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For someone with ADHD memory can be a big issue. It can result in important possessions, such as passports, wallets and purses, laptops and keys being lost or misplaced. In his book ‘Scattered Minds’ Dr. G. Mate tells an amusing true story but one that encapsulated what it is like living with ADHD memory issues. A gentleman with ADHD has a dog and together they go for daily walks. As the owner puts his coat, shoes, hat, etc. on in preparation for the walk, the dog stays peacefully under the kitchen table. The owner leaves the house and the dog waits under the table. The owner comes back several times for forgotten items, such as keys, wallet etc. then on the third time the dog gets up and joins his owner for the walk. This wise dog had gotten the hang of living with an Adult ADHD!
This story always makes me smiles. A great solution for helping your memory is creating new small habits. For example, if you are someone who is always leaving bags, umbrellas etc. on public transport, one of your new habits would be to briefly cast your eyes around where you were sitting to make sure you have everything before you leave. It only takes a few seconds, but you will be amazed how quickly it becomes second nature and how much time you save when you don’t have to phone bus companies or taxi firms to see if they have found your missing items.
Another example of a new habit would be to create a check list of everything you need before leaving the house and stick it to your front door. The list will probably include, wallet, cellphone, keys, bag. However you will personalize it suit your lifestyle. Then, get into the habit of checking this list and the items that you have on you before walking through the door. Very soon, you will notice that you are automatically checking to be sure you have everything without even looking at the list.
Have a special place to keep important items, such a passports. When you come home from your travels, pop it in that special place. Perhaps a top drawer, a pretty tin, whatever it is make it your top priority to return it as soon as you return from your trip. This removes an enormous amount of stress from your life as you always know where your important items are at all times.
Your homework this week is to think of 5 areas of your life where you are forgetful and then create small habits around those areas to help you both remember the items AND save time and reduce your stress.