Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ADHDers Checklist(s)

Today I tried to explain to my boss why I keep two different calendars. “OK, I use Outlook for just about everything – appointments, due dates, email organization, contacts, categories, recurrences…but, I use this calendar to keep track of the tasks that lead up to the deadlines and appointments. Does that make sense? (Um, no not really.) Because for tasks, Outlook is just too disorganized. (Pause) And I can write and erase on this calendar. (Crickets) Well, and I’m a visual person. I like to see things when things are going to occur. (Pause) Uh, and, I can hang up this calendar month by month on the wall. And I can see when things are coming up.”

My coworker yells from across the room, “Why don’t you just keep everything on a list?” (Oh, shut it ya’ show-off!)

But therein lies the problem. I can’t keep one list. A. Lists get lost. B. Lists don’t organize the way my brain does. C. I’m just not that organized. So over the years, I’ve just learned to adapt with the times.

Trapper Keepers: so pretty, and so sleek! But, they didn’t have enough colors to match all the subjects in high school. Very frustrating. And who could afford to buy two of them?

Franklin Planner: tried it, and even got the pretty eco-friendly paper and stuff. Didn’t work. Couldn’t remember to carry tasks forward. Plus I looked like a dork. Didn’t fit in my purse.

Voice memo recorder thingy: hated it, plus wasted too much of my time rewinding; can’t see the recordings and I'm a visual person. Plus, I can’t make it “title to text” to alphabetically organize my thoughts!

Target dollar bin notepads in pretty designs: LOVE THEM, don’t work for the office because they peel off easily and get lost. But, great for grocery list (but gets lost in the car with coupons) and list of bills I have to pay; tapes easily to refrigerator, and often comes with magnet on the back so at least I look organized.

Notebooks: by far my best method, but now I have too many because I can’t keep track of them, so I buy more. But I can buy multiple colors for each area of my life: blue is for work, yellow for personal, red is for something I can’t remember – maybe blog ideas? I don't know what the one is with the Pug on it. It's just cute so I bought it. 

Outlook: hmmm. Now this could work. But I don’t like the way it organizes tasks, so I will have to get a notebook for that. And carry the notebook in my very large bag, that has lots of compartments organized by category. And it carries my lunch. Dude – that is SO organized!

Blackberry: a-ha! Puts the calendar in a handy gadget that fits in my purse, so I will always know when my appointments are and - bonus! - I can merge everything with my home computer! Unless I forget to merge and then double-book myself. No matter. I will keep a notebook of things that I need to add to Outlook and I will do that when I get to work.

Post-it Notes: to heck with technology! I’m going back to lists. Look at all these cool colors and shapes – awww – they even have Pug Post-its! Perfect! I’ll never forget anything with these posted all over my computer!

iPhone: pretty Blackberry, with more distractions and more apps that are supposed to help me track and remember things, but now everything is in a different application and I can’t get them into one place. Wait! I will find an app that merges all my apps!

Organizing makes me anxious. I told my coworker that for me, the only perfect organization method would be a personal assistant. Someone to keep up with my random thought patterns. Here’s a scenario while driving: “Assistant, add these things to my day: call the pediatrician, pay the vet (that’s overdue). Don’t forget that grant is due tomorrow, and I don’t have a budget. Oh, crap, call my mom – it’s her birthday!! Oh. My. God. What an ASS! I can’t believe he cut me off like that! Wow. Look at my windshield. SO dirty. Gotta clean that. Assistant? Pull out the grocery list – add Windex wipes to that….”


Amy said...

I think you are too organized. You're so organized that you over think it. Now, if you're like me and you don't think ahead at all...

Mary Jo McClain said...

Lol! My coworker told me all she has to do is tell herself the things she needs to remember before she goes to bed. And when she wakes up, those are the first thing she remembers. So unfair! I'm lucky if I get my shoes matched!