Reminders: Task Management, Technology and More

 

reminders and organizing

Sometimes we need reminders to help us get our tasks done, be on time, and honor our priorities.  Here are some systems to use!

 

 

Technology reminders

www.dailynudge.com

Daily Nudge helps you remember the important things in life. Setup regular, free electronic reminders, or “nudges”, to arrive in your inbox or cell-phone.

 

www.hassleme.com

Forgot to feed the fish again? Need a little help keeping your New Year’s resolutions?
Tell us what to hassle you about, and we’ll nag you via email at semi-unpredictable intervals.
HassleMe is unique because you never quite know when your reminder will come along.

 

Remember The Milk (or RTM for short)

Managing tasks is generally not a fun way to spend your time. We created Remember The Milk so that you no longer have to write your to-do lists on sticky notes, whiteboards, random scraps of paper, or the back of your hand. Remember The Milk makes managing tasks an enjoyable experience.

 

www.cozi.com

Cozi is a free online organizer that helps families manage crazy schedules, track shopping lists and to do lists, organize household chores, stay in communication and share memories—all in one place.

 

 

Other reminders

 

 

  • Large, colored post it notes.  Using the 5 by 7 size post it notes, keep your 3 Most Important Tasks in front of you at home, work or in the car.  This is the one that works for me!

 

  • Getting Things Done (GTD) list with quadrants for each category, such as @computer, @home, @anywhere/errands, or @meetings/agendas.

 

  • Small, very adorable, spiral notebook with sections for mind sweep and categories such as kids, home, work, other. Date the top of your page each time you start a new day with new tasks to do.

 

 

 

 

Great Wall Street Journal article on making lists!

 

 

 

What other systems do you use for your reminders?

ADD and Routines

ADD and ADHD

 

For some of us, creating routines is natural and comfortable.  We love repetition and the sameness of routine.  However, some of us like spontaneity and the excitement of new and fresh!  Can there be a balance or a way to merge these two ideas?  With the challenges of ADHD, often there is a big void of routines.  It is unnatural and uncomfortable.   However, a few important small routines can make a difference.

  • Start with an awareness of how routines can make a difference for you. If you have ADD or ADHD,  think about how whether having one day established for a certain task might be helpful?  The time does not have to be rigid, but it should be compelling.   I suggest having one hour of administrative time once a week to catch up with tedious, required tasks.  Having a routine set for admin time, such as Sunday afternoon between nap and dinner, make certain that paper is acted on. A routine might be something that happens daily or weekly.  Laundry days can be every day in the morning or every Monday and Thursday.
  • Add on one simple, small step to an existing routine.  If you are already successful at a task, add on a related task as the next step in your routine.   It can be simply empty the trash in your car each time you get gas.  Toss the junk mail right after you put the kids to bed.
  • Add a partner to get a task finished.  You and your kids, spouse, or friend can fold and put away clothes, clean up the kitchen, or file and chat.
  • Give yourself permission and time to do a routine well.  If bill paying is the priority, that is all you need to accomplish in one day.   It is okay to accomplish one big job in a day.
  • Use a checklist to successfully begin a new routine.  Your checklist will prompt you visually with the steps in  your routine and you won’t have to rely on working memory. Your checklist will ensure completion too!  A checklist can be used at the beginning or end of the day and placed in a spot where you will see it regularly.
  • Don’t give up a routine easily.  It takes at least 3 weeks and up to 6 weeks to get a routine established.  Have tenacity and a compelling reason to keep your routine going.

What are routines that work well for you?  What is your “secret?”

ADD and Organizing

When I started my work 10 years ago, many of my clients were experiencing the same difficulties in getting organized, especially with paper.  It was hard for them to get started, work on their own, and most especially finish up and maintain their organization.   It was at that time that I realized the value of my work with clients with ADHD and ADD.

Working with clients with ADHD, I work as a partner with them, bringing energy, focus and resources to the mix.  Our work starts by narrowing where we will work.  Once defined, we work through the area to get to 100% , fitting their degree of order with their lifestyle.  As we work, we discuss the maintenance aspects of the space, talking through the how’s, why’s, and more of getting things back into order on a regular basis.

Here are a few tips for ADHD and organizing.

  • Start with a compelling reason with a deadline to get organized.  Wanting to be organized is sometimes not enough! Plan a party or invite a guest to stay at your home are scary but huge ways to get you moving!  This deadline will make you kick into gear but also keep you on track.   If you are a parent, wanting to model organizing, can be equally compelling. 
  • Work with a clutter buddy or paper partner, professional organizer or ADD coach.   Having a partner makes things happen! You have dates for accountability, fresh ideas flowing, and energy from your partner.
  • Start with a vision of what your space should look and feel like.  If you start with the end in mind, you will stay on track and get to your personal finish line.
  • Start small and focus on one step at a time.   You are already overwhelmed!  Working in one spot makes for success.  The hardest part is to keep from “zigzag organizing,” moving from room to room.  You start in one spot and just place sticky notes outside the door for the rooms you will be distributing items to or have a basket at the door that will collect item to distribute later. 

There are challenges for those with ADHD  or ADD and organizing.  It can be done!  I invite your posts on how this could help you get started or get finished on your organizing!