Tag Archive for: 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.

Practicing Routines during the Holidays

practicing routines during the holidays



Holidays disrupt our routines with extra tasks to do and more events and parties to attend. We get off track with our daily self-care of bedtime, healthy eating, and mindfulness. Practicing routines during the holidays is most important because our routines keep life moving smoothly. Here are strategies on how to keep your routines while you enjoy the holiday season.


Make it easy

Rely on your trusted tools to help you and make routines easy. That lie we all tell ourselves, I don’t need to write it down because I will remember, especially applies during the holidays. Charts, planners, and dry-erase boards are our visual way to track our routines. We all need a road map so make it easy on yourself to chart your progress and keep on track. It is especially important to prioritize your activities and tasks for yourself and your family.


Prioritize wellness

Prioritizing always helps you stay on top of your routines. Mental well-being and physical wellness are important to enjoying the holiday season. You can rethink ways to include exercise in your day by walking stairs instead of the elevator, exercising with a quick class online, taking a walk to see holiday lights, and being sure to move hourly. Mental well-being can include setting boundaries for yourself with respect to holiday activities. Boundaries like how late you stay at a party and how many parties to attend help you stay true to your routines.


Keep it simple sweetie

It is tempting to overschedule your day to add in extra tasks and activities. Instead, look at the regular rhythm of your day and add simple bookends to each part of your day. These bookends or stopping points coincide with your regular routine.  Keeping it simple so that you have the same important pauses that keep you in line with your routines.

Mealtimes and bedtimes are examples of simple routines to keep. Have regular meals that fit into your day.  That might be breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or a series of meals with intermittent fasting.  Keep your schedule to fuel your body.  Determine a bedtime for you to ensure adequate rest so that you can be most productive. Your routine can be this simple during these busy times.


You might ask, what about all the extra tasks and activities fitting in? Keeping your health, wellness, and productivity going is foundational to your holiday fun. Adjust a little of your basic routine as needed, but remember to keep it going.





Creating Resilience in Difficult Times



Are you beginning to think we have been thrown back to ancient times and there are many plagues before us? We are going through a global health crisis, economic bumpy roads, and social unrest.  It’s certainly a time to create resilience during difficult times. Here are some strategies that can hold you in safe space with the unprecedented times.


Solid routines

I am a professional organizer and productivity consultant. Naturally the first recommendation I have is to create a rock solid routine for your morning, evening or the day. Your routine can have flexibility without begin rigid.  Rock solid routines include your set bedtime, your daily exercise and your productivity time blocks. A solid routine helps you know what your plan is for the day, which can be rearranged as needed.


Sacred self care

Self care and resilience are like peanut butter and jelly. Your self care will keep you well rested, well hydrated, and positive.  We need energy to stay calm and carry on. Many people are learning new games, crafts and outdoor activities. When you give yourself time to do what you love or to learn something new, you feel energized and upbeat. Self care is required during these times, and beyond.


Trusted sources and resources

Media and social media are filled with many emotions and lots of information. By now you have drilled down to what is your trusted source.  Stay true to what you trust and rely on.  Double check facts online.  I have been relying on science based information rather than many opinions. Use many facts to find the truth of the situation.


Spiritual learning

There is not much in the media that is sharing thoughts about faith. This is a time to lean into your faith. That may be through religious ceremonies via zoom, a daily evening prayer, grace at meals or with a prayer book at home.  Knowing there is a great good and a higher power empowers our hope and resilience.

Authentic connections

Authentic connections help you process the world and keep you grounded. Throughout the pandemic, I have called two friends a day to spend time processing what is going on around us. They have helped me find meaning and purpose in this bumpy time.  This is the support we all need as we discuss and sometimes laugh at the tough times.



Find the good. It’s all around you.  It is the awareness that even in the most troubling of times, good is here.  That is resilience. Knowing the good is here.


Routines make Back To School So Easy!

back to school routines


Back to school so soon! Get in the Back to School Groove with these simple routines. This article is featured on Organize to Revitalize.


Get out the door in the morning with a smile

family organizing


Getting you and your family out the door in the morning can be the most chaotic part of your day.  It comes down to some simple organizing strategies and routines. 

Do as much as you can the night before.  Yes, really!  Set the table or set out super simple take aways for breakfast, pack the lunches (except cold stuff), have back packs loaded and by the back door, get you and their clothes ready and set your alarm.    The less you must do, especially for the non-morning people, the better.  

Set up work zones: Landing strip and command center.  The landing strip is a spot where you are going to see all the stuff and take it with you.   It can be a place with hooks for backpacks and cubbies for shoes, or just an assigned location. (At our home it is the angled section of the back steps!)  When you see it, you can easily grab and go!  The Command Center is the paper station for the important action papers. Having one spot where the kids papers can be retrieved, your information easily accessed, and a drop slot for bills makes the difference as you head out the door in the morning. No more looking for last minute papers!

Morning and evening routines.  Establish and write a list of the routines that your kids and you need to do daily. You may not need a list, but they do! It can be written on the mirror in the bathroom with crayola bath markers or dry erase markers. 

Morning routines including dressing, brushing teeth, eating a small something, and then getting out the door.   If possible no chores at this time, except feeding the pets or bringing hamper to the laundry room.   

Evening routines include homework in backpack at landing strip, clothes out the night before, laundry put away, clothes in hamper, set alarm, read, early to bed.  Apply the same to yourself!

Getting up on time depends on going to bed on time.  It is harder to get up if you have gone to bed late.  Setting a good bedtime for everyone, including yourself, makes a big difference.  We all need 8 hours of sleep so set a bedtime that allows for that.   Many of my clients take advantage of those late hours for their “playtime.”  Resist the urge and get to bed on time for a happier tomorrow!

Build in a little extra time. If it truly takes 15 minutes to walk to school, allow 20 minutes of time. Drive times in Houston can take an extra 15 minutes on any day.  We are most stressed when we feel behind or out of control.  Allowing some “white space” for travel, getting in the car, and that little something that always goes wrong gives us a better mind set for starting the day.  This is the gift of time I have personally given myself.  I have a newspaper to read in the car and take a few extra minutes to regroup if I arrive early.   

 Get everyone on board with the plan and be consistent. A positive approach works best with rewards for catching family members “doing it right.”  Host a family meeting where the morning routine and expectations are discussed and finalized.  

Getting out of the house can be the hardest part of the day! What strategies are you using to smooth out the bumps?