In many ways, ADHD is still pretty mysterious to us. For one thing, there is no scientific consensus on what actually causes it. Genetics and, of course, environmental factors are thought to play a role, but the disorder remains best identified by its symptoms. In this area at least, we are on much more solid ground.
ADHD is a disorder that causes poor attention, an inability to focus, and difficulty maintaining order in life, whether that be with daily tasks or meeting other commitments.
Moreover, the treatment of ADHD always involves a combination of medication and, perhaps significantly, a series of coping mechanisms to help those with the disorder live productive, organized lives. Those coping mechanisms will always stress one particularly important thing – planning.
Next Level Daily, a company that produces a daily planner for those with ADHD, say that although planning is certainly useful for everybody, it is undoubtedly more important for those with ADHD (hence the specifically designed planners).
Planning should always be seen as a task in itself (and it requires some work) but, if done successfully, it removes stress later and promotes a feeling that tasks are accounted for.
The Importance of Routine
However, even if tasks are planned, it is still unwise for those with ADHD to have wildly different tasks every day. Routine is just as important, and establishing one is one of the aforementioned coping mechanisms by which ADHD sufferers manage to live full and productive lives. It is easy to see that the effect of a disorganized life is a feeling of uncertainty, even dread. With a routine, this can be effectively combatted.
We should remember though that ADHD is an age-specific disorder. It can affect individuals of all ages, but not in the same way. The common practice is to distinguish between childhood, teenage, and adult ADHD.
Routine is rather difficult for a child to establish, but this is also the time of life when there are no real responsibilities and close care from parents or guardians. Teenagers, who must navigate school, occupy a halfway point. It is adults who must organize their lives, relationships, commitments, and tasks themselves.
For adults in particular then, routine is especially important. But how do you establish one?
Establishing a Routine
Establishing a routine is an important thing for everybody to do, but it is a little different for adults with ADHD. For one thing, it’s more vital. Here follows then some tips for ADHD adults to establish a routine:
Schedule in Advance
Often, you don’t know everything that you need to do far in advance, but it’s nearly always possible to schedule tasks at least a short while ahead of time. And it is important to. By writing out tasks before they need to be done, a helping hand is there by the time they must be completed.
Have Set Daily Tasks
You will not do the same thing every day, but you should do some things every day. Even if this is just breakfast or the train to work, do it at the same time every day and include it in your schedule.
An ADHD planner can go a long way here, but even if you do not have one, it is important to bear in mind that your planner and routine itself can be confusing and distressing. Try to sift out unnecessary tasks, know your limits, and ensure that any day’s work can be comfortably completed within that day.
Planning, routine, and order are the name of the game when it comes to ADHD, and the daily routine is an indispensable part of that.