If you have Adult Attention Deficit, getting home from a trip likely looks something like this:
You walk in the front door, drop your suitcase on the floor, and leave it there to step over for umm…six weeks? Six months? Until you need it again?
In my experience as an ADHD coach and as an adult with ADHD, I’ve noticed that we consider arriving home “the end” of our trip.
But it isn’t “the end”. If you want to be successful with ADHD, you need to realize there is more to getting home from a trip than just walking in the front door.
Like all projects we start, we need to make sure that we work at being successful with ADHD by finishing our traveling. Don’t forget those darn final details we tend to overlook and forget about.
What am I talking about? Isn’t traveling leaving and getting home? Isn’t that a success in and of itself? The short answer is nope.
When you’re traveling with ADHD you need to expand your idea of when your trip is really done. Think: “What details need to be finished before I can relax?”
Do you need to…
- Unpack the suitcase and actually PUT IT AWAY?
- Open the mail and dispense with it?
- Pay the neighbor’s kid for watering your African violets?
- Unload/clean the camper or car?
- Toss your clothes in the laundry?
If you haven’t finished these important details, then your trip isn’t quite over yet.
As an adult ADHD coach, I often nudge my clients who’ve returned from vacation. Reminding them that their trip isn’t finished until all physical evidence of their travels is put away, and all those little loose ends are wrapped up.
By the way, if you’re that person who is still stepping over their suitcase in September, understand that I don’t believe you’re lazy.
With ADHD, you probably don’t even notice your suitcase anymore. It’s become part of your landscape.
That’s why, if you want to get organized with ADHD, you need to create the habit of completely unpacking (and putting away) everything after a trip within a single day.
One easy way to recognize and remember to unpack right away is simply to plan for it. I give myself 24 hours after I return to unpack, deal with the loose ends, and at least start the laundry.
Remember this often overlooked piece of advice when traveling with ADHD: unpack as soon as you get home! This simple, final travel plan will make your last night of vacation truly relaxing. Isn’t that what vacation is all about anyway?