of the biggest positive take aways from our pandemic time.  Prioritizing ourselves and being empathetic with our colleagues brought us through the difficulties we faced.  Thinking through your self care will help you create a new system for recharging and self care.

 

Summer Self Care

 

summer self care

This summer let’s thrive on self care where we rejuvenate all summer long! Summer is beckoning us outside to enjoy more Vitamin D, fresh air and greenery. Make this your summer of self care.

 

Read or listen to a book

Take a cue from the many book clubs and grab a summer best seller. You can read by audio book too. Choose your favorite genre to enjoy.

 

Hydrate with fresh fruit

Add berries or cucumber to your usual tumbler of water.  Keep a pitcher of water handy with lemon slices floating in it.

 

Exercise outside

Summer is the perfect time for an early morning walk since it’s light much earlier. You can find a water exercise class to end your day. Remember your sunscreen and bug spray too.

 

Enjoy the seasonal green stuff

Head to a Farmers’ Market, a berry farm or grow a garden. Nurturing ourselves by cherishing our food reminds us of where we get our food is important.  We are for sure what we eat. Fluff up a salad for lunch and dinner to get all your 5 a day veggies.

 

Disconnect from your devices

Having time away from technology helps clear your mind.  Set your device aside for a certain amount of time. You can unplug for an hour or a day, whatever feels more freeing.

Take a day off

Be in touch with your younger self with a list of summer fun. Don’t forget making homemade ice cream, taking a trip to a water park, enjoy a day at the beach or the pool, make s’mores, or do something special that reminds you of summer camp.

 

Meet a friend for a picnic

Gather up treats and head to a shady park to meet a friend for lunch or an early dinner. Be a support and get support while you catch up on news.

 

Be creative

Summer invites us to be more artistic and creative.  Choose fun art mediums like water colors or chalk for self expression. Snap some artistic photos with your smart phone. Keep it simple and easy to be creative.

 

Start a new interest

Have you wanted to paint pottery, play the guitar or take up scuba?  Start a new interest during the summer. With the longer daylight, it feels like there is more time in the day.

 

Vacation or Staycation

Pull out your calendar right now and schedule time away. That time can be physically away or away from work.  Setting the date is the first step to really committing to time off the grid. Prep for your time away a week ahead with lists, packing, and organizing. While away, stay in the moment and enjoy the time.

 

Get Organized for Your Vacation Rental

 

get organized for your vacation rental

 

This summer we are all ready to travel! Many of us have found that vacation rentals are the best accommodations with multiple bedrooms with lots of space for you and your family. Most homes are thoughtfully equipped. What do you need to bring to be organized for your vacation? Check out what these parents are talking about to make your own checklist.

 

Connect with the host

  • Read the reviews. People mention what they loved and what was missing.
  • Ask the host what they provide, even before you book your trip. Most places I’ve stayed have provided all the basics like that & I’ve packed like I would for a hotel, but it really depends on the air b&b or VRBO host.
  • Call ahead to determine what is supplied and the quantity. Some rentals have a small amount (of toilet paper or other necessities) and you will want to know that ahead of time.

 

Bring the basics

  • I bring ziplocs, extra paper towel, paper plates, and our own kitchen towels and washcloths. If it is a more rustic rental, I also bring my own frying pan and coffee maker…they always have them, but they can be scratched up or not well cleaned.
  • With an easy access washer, I always bring laundry pods. And I always take an extra thing of hand soap.
  • You will usually need something for leftovers like plastic containers, ziploc bags and aluminum foil to wrap up.
  • There are never enough outlets for charging the multiple electronic devices that we bring so bring extra extension cords and plugs.

 

Add those specialty spices, cooking items and unique items you love.

  • It’s good to take my own seasonings with me as well as a small bottle of mayo, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, cooking spray and cooking oil.
  • Always take your favorite throw blanket last time because you are likely to be cold. I love my own pillow too.
  • If you love a certain brand of coffee and your keurig, be sure you pack it.

 

Hacks that will help you along the way

  • Get organized over a two week time frame. Place boxes to drop items in as you purchase or prep so that you have everything together before the last day.
  • Order groceries to be delivered to your vacation rental.
  • Look into beach gear or golf cart rental for the time you are at the rental.
  • Stop by the Dollar Store to prep with disposables. If you have a short stay, extra cleaning supplies and paper goods can keep you from those extra chores of washing and cleaning.
  • Vacation rentals can offer all kinds of benefits without paying extra such as bicycles, kayaks, surfboards, a trampoline, playsets, or strollers.

 

Start your checklist today for your vacation this summer!

 

10 Quick and Easy Tips Productivity for Those with ADHD

 

quick and easy productivity tips for those with adhd

 

Because our pace has picked up, and we love an easy win, I wanted to share some quick and easy tips for productivity.  See which one you might wan to try this week.

 

Ruthlessly prioritize

Every list of tasks has to start with prioritizing. That means just choose 3 Most Important Tasks for the day or the week. Right away you are going to feel less overwhelmed and be more productive.

 

Simplify your task list

Feeling overwhelmed?  Not sure what to do next?  Just add the one next step to your task list.

 

Use a timer

Spring into action or use this as a warm up to initiate your task, a timer can help you be more productive. You can also use your time with the Pomodoro method, alternating 30 minute time intervals with 5 minute breaks.

 

Maximize automation

You can use automation to help you do your work. These voice activated helpers can add a task to a list, make a grocery list, or set up reminders for your daily routines.

 

Batch Similar Tasks

Review your list to see which tasks you can batch-process. Those are initial calls to leave a message or quick email responses.  The first step of tasks you hate can be a batch of its own.

 

Gather up dates

You are more productive when you know dates and deadlines. It is a combination of data that drives your planning and accountability.

 

Eliminate choices

Too many options can be paralyzing. Keep your choices to three or less to maximize your productivity. Give yourself three options for content for your newsletter or blog, three choices for what to have for dinner this week or three choices of when to meet with colleagues on a project.

 

Elevate your space

Move to a new location to work or add music you love.

 

Go for a walk

Exercise helps us think clearly, be creative and be more efficient.

 

Pause

Take a 5 minute pause.  Think about what you are working toward, why it is meaningful and gain fresh insight.

 

Given our new day-to-day and work environments, it’s a great time to implement and integrate a quick and easy tip that can help you.

Organizing for Sleep Away Camp

 

organizing for sleep away camp

This summer our kids are back to getting outdoors, helping those in need, continuing their spiritual journey and learning new skills at sleep away camp.  All of these kiddo adventures require getting organized, planning ahead, and packing.  Here’s your strategy for organizing for sleep away camp.

 

Check protocols first

The CDC is offering precautions and protocols this summer. Each state may have different requirements. Many of these include testing and vaccinations. Updates happen a lot right now so be sure to stay in touch with the leadership of your camp, school or youth group to know what to do and when to do it.

Get THE list

No matter what the event, there’s a list for you!   Start early because the list may require some purchasing and definitely requires organizing.  The list is available usually from the camp, from the group leader, by email or online.  Your list is usually customized for the activities your kiddo will be participating in.  Be sure each item is labelled with your kiddo’s name.

  • It may be tempting to add more to the list than what is required. Less is more when it comes to packing.
  • Check on whether there is a theme for certain days in order to include these items.
  • Have your child help you pack. That way they know what they are bringing and what they have to wear.
  • Check on what is permissible for electronics. If permitted, remember to send charging for the devices.
  • Learn the sleeping arrangements ahead of time.  This way you know whether to pack sheets or a sleeping bag.
  • Purchase extra medicines for the duration of your kiddo’s time away.
  • Bring a little bit of home. Having a little reminder, a note from you, helps remind your kiddo how loved they are and how special too.
  • If no list for your specific camp, use this.

Easy packing tips

Make it easy to stay packed or get unpacked while your kiddo is at camp.

  • Keep sets together in ziploks or packing cubes. Label ziploks by day or theme.
  • There are many options for travel toiletries.  There are pre-packed kits and toiletry organizers.  Create a travel go kit of toiletries including soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste and other hygiene products. Purchase sample size toiletries to keep luggage light. Whichever you choose, make it easy to travel to and from the bathroom.
  • Send disposal items that can be left behind when repacking at the end of camp.
  • Make sure medicines are well labelled in original containers with specific instructions.
  • Make sure the backpack and luggage can be toted by your kiddo.  They will be responsible for getting this to their sleeping spot.  Camp trunks can be heavy and hard to wrangle so be prepared.
  • Send a small backpack that can be used for day excursions.
  • Packing to be just prepared enough is the goal for sleep away camping.

 

If you are the chaperone or attending sleep away camp too, spend just as much time on your preparations too!  The more organized and prepared you are, the more fun you will have.