One of the characteristics of ADHD is not always learning from your experiences. It might be because you are in rush and dashing to the next task or appointment or because you are distracted or perhaps your mind is so full that there isn’t room for one more thing.
Whatever the reason, if you did not get a chance to process and reflect on an event (big or small) you can end up feeling like you are in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ and each day is a repeat of yesterday.
It could be that you are always apologizing to the same people for being late. Or perhaps you forget that something is not enjoyable until you are in the same situation again, each time promising yourself never again.
Not taking a few moments for reflection also means that there is no time to congratulate yourself when something goes well.
This is why having a Weekly Review is so important when you have ADHD!
Spending time reviewing your week might sound boring and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. It only takes 10 minutes, and it can be enlightening, empowering and a really great way to help you to reach your potential.
Here is a simple ADHD-friendly way to review your week and your life.
1)Pick a time that makes sense for you. For example Friday afternoons, or Sunday evenings. Make it a recurring event.
2) Create a Word or Google document and label it ‘Weekly review.’
Ask yourself 2 questions:
What worked this week?
What didn’t work?
Under ‘What worked’ write down everything that went well for you this week. Use bullet points so that you aren’t tempted to write long paragraphs. You can, but we want this to be a weekly habit; if you feel like you have to write pages, procrastination could set in and it won’t get done.
Here is an example:
*Went to bed every night before midnight and was able to get up with the alarm every week day morning,
*Took gym clothes to work and went straight to gym after work… 3 times
* Took a shopping list to the supermarket and only bought what was on the list. Saved about $40 on impulse purchases
Keep doing the things that worked!
Under ‘What didn’t work’ write down the things that didn’t go so well. Also problem solve to think of a solution.
*Went to the theatre with friends. Forgot how bored and restless it makes me feel.
Will suggest we try doing X instead next time they invite me.
*Impulsively interrupted Sally again. She accepted my apology but seemed offended.
Even though Sally talks very slowly, I will practice focusing on each word she says, (almost like meditation) and wait until she has finished her sentence even if I know the answer.
Your review doesn’t need to be perfect. Don’t worry if you don’t write down everything that didn’t work. Even just a few points will help you to operate differently next week.
Why do I need to write the weekly review?
There are many benefits to writing down your review rather than just thinking about your week. The act of writing forces reflection time. If your weekly review was just a mental one, it might be easy to get distracted or miss parts.
Your review document becomes more valuable as the weeks go by. You get to see your progress, which helps build your confidence and self-esteem. It jogs your memory of things you might have forgotten, and you will also see themes emerge.
If there is a stressful phase in your life, good habits can disappear. Then, when the stress has gone, it is very easy to forget what you were doing -sometimes for years. This document allows you to jump back on the horse quickly.
This week schedule your first weekly review, and let me know how it goes!