Falling Through The Cracks

What is falling through the cracks in your life?

Most of us, with or without ADD, have things that we want to do on a recurring basis (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly).  When you do these things, life runs pretty smoothly.  When you don’t, things fall through the cracks and life gets bumpy.  How do you prevent these important things from falling through the cracks?

Stop here and get four pieces of paper.  At the top of the first piece of paper, write “Daily Actions.”  At the top of the second piece of paper, write “Weekly Actions,” and so on until there is a title at the  top of each page.  Then, list the items that go on each page.  Examples of items that might be on the daily list are: take medication, check calendar (you don’t want to pay missed appointment fees), check voicemail, check email, exercise, etc.

“Weekly Actions” might include: paying bills, doing laundry, planning meals for the week, grocery shopping, and calling the pharmacy or doctor to replace any medications that might be running low.  You can assign days and times to weekly tasks and put them in your calendar.  With enough repetition, daily and weekly tasks will become automatic and you will do them without thinking much about them.

“Monthly Actions” might include: giving your dog his heart worm pill, changing the filter on your furnace, checking the odometer to see if your car is due for an oil change, and rounding up clothes to take to the dry cleaner.  These tasks can also be scheduled in your calendar for specific dates during the month.  For example, vets recommend giving the dog a heart worm pill on the first day of each month.

A word about scheduling tasks on the calendar.  If the day comes and goes and you don’t do the task, reschedule it for another day.  Otherwise, you guessed it, it falls through a crack and I don’t need to tell you that the consequences can be unpleasant.

Now on to “Yearly Tasks.”  Sometimes people remind you to do these.  The doctor’s office sends you a notice that you are due for a dermatology, opthalmology, or gynecology exam.  The vet reminds you that it is time to bring Rover in for his yearly exam and vaccines.  Just in case someone does’t remind you, put these items on the yearly list with a notation beside each one about when it was last done.  Schedule the appointments needed or make an entry in your calendar on the date that you need to call for an appointment.  It can sometimes take up to one or two months to get an appointment with some specialists.

Most importantly, put the lists in a place where you will see them!  Most ADDers are “out of sight, out of mind” people.  Warning:  the refrigerator is not a good place for the lists because, if it is like most refrigerators, it is already covered with paper.  When there is too much paper, your mind will simply tune out all of it.  By all means, use your electronic devices to remind you to do these recurring tasks.  Just remember to reschedule if you ignore the reminder!

If your life has become all work and no play, add “do something fun” to your weekly list and just DO IT!  Your well-being will increase exponentially.