A Simple Tip to Make Your Life Less Complicated

When I was studying psychology, I came across a fascinating study about memory. A group of people who identified themselves as having a good memory were closely studied.

After observing them at home and in their workplace, researchers found this group didn’t have a better memory than other people.

Instead they had created an environment that supported their memory. For example, if they ran out of milk, they had a visual reminder as a memory prompt so they remembered to buy more milk.

This was before iPhones and apps, so their reminder systems were simple, old school methods such as lists on note paper.

Their systems were so effortless they didn’t even know they had them. They just thought it was their excellent memory.

For some reason, people with ADHD do the opposite. Rather than having supportive systems in place, they feel they need to punish themselves and do things the hard way. They feel they ‘should’ remember, or ‘should’ be organized, which leads to a more complicated and stressful life than is necessary.

Today’s article has a practical suggestion to make life easier and also offers encouragement to start looking for other ways to make your life easier, more supportive and less complicated.

Every day when I head to my office I take my iPhone and laptop with me.  Ideally I will have charged them overnight. However, when I forgot, I would be heading out the door with 50% battery life.  This is a problem as I spend a lot of my day on Skype with clients, sending emails or writing articles and not having a working computer would result in a very bad day.

If I realized my batteries were low when I was still home I could take my chargers with me; however, I wouldn’t always notice until I was setting up my laptop at the office. Then for the rest of the day I would be doing complicated math sums, figuring out if I had enough juice to get me through the day.

On one of these days I had a brainwave. Why not get a duplicate set of chargers and leave them at work?

It was so simple and yet made a huge difference to my life. It was only when I got the second set did I realize just how much of my time I had spent  thinking about cables and  battery life, which is crazy because there are so many more fun and interesting things to be thinking about.

What duplicate items could you get that would make your life easier?

Here are some suggestions:

– Phone chargers, one for work, home and car

– Other chargers… such as laptops, kindle, etc.

– Medications


– If you spend time at another person’s house (boyfriend / girlfriend), have important items there too, including underwear, hairdryer, razer, make up.

– If you are a frequent traveler, have a duplicate toiletry bag to be kept in your suitcase.


  • What duplicate items could you get that would make your life easier? Get them and put them in the different places you spend time in.
  • Duplicates are just one example of how you can make your life easier.  This week, be on the lookout for other things you can do that will make your life less complicated and more supportive for yourself. Don’t feel you have to struggle.
  • Leave a comment below with your ideas so other readers can try them out too!


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  1. Sharon says:

    I’ve just found out from a psychologist that I am likely adhd-pi and have a disastrous house right now with two little kiddies, 3 dogs and a partner working away. I stopped myself earlier today when realised i was spreading the vegemite on toast on a plate on top of the wheetbix box 😬 yeeees.
    These suggestions are great. I am 37 now with this new possible diagnosis but it is so interesting to hear these suggestions – my whole life I have tried to put in place procedures and schedules and have bought things that i think might miraculously sort out my household and brain – like that one extra storage box or a handheld vac – writing notes on my fridge – that i can’t rub out haha! Oops. The only thing is – I am continuously sabotaging it and coming back to square one not using the item or losing it in the “front room”. This front room built up I think, unwittingly, to hide the adhd from friends and visitors. So buying new miracle things for some personalities seems to be a trap? Is this often where the adhd medication comes in that steadies your thoughts and allows you to complete and maintain these schedules? Possibly for another forum. 🙂 i see a psychiatrist in a month so formal diagnosis will hopefully happen then.

    • Hi Sharon, Buying lots of organizing tools is a common ADHD trait! The meds can help, but they are just part of the puzzle. Its usually a combination of things, such learning ADHD friendly strategies, making life style changes and for some people that can include taking meds. There is a saying ‘pills don’t teach skills’. Which speaks to the combo method!

  2. I have always made sure I have two (or more!) of everything like this. I have a charger at work for my phone, and one for my laptop. I have another for each at home. I have an extra charger for my phone in my car, and an extra for traveling which I keep in my suitcase. To respond to the person above who asked something what if you have a tendency to lose things? “Everything in its place.” is my answer. Keep the charger in the same place, all the time. If you use the one at work, put it on a shelf by your desk. If you use the charger at home, just leave it on the end table where you normally plug it in. Keep the car one in the center console. Just like with my keys (on a peg in my kitchen) keep everything in a specific place and you’ll be less apt to lose things.

  3. I keep my anxiety medicine in my work bag, my purse, and in my dresser. Just knowing that it’s always close at hand relieves so much stress.

  4. I bought a Google Home mini and have it in my kitchen. Whenever i run out of anything, i just say “hey google, add milk to my shooping list”! It’s so easy and convenient! Technology offers great ways to get organized.

  5. KT says:

    That waterproof, keychain-sized pill bottle is (possibly quite literally) a lifesaver! Thx for posting that link. Especially for those who must carry emergency medications on them at all times

  6. Monique Lucas says:

    I got besides my prescription reading glasses, a few extra cheeper pairs of reading glasses (they often come in packs of 3 at a pharmacy or Costco : make sure to look for the number closest to your vision). I scatter them around the house and they each have their own little case. However as I used to forget those also anywhere else instead of in their case where they should be. So to find them whenever I need them, I got a place for each one in most rooms and trained myself to more or less put them back in their place when I’m finished with them or leave the room. It makes my live so much easier because before I use to run around the house loosing so much time to eventually find one of the pairs under a pile of papers or something else. Thanks for your other tips.

    • What a wonderful idea!! thanks Monique!

    • Sarah says:

      I am myopic and need my eyeglasses to do everything except read. I have my vision checked each year and get a new pair of glasses or sunglasses. The old pairs go into a hard eyeglasses case into: 1. an accessible pocket in my car, 2. my luggage which also contains a packed hygiene kit and change of casual and dressy clothes and shoes, 3. in my nightstand, 4. in my dresser, 5. in my end table. Yes, that is a lot of glasses. I am very hard on eyeglasses, I pull them off often. I have many small grandchildren who like to try to play with them. I have rolled over on the glasses and broke them while asleep. Most importantly I buy titanium frames and the best lenses. I budget other items. I take care where I place my glasses.

  7. Cc says:

    Love this tip, but I wonder for some of us if we left a milk carton out we would end up with just a pile of random junk and the action gets lost? I am always losing chargers in earbuds. I recently bought 3 earbuds : one for nightstand, one for treadmill, one for purse! Having a pre-packed toiletry bag for you and kids makes going on a trip less stressful. I recently found a packing list from a big summer trip. Definaltey keeping that for next trip!!


    Great ideas! Thank you so much!

  9. Paris says:

    Dear Jacqui and All,
    My two boys spend a week with me then a week with their dad 15 minutes away. We split their medicine in half as soon as we get it from the pharmacy so I don’t have to remember to send it back and forth (I have ADHD/dad doesn’t but he is a super busy guy!). Now we always have what they need even if they spend an extra night at either home or there is a blizzard (we live in Massachusetts!). I never thought about how much I beat myself up over being “late, forgetful, slow, procrastinating, etc.” Your site is helping me to see this. Thank you.

  10. Melissa B says:

    I do this very thing too!!! I have a set of things like deodorant and other toiletries at work and I also carry a set in my everyday bag. I hate packing things everywhere but I hate feeling like I had forgotten the basic hygeine stuff that most people remember. I also have a charger at work and a plug in one for my purse too. I also carry a note book everywhere I go to write down things that I need to remember as well as a water bottle and a snack. I will think about some of these other things too though. I may need a suitcase by the time I am done!!

    • Hi Melissa, I find since I have different lives at different times was to keep a box just for my swimming meets so, all my warm clothes go there ( sitting all day in a wet suit ).. and my suitcase which can double as backpack has all the toiletries for a getaway. Sometimes, you have to soend a little but having things organized will make travelling less stressful.

    • Elisabeth says:

      Hi Melissa B – I love your openness about having spare hygiene items available in places where they might be needed. I’d often gone down this line of thought, but you took it further into practical action-You go, girl!!! I’m going to get some spares and follow your great advice 🙂

  11. Hi Jacquie, thank you again for good tips! Since I write lists and doodle, I have multiple blank books with graph paper to keep me focused. The Moleskine diary keeps me focused and less anxious to see where I am headed to next.
    The word, “should” be banished- yes, according to my coach, “should” be a certain speed in the pool in a certain event. I catch myself I “should” do this… now, I ask myself if it is possible? It is very stressful to put even more pressure on yourself when you are already doing a great job!

    • Elisabeth says:

      Hey Susan- I totally agree about the “should” word- in my home, we call it the “S” word and treat it like an unspeakable cuss word! Why not encourage, rather than pummel, yourself?

  12. Yes!
    Charger at home and charger at work. Leave them! Easier and better!
    Get this and put extra pills in it. You have it everywhere. Saved me a few times!
    6pcs Waterproof Aluminum Pill Box Case Bottle Cache Drug Holder Keychain Container Color Random https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HF2UCEU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_Q2L3ybP1WPYE6

    Reading glasses at home, work, car
    Headphones home and work

    Keep dry erase markers in your bathroom and next to all the mirrors in the house to make notes, reminders and encouraging remarks for yourself.

    I also keep a checkbook in my car. If I’m pulling into my apartment and remember rent is due I can just pull right in and not have to stop home.

    • These are great ideas Jim! thanks for sharing them. Keeping markers in your bathroom sounds very creative.

      • Yes, Thank you both. Great ideas!
        I just discovered the many uses of dry markers as well: My latest is to mark my left-over containers w/date before I put in the fridge. such a simple thing but it keeps us on top of what is edible & what needs to be tossed.
        Also easy to wipe clean the containers before reusing them. Easier than writing on tape or using the smelly permanent markers.

  13. Darcey Ayers says:

    Hi my name is Darcey. Just wanted to say I love and forgive myself and my mess ups. Sometimes I even make a joke about what had happened if nothing serious. If serious I do my best to fix it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t allow others to beat you up over it either. What I mean is this name calling, negative put downs and things of this nature.

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