Friday, November 18, 2011

Practical matters

I am working on scheduling a meeting for 14 people who are impossible to gather in one room at the same time and on the same day.

They're all very busy people. And for whatever reason, it's a group where emails to "the group" elicit no response. This means having to make multiple individual contacts to get the job done. Oh, I will do what I must...but I have to make sure I keep my ADHD brain organized while I'm doing it.

I get out a piece of lined paper. I write the purpose of the list I'm about to make at the top of the list. I list the people I need to contact. I make little columns for the possible meeting dates so I can put little Y's and N's under them.

Then I send a round of individuals emails to each committee member. I make a small black check mark next to each name as I email them.

When I have to send the second round of emails (to confirm additional information or to try again with the folks that didn't respond the first time) I use a RED pen to make little check marks.

I'm about to make a third round of contacts. For that, I will use the BLUE pen to make little check marks.

To make it clear which check mark was first/what order they were made in, I put the check marks in the same order each time.

I like electronic spreadsheets for storing information that will be used later, or for organizing information for people to understand in a certain multi-dimensional way, but for immediate to-do items that I have to stay organized on, I like a simple pad of lined paper and lists...and check marks...and colors.

If people look at the list, they remark that I look very organized. They are correct, but it's funny too...because they don't realize they're looking at a coping strategy.

Coping strategies are powerful tools. They can help you keep up and get done what needs doing...but they can sometimes make you look even MORE capable than someone without ADHD might. That's something to think about in your "ADHD is lame" moments.

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