How many times have you started your day with thoughts of the many things you want to get accomplished, but feeling unsure of where to begin or how to prioritize it all? On days like this, you can find yourself succumbing to overwhelm before you ever leave the house. There is so much to do, and so little time and energy!
For adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), time management is one of the hardest skills to master. Time and task overwhelm can easily lead to stress and guilt, which can spiral into more bad feelings, and less action.
Daily planning is one of the best steps you can take to minimize overwhelm and take control of your time and tasks. And while many adults with ADD are resistant to the idea of daily planning, implementing a daily routine doesn’t have to be difficult!
Here are 3 easy steps for time management through the use of daily planning:
1. Plan the Time to Plan Decide on a time of day when you can consistently take 15 minutes to plan. The time of day isn’t important. It can be a set time (8:00 AM) or simply “right before bed.” Choose a time of day in which you typically feel alert, productive, and happy.
2. Review Your To-Do List If you don’t already use a to-do list, create one! To-do lists are a tool that help you keep track of what you need to do, and what you have accomplished. Review and re-write your to-do list during each planning session. Acknowledge the accomplishments you made during the day, and add any tasks or projects that came up. Move the most important and urgent tasks to the top of the list. Break large projects into 3-5 steps that all go on the list.
3. Review Your Calendar Take a look at your daily planner (or calendar, PDA, or whatever you use to help manage your time) to become familiar with your schedule. See what appointments you have scheduled the next day. Block off the times in your planner. Then, begin to schedule in time for the tasks on your to-do list.
I’ll be honest with you. Developing a habit of daily planning takes time and practice. It doesn’t happen overnight. But with a solid commitment to the process, it will happen before you know it! You’ll be effectively managing your time and to-dos, and keeping overwhelm at bay.