Structure gives you the ability to follow a routine and daily agenda; get your bills paid, keep up with your professional tasks at work, manage your relationships, get places on time, know where you put things, etc. A lack of structure causes the opposite result. So there is great importance in having a routine and structure if you have ADHD. In many situations, it can be stated simply as the difference between success and failure. The more numerous the categories and the more frequently you are off track in that category, the larger the effect on your life.
Some examples of structure are:
• Using a daily planner
• Planning the week in advance using the ADD Weekly Planning Model
• Scheduling extra time into the daily schedule to cover unforeseen events
• Prioritizing and reviewing at the start of each day
• Partners, assistants, teams and support groups to work with
• Regular check-ins and accountability cycles
• Unplanned time for relaxing/ zoning out (computer, sport, social affair)
• Using the STP Model for losing things or forgetting where you put them
• Reminder boards at home, at work and in the car
• A training program for filing and organizing piles and clutter
• Keeping a pad or a clipboard with you at all times to capture things
To achieve a well functioning life that leaves you emotionally free at the end of the day:
1. Tasks will need to be broken into chunks with task steps sequenced in chronological order. You are not finished until you have made a plan for how and when each chunk will be addressed.
2. Your life will need to be examined through a magnifying lens in order to see where you are not managing things well and for you to understand the impact your mismanagement has on your life.
3. All notes you take and tasks you are assigned will need to be monitored by you and your coach for accuracy and completion. Your job will be to teach yourself how to keep track of things.
4. An organized system will need to be developed to help you manage all the areas of your life. This system will need to be revisited often to ensure important shifts take place in how you do things. You are to make sure your management system becomes habitual.
The Best Advice You will Ever Receive
Since it has been proven we can’t get from here to there on our own, because we always get in our own way and muck things up, don’t insist on trying this alone. Chances are you won’t get far or stay at it for long. Humans were never meant to work alone nor to pretend we’re isolated when we’re not. Get help!
It has been my experience that it can be very difficult for people with ADD to take decisive action, especially when it comes to getting help. I suggest if you’re on the fence but know you need this kind of help, drop the excuses and rationalizations right now. Take a stand for yourself, pay the money, and hire a good coach to help you achieve the life you REALLY want. Whatever you achieve in terms of new support systems and better organizational skills, you will ultimately end up with the supreme gifts of greater confidence, happiness and peace which will be yours for the rest of your life. Ask yourself what that is really worth to you on a scale of 1 to 10.
What could be more important than YOUR OWN human potential?
Carol Gignoux, founder of www.ADDinsights.com, is a well established expert within the ADHD coaching, consulting and training profession with over 35 years experience working with ADHD and over 16 years as a professional coach. Carol and her team of experts specialize in coaching adults, couples, small business owners, and entrepreneurs who want to move beyond their issues, and develop the skills and confidence to achieve better results in their academic, professional, and personal lives.
For more information on her coaching programs and training seminars, please email Carol@ADDinsights.com, or call 617-524-7670.