Attention deficit disorder (ADD) wasn’t recognized until about twenty years ago. Before that time, children who didn’t sit still in their desk chairs, who seemingly daydreamed all the time, and couldn’t meet homework assignments were considered “bad” kids, whose parents had failed to give them sufficient discipline. The only option was to spank or punish them on a daily basis. We still don’t know what repercussions that type of parenting had on kids who just couldn’t do any better.
Today, we know the symptoms of ADD and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), which include those issues mentioned above, though there are still some doctors and many lay persons who still believe that ADD is caused by bad parenting. Science has proven otherwise. ADD stems from a neurological difference in the brain, and to be diagnosed ADD, its symptoms must have been present for six months or more and be severe enough to have disrupted the person’s life. No scientific test can positively test the condition, though the similarities in those known to have ADD are overwhelming.
It has only recently been determined that ADD is more than a childhood disorder that disappears as the child gets older. Statistics show, however, that 70% of children will outgrow the symptoms by the time they are teens, but as many as 15 to 20% of people with ADD will continue to have ADD throughout their lives. When these symptoms go untreated, they can bring on bigger issues such as drug addiction, work issues, depression, and even marital problems.
Counseling and proper medical treatment, when needed, can help tremendously. But when you have ADD, you need to find ADD-friendly systems to help you just get through the day.
So, what’s an add-friendly system?
Let’s say that you’re a work-at-home mom. You have a husband’s schedule to remember because he works different hours every day. Then, there are the kids with their after-school and summer activities and sports practices. Plus, you’re trying to run your own home-based business. How do you keep everything that you need to know straight?
Force yourself to use some type of planner, every single day.
Microsoft Outlook has a great feature in its calendar. You can use it to plug in all your appointments and to keep your “to-do” list straight. Since you’re working a home-based business, you probably are at the computer for a good part of the day. Leave the calendar open in your task bar and plug in appointments that you need to remember as they arise. Get Outlook to remind you by setting up an alert that will pop up five minutes or more before the appointment is due.
If you don’t have Outlook, try another piece of software called Time & Chaos. But if you’d rather have something with you all the time, buy a personal data assistant, like a Palm Pilot, or get a cell phone with scheduling capabilities. If you prefer to enter appointments by hand, a simple wall board or wall calendar, with big squares so that you can enter information into them, will work, too. It all depends upon your personal preference.
But if you want something really high-tech and user friendly at the same time, try Mark Joyner’s Simpleology at http://simpleology.com. His “Simple Science of Getting What You Want,” also known as Simpleology 101 will organize every bit of time in your day and help you to see what you want in your life and to get it. Simpleology even has a desktop solution that you can download to see your day plainly, every minute you’re in front of the computer.
ADD sometimes makes it very hard to stay organized, so you must commit to building a system, perhaps with one of these options, and to follow it religiously. If you start the day organizing, and free your mind from worrying that you won’t get something done on time, you’ll be more productive.
Using ADD-friendly systems for everything from organization to achieving better interpersonal relationships can free your life. We’ll be talking about these issues in the future, so be sure to stay tuned.