Make it Automatic

by Brenda on February 10, 2010

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One of the biggest problems that we ADD Moms face is forgetfulness.

Most of us with ADHD have poor short term memory, so it makes sense for us to put systems in place that will help us remember important things. (By the way, if you are of the age when menopause is a concern, be aware that fluctuating hormones and other body changes can make your poor short term memory worse.)

One of the things that I use as much as possible is to make things automatic. When something becomes a habit or gets done without effort on your part, then you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Here are some ways that I use this technique to my advantage:

Take advantage of automatic bill pay. If you have a really good budget and know that the money is always going to be there when it’s needed, it makes a lot of sense to set up your bills for automatic payment. Almost anyone who has a monthly billing cycle (like utilities, banks, and credit card companies) also offers a way to make those payments automatic. Even if your creditor doesn’t offer automatic payments, you can still set something up through your bank online. Getting the bills paid without having to deal with it is a real life saver.

Set up automatic appointments. I get my hair cut every 5 weeks, so in theory, I know when all of my appointments are for the rest of the year. Ask your salon; most are willing to make at least several appointments in advance for you. The same is true for yearly things like mammograms or twice yearly dental appointments.

Tie it into an existing behavior. I remember to take my vitamins and meds for depression each morning because I take them with breakfast. At night, my cell phone has an alarm set to remind me to take my fish oil. You could also store your medications along side your tooth brush as long as they are OK to store in a humid environment. Every time you brush your teeth it will remind you to take your vitamins or meds.

Start making it a habit to wipe down the sink after you wash your hands. Keeping it clean this way means less work later on. You can do the same with swishing the toilet bowl. Make it a habit once a day to swish after you flush and you’ll never have to deal with a gross toilet.

You can assign all kinds of things to days of the week. Maybe you make a roast of some kind every Sunday, or always do your shopping and errands on Thursdays.

Find ways to make repetitive tasks in your life automatic. You’ll have more time, more peace of mind, and the security of knowing things are being taken care of. That’s priceless.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mama Murtz February 11, 2010 at 9:44 am

Excellent! I keep my keys on a hook on the wall, I have two days a week that I make the same item (fish for dinner, mac & cheese, etc), and I pay my bills online with my bank, some payments are automatic. This has saved me so many times from feeling completely unraveled and unable to find something, or struggling to get dinner on the table.

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