ASD/ADHD Daily Hacks
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
1. If it takes 5 minutes or less, just do it.
I saw this on a buzzfeed post earlier in the year and it has saved me from procrastination countless times. It's helped me keep organized, keep my priorities straight, and every time I follow the rule, I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing I've saved myself a few minutes for the next day and I've taken something off my mind.
2. If you think of something important or useful, make note it IMMEDIATELY.
Use a notes app on your phone or keep a small notebook with you. If you don't write it somewhere then you probably won't remember until it's too late.
3. Have a designated mess spot.
We all have the chair, use it! if its been a long day and the thought of even 5 minutes of tidying up is too much, just pile everything on the chair and deal with it the next day.
4. De-clutter your living/work space daily.
You don't need to clean everything every day. Just keep some order in your space; put you laundry in the basket, take out the trash, clean your dishes etc. This will minimize stress and distractions, and help you keep focused as a result.
5. Set a space for everything.
Your stuff needs to behave itself! I can't count the number of times I've been late as a result of not knowing where I put my wallet or keys, and it's extremely stressful when something like that happens. Now, my keys have their own hook, my wallet stays in my bag, and my headphones are either in my bag or charging by the door.
6. Externalize everything.
Embrace sticky notes. On my laptop I have several, one of them is a reminder to stay on task. You can also set a reminder on your phone. When you're forced to be doing something you don't like, it's super easy to let your mind wander and get off track. My sticky note just says "are you doing what you need to be doing right now?" If the answer is yes, then great! if the answer is no, then maybe it's a good chance to explore why. Sometimes I'm hungry and tired so I know it's time for a break. If I'm just bored, then maybe some music or a movie in the background will help me forget how much I'd rather be at home with my cat.
7. Plan 3-4 days at a time.
Keep a planner either online or physical and review it regularly. I found that panning a full week was unrealistic, things can change too quickly. Write down each task in order that they will occur in the day and assign a time frame.
Following some or all of these has helped me feel like I have some control over my my mind and my actions. Moreover, they've created something of a routine; when I think of something, I know what to do. When I get home, I know what I need to do to feel comfortable and safe. If I'm struggling to complete something, I can think rationally about why I'm feeling that way and what may help me work through it, or decide that I've done enough for now.