You might mistake unmovable daily routines for boring tedium — especially if you have ADHD and thrive on the new and the novel. But you might be pleasantly surprised by the results if you set up reliable routines for the more mundane aspects of your life — getting ready for work, making dinner, getting to bed on time — and you’ll free up important time to enjoy the rest of your life, without feeling guilty about putting off the laundry or oversleeping again. Here’s how to do it.
If your life seems chaotic and disorganized, and you want to add more structure to your daily activities, you need to approach it carefully. Making changes that are too big or complicated, or tackling too much at one time generally won’t work. If you add structure in small steps, you won’t always get it 100 percent right, but you’ll probably be better off than you were before.
- First, pick one small thing that, if done regularly, will make your life easier — making the bed or sorting the mail.
- Next, figure out an easy way to do it. Avoid the ADHD trap of making things too complicated or too perfect.
- Decide how often you’ll do the task and when you’ll do it.
- Create reminders to keep you on track. This step is important. Avoid it at your own risk.
- If you have a hard time doing one thing, don’t give up. Try a different approach. Often a small adjustment is all you need.
- When you can do that one thing consistently for two weeks, you’re ready to add another small thing.
From time to time, you may need to rebuild your routines because of changes in your life – moving to a new city, changing jobs, getting married and so on. The video below has more tips on how to handle these shifts in your carefully crafted routines.
How to Rebuild Your Routines When Everything Changes
However you decide to change your routines, don’t be afraid to seek help when you start out – from print and online resources. family members, friends, or an ADHD coach.