Habits are powerful, but they’re not easy to form especially for women with ADHD. Creating a schedule for your daily tasks and activities that you’re able to stick to will help you to form good habits and break bad ones for a more productive, happier life. Setting up a solid daily routine is a bit of an art and a little bit of a science. The science is figuring out what you need to get done, while the art is figuring out when to do it.
Step 1 Make a List- The first step is to write everything you need to get done daily, both in your home and work. Don’t worry about how organized your list is, it is just a brain dump. Then take 30 minutes with a notebook and write down everything you do each day as well as everything that should get done. If you feel like it is to difficult to remember all the task in one sitting then carry around a small notebook and take notes throughout the day. In the beginning of this process not task is to small if you even want to put “brush your teeth” into your routine put it on the list.
Step 2- Structure Your Day– Morning people (like myself) get things done more effectively before lunch, on the other hand night owls tend to get their creativity energy in the evenings. Take time to figure out when you work the best and group those particular task into the time of day that makes sense for when you will best complete them.
Mornings: Mornings are often about getting out the door, which can be its challenge for women with ADHD. My best suggestion is to put together all your early tasks here, like feeding and walking pets, unloading the first load of dishes for the day, and putting dinner in the slow cooker. Once the morning rush is over, reserve the mornings for the tasks that require the most critical thinking and troubleshooting. There’s a common saying, “Eat the frog,” which refers to getting the task that you want to do least done first thing in the day, so it’s not looming over you.
Midday: The midday could be a difficult time for women with ADHD because your energy levels and perhaps the caffeine from your morning coffee may have run out. However, this may mean that you might be primed to do the boring routine stuff that a lot of women with ADHD doesn’t like to do. Instead use this time for smaller tasks like, answering your emails, setting up doctors appointments, or running errands.
Evening: The evening time work best when you set aside planning and prepping for the next day. For instance, laying out your clothes for the next day, get your bag together and make lunch. If you want to get more specific, you may want to write out your routine for your morning that can look like something like this
6 a.m.: Wake up, brush teeth, and shower
6:30 a.m.: Breakfast
7 a.m.: Leave the house
7:15 a.m.: Drop off the kids at school
7:30: Arrive at the office
This is a very detailed schedule and some women with ADHD may feel more comfortable until you get the hang of your routine
Step 3- Schedule in Time for Flexibility– Life can get in the way with the most detailed of routines. The point is to harness your most productive times to use for your most challenging task and at your least productive times try to do the mudane tasks.
Step 4 – Test Drive Your New Routine- Take your new routine for a test run for the next 30 days. Write down how it feels? Did you schedule your tasks at activities at times that make sense? Do you need to adjust things? Tweak anything that is not working on a case-by-case basis, and then assess after 30 days to see how your new routine is working for you.