Tag Archive for: ADHD routines

Baby Steps for Establishing Consistency

baby steps for establishing consistency


Throughout the Fall we are working toward creating, managing, and improving our routines. For those with ADHD, maintaining routines can be a challenge because of focus, distractions, and interest. It is not for lack of intention or motivation that gaps occur. Lack of consistency is a struggle. With strategies, it is possible to adhere more consistently to routines. Check out these ways to establish and maintain routines.


Establish routines with ADHD in mind

Knowing how you work best is the best start.

  • Start small with adjustments to your routines. These small starts prevent being overwhelmed. A micro-step makes a difference. According to Thrive, the tiniest step forward can help you build the routines you want. A micro-step toward better productivity starts with spending 5 minutes prioritizing your to-do list each morning.
  • Establish an environment that supports your routines. Placing your medication in a place where you see it each morning supports taking your medication regularly. Walk your environment to learn ways you can make it more empowering.
  • Use reminders and leverage technology to support you. Using alarms with certain ring tones for certain tasks reminds you to initiate that routine. Use a variety of timers to remind you to start and end your routine. Make routines visual with charts and checklists placed strategically to cue your routine.

Empower time management to support routines

Time management focused on ADHD strengths helps you be more consistent in your routines.

  • Know yourself and how you work best. Do you need a set time block for a routine or do you need a workflow that includes a series of steps? In either situation, walk through your routine to be sure you have established sufficient time to start and complete your routine.
  • Account for or eliminate transition time. Transitions are difficult for those with ADHD to switch between tasks. You can factor in transition time to allow for the completion of the routine. If possible, eliminate a difficult transition to ensure your routine begins.
  • Create external support for your time management. These are both physical support and in-person support. Physical support can be a clock, a timer, a phone, or a device. Our friends and colleagues support your efforts by being team players in your routines. Those around you can remind you and help you be more consistent.


Create a strong foundation for routines with self-care

There are always times when an oops will occur in your routines. Be kind to yourself and get back on track the next day. If you find there are too many oops, look at the structure of your day to find ways to create a better scaffolding.

  • The best routines start with a great bedtime routine. Start small by creating an hour of wind downtime to get ready for bed. You will nee this time to prepare mentally to get to sleep.
  • Positive affirmations and re-focusing perspectives help keep your goals of consistency possible. “Don’t give up on the person you are becoming.” Find a mantra that supports this effort.
  • There is a fine balance between rigidity and consistency. Allow for some flow of flexibility in your schedule to accommodate unexpected events. Also, balance structure and overcommitment. When you are overly optimistic about what you can accomplish in a day, regardless of how important it all is, you will not be able to maintain your routines. Keep a positive attitude about routines and you will become more consistent.
  • Remember that consistency does not mean perfection. It might require you to create data to support your success. Find your own success number rather than 100%.


Establishing and maintaining routines will require some extra effort for individuals with ADHD. It is the hardest part of all routines. By starting small, leveraging external aids, and empowering time management for the way you think,  you will create consistent routines.  The big picture is about creating a structure that gives you ample opportunity to thrive.

18 ADHD Routines for 2018


18 routines for 2018

Reliable routines are the structure that create easy, productive, organized lives.  The routines that support those with ADHD help them manage their time, be productive, stay organized and keeps life running smoothly.  Start with baby steps this year with these 18 ways to create routines in you and your ADHD family.


Routines for a cohesive family

ADHD families crave organization. That is space and time organization.

1. Host a family declutter time each week. Make letting go of stuff a priority by letting go of some items each week.

2. Family meetings are part communication, part coordination and  part fun. Everyone adds to the family calendar so everyone knows this week’s plan.  It’s time to acknowledge successes, talk about family values and have some fun too.

3. Spend time with each of your kids by yourself with just one kid.  Daddy -Daughter Dates, Girls Days, and Boy Bonding times are all times that are one on one special dates for your kids.

4. Keep a family calendar everyone can access. It can be google calendar or a paper month at a glance calendar. Update it daily and during your family meeting. Everyone appreciates knowing what’s coming up.


Routines that create a team

Working as a team is one of the best ways to support ADHD for yourself and your family.

  1. Know your strengths.  Look at what you and your family members do best. Find team members in your family and routinely acknowledge what they do best.
  2. Partner with family members to accomplish family responsibilities.  Write up a family chore chart to assign and remind family of who does what when. Be specific on your chart on deadlines and outcomes.  If it’s dishes, then “dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher by 9 pm.”  This way everyone knows how to complete the responsibility.
  3. Look for additional team members. Who can be a part of your extended team?  Can you add on a homework helper? Are there  church youth groups or a women’s support group that you and your family can be a part of? The additional energy of a new teams or team members can have positive benefits in terms of skill and perspectives.

Routines to ask for help

Asking for help means you are seeking out what you need. It’s an asset to be able to ask for help, knowing there are many ways to accomplish a task.  When you have run out of tools, it’s always good to ask for help.

1. Identify how you ask for help routinely. Do you find an answer online, ask a friend or refer to online resources like Houzz?  Knowing what your “go to” source for information builds a routine for you to use regularly.

2. Notice indicators that you are redy to ask for help.  You may feel worn down physically, feeling emotionally drained or have brain fog.  In knowing and acknowleding when you are ready for help, you are creating a routine and indicator for yourself.

3. When you are ready to ask for help, have a limit to define what lengths you will go to in order to find assistance. You can search endlessly for the help you need. My personal example is the number of inquries, that being 3 inquiries for a need I am having. I find 3 ways that I can get the help I need, interview and get started.

4. Find team members at work who you collaborate well with and. trust their judgement. Team work at work helps you start and finish a project and brings synergy and an improved end product.


Routines for delegating

Regular delegating requires practice.  It starts with knowing what baby steps you can delegate and then communicating with all parties.  The best delegating includes what you don’t like to do, since often it’s not being accomplished currently.

1. Delegate household tasks like lawn mowing and house cleaning starting with outside help once a month.  Just the once a month boost from these outside helpers gives you time to accomplish tasks only you can do.

2. If you don’t like to cook, delegate dinner to a routine with healthy options.  Dinner can be certain foods for certain days like Takeout Taco Tuesdays.  It can be prepared by assigning the protein to a grilling partner,  your husband.  Delegate the chopping by picking up salad at the salad bar in the grocery store.

3. Hire a laundry helper for certain days of the week.

4. Delegate at work by assigning a small part of a project to your assistant.  Have a check in every other day while you are practicing delegating.  The more you create trust and communication while delegating, the easier it gets.


Routines to maintain self care

Self care can be the first routine that lapses. We are not always good about taking care of ourselves because it may feel unnatural, it may be difficult to jusify or because it simply falls off our radar.

1. Keep the same bedtime night after night. Your sleep schedule and routine keep you going day after day with a great night’s rest.

2. Schedule in protected time for yourself. Parents need time together to nurture their relationship.  You need time away to rest your brain, gather your thoughts and generally regenerate.  This weekly routine can include quiet time in whatever form you prefer.

3.  Find fun. Creative brains need fun too!  It’s hard to get away from the idea you may not have accomplished all your tasks, however it’s important to get aside fun time for you, your family and your partner to spend time together.


Routines are hard to establish and even hard to be consistent once established.  Take the first steps by creating the routines, then setting up solid reminders that help you. Those reminders can be alarms, timers, check lists or any fun way you can keep your routines as consistent as possible.  A day or two may slip by on your routine, however jump back in as soon as you can.


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