Nagging ADHD Reminders for Maya
Maya is back sharing her struggles with using ADHD reminders to getting stuff done.
This week’s ADHD Success Club has focused on using watertight ADHD reminders to ensure that daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly tasks are done. A scaffolding of support that will reduce the number of times I have to say, “Oops, I forgot”.
I have a confession. I “use” ADHD reminders, but, at this point, they aren’t watertight because I have been selectively complying and often ignoring the beeps of reminders for a few years now. There’s the beep that tells me it’s time to summarize my lesson, the beep that tell me it’s time to take students to lunch, the beep that tells me it’s time to go home, and the beep that tells me it’s time to go to bed at night. I realize I’m using ADHD reminders in place of routines. Dana would say that reminders and routines are different pieces of an ADHD-friendly time management system.
Focusing on ADHD Reminders
This week’s focus has me cognizantly focused on ADHD reminders, and how I respond to them. What I previously thought was being caught in the moment is more likely a conscious choice I make to ignore the beep. I hear the beep, and then, I choose whether or not to respond. Each time I don’t respond, I have an excuse in the back of my mind. These excuses are the little lies I tell myself that keep me from realizing my priorities. I tell myself that the present moment and activity need my attention more than the reminder task. That I’m too busy. In fact, this week I’ve been ignoring the beeps of bedtime which is probably why I’m run down and sick with Strep right now.
Dana maintains that we delegate “gentle nagging reminders” to our phones so we remember to do the small routine tasks of life. The tasks that are the glue holding chaos at bay. I depend on people to provide me with necessary “nagging reminders”. My husband reminding me of my body’s need for sleep, the changes in routine, the need for me to call my mom, and many other things. My former boss used to annoy me with all his nagging reminders. You need to be clear. You need to connect the dots. You need to stay grounded. You need to shut down more. You need to go home–you’re sick. You need to go home to your family. Ad nauseum nagging reminders–probably for those who nag me as well as for myself.
My goal is to master my own ADHD reminders, so others in my life don’t need to. I’m a 48-year-old woman whose brain is hyper focused one moment and distracted the next. I may be wired differently and may lose sight of the mundane tasks, but I think I also miss out on important tasks because what’s undone tends to build up. Yes, I need to work on developing more consistent routines built around using reminders that will hopefully transform from nagging to routine. I’d like to have the right reminders for the right tasks set up in a way that supports me.
We’re weaving this tapestry of ADHD in the Success Club, but right now I cannot make sense of the design. I’m looking at a jumbled mess of tangled threads, yet a part of me senses that each thread has its place and its own unique color. Eventually, I’ll be able to stand back and look at what we’ve all built together in the Success Club and marvel at the gift that lies in the uniqueness of acknowledging and responding to the wiring of the ADHD brain.
Yes, this is one more thread in this complex tapestry of the ADHD brain to which I need to respond with focus, attention, and action in order for me to become more consistent in realizing my true priorities. Wouldn’t it be nice for the only nagging ADHD reminder I need to be based on the scaffolding of support I receive from a phone rather than from the people in my life?