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Old 06-13-12, 03:31 AM
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Strategies for Living with ADD Mega Thread

To start off, I gave this post some thought, but I can guarantee that I became impatient staring at this trying to write everything I've learned and forgot some stuff I meant to put here. Also, I'm not an expert or a professional and don’t know everything. Please post comments and suggestions, and I’ll add anything mentioned to the OP up here. If there is a topic I have completely left out, let me know and I will add everything I know on the topic, as well as anything you or anybody else suggests. My organization is not the best, so hit ctrl + f to search the post for whatever topic you’re curious about, as there might be some info in there, but just in a stupid place. Also, I'm going to grab the first few posts since this might get bigger.

Table of Contents:

  • Strategies & Tips
  • Systems
  • Links
Strategies:

Using Lists:

  • Carry a notebook with you at all times and write down anything you want to do or remember.. (Consider getting a waterproof notepad as well, you never know what you’ll think up in the shower) http://www.riteintherain.com/
  • Make a daily list every morning, and write your lists in order of importance, which should be the same as the order you complete the tasks. Essentially, you shouldn’t be writing bulleted lists, you should be writing numbered lists.
  • Whenever you’re making lists, put “rewards” into the list so that you have an incentive to complete the previous items in the list (hopefully in order)
Misc. Tips:
  • If you have trouble remembering something related to a specific place (such as removing pots and pans from the oven before turning it on) Create a reminder for yourself and put it in this place to help you remember. (In my example, put a 3x5 card with a reminder on the knob that turns on the oven so you can’t turn the oven on without moving your reminder)
  • I’ve heard this is a general rule of thumb for software designers: However long you think something is going to take, triple it.
  • When you have an appointment, or an errand, or somewhere you need to go, don't just plan for travel time, plan for "prep time" as well. If you're having a first time appointment with a doctor, give yourself some time to look up their address and get directions, to collect your medications, and to write down the things you want to talk with them about. This might be an hour of prep time in some cases.
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Diagnoses: Nocturnal Epilepsy - 2001, ADHD -April 2011, Social Anxiety - January 2012, Allergies to gluten, corn, cow milk, pears, clam, cod, and broccoli - August 2012.
RX: Adderall XR 20mg x2/day, Vimpat 100mg x2/day

Last edited by tortilaman; 06-13-12 at 03:57 AM..
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Old 06-13-12, 03:31 AM
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Re: Strategies for Living with ADD Mega Thread

Systems:

I’m going to be somewhat brief here, but give you lots of resources to look into if you’re more interested, as there is a lot written on these topics that will do a much better job than I will.

Getting Things Done:


David Allen published a book creating this technique, and it is has reached cult status in terms of how fervently its followers advocate its effectiveness and usefulness. I personally never read the book because I have a hard time reading anything that isn’t a novel. This is probably the most popular productivity system, and thus has a very large ecosystem of apps, planners, and whatever you need that fits into it. It is tailored towards business people, so it might not be a perfect fit. A quick, but thurough overview of the system can be found at http://facilethings.com/docs/en/gtd101/1. David Allen’s Website is http://www.davidco.com/

Strengths:
  • Things don’t get lost in the shuffle
  • You always know what your next action is
  • Huge ecosystem and body of knowledge available
Weaknesses:
  • It’s a very “large” system, there’s a lot to remember
  • It requires a very large time and effort investment to get started
  • Not as visual as Personal Kanban
  • The whole system is not as add firendly as other systems in my opinion
The Pomodoro Technique:

The pomodoro technique is once again based off a book by a guy. This guy is Francesco Cirillo, and his book is the pomodoro technique. At its most basic form, this is really a way to structure your time so you don’t get burnt out. Focus entirely on something for 25 minutes, and then take a 5 minute break. Each 25 minute focus period is a “pomodoro”. After you complete four pomodoros, take a longer 20 minute break. The website is here http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/

Strengths:

Weaknesses:
  • Not as comprehensive or intricate of a system as GTD
  • Not as visual as Personal Kanban
Personal Kanban:

This was originally Created in Toyota's Manufacturing line so that everyone could know at a glance the “status” of the plant at that moment. It has been picked up recently in software development primarily, where it is very popular. Only recently has there been any mention of it for personal purposes, and this is primarily fueled by one person who runs the site http://www.personalkanban.com/pk/
There are really only two rules for personal kanban:
  • Visualize your work
  • Limit your work-in-progress
You have a board of some kind, and you split it into columns. The leftmost column is your backlog of things you need to do and the rightmost column is your done column. In between you have your process, also known as your “workflow”. Each task is put on a sticky note or a 3x5 card with a push pin, and placed in the backlog. Tasks move across the board as they are accomplished. You want a minimal amount of items in each column of your workflow. You see where you are at a glance, and when you complete things, you get positive reinforcement. It is very visual and kinaesthetic, and thus a very good option for lots of people.

This has been especially useful in manufacturing and software development because it follows a very consistent process, so you can move your tasks around the board based on where they are in that process. its implementation is similar for personal kanban, but as you might guess, lives don't really follow a process, so you might have to change it up a bit. I personally am using it now as a rough schedule of the week's tasks, so I know what needs to be done on what day, and so that if I don't do something I can easily reschedule it.

Strengths:

  • Visual - This is huge for me, as I'm sure it is for some of you.
  • You don’t need a computer.
  • You probably have everything you need already.
  • Extremely flexible.
Weaknesses:
  • Your backlog can get pretty full pretty quickly
  • It is not as in depth and comprehensive as GTD, and does not help keeping track of time like the Pomodoro Technique
Time Blocking & Scheduling To-Do Items:

I can't say that somebody has created a system for this, it's just a concept that I think warrants a section in the systems area. This is generally done with students so that they know they have scheduled enough time to study and things like that and so that things don't just magically not get done.

Time blocking is creating a recurring weekly schedule for yourself that includes scheduled time for everything you do. This should include:
  • Classes and/or your Job
  • Travel time to and from classes and/or your job
  • Exercise time
  • Study Time
  • Meal times
  • Time for Household chores and such
  • Recreation time
  • etc...... you get the idea
Anything that you do consistently should be in here. Leave space for errands and things that don't happen on a daily or weekly basis. These items will probably be part of your scheduled to-do items.

Scheduling to-do items is essentially filling in the holes in your weekly schedule with things that need to get done. Estimate how long something will take (you'll probably have to triple your estimate) and put it into your weekly schedule. It's that simple. If it's an errand, don't forget to schedule travel time. If it's an appointment, don't forget to schedule travel as well as preparation time.

Strengths:
  • You always finish your todo list
  • You ideally will be efficiently using your time
Weaknesses:
  • This can be a big commitment
  • Not quite as comprehensive as GTD
__________________
Diagnoses: Nocturnal Epilepsy - 2001, ADHD -April 2011, Social Anxiety - January 2012, Allergies to gluten, corn, cow milk, pears, clam, cod, and broccoli - August 2012.
RX: Adderall XR 20mg x2/day, Vimpat 100mg x2/day

Last edited by tortilaman; 06-13-12 at 03:53 AM..
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Old 06-13-12, 03:33 AM
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Re: Strategies for Living with ADD Mega Thread

Links:

Products:

Improve your sleep:
  • Zeo:http://www.myzeo.com/sleep/ ($100 - $150) A band you wear around your forehead (a mini eeg if I’m not mistaken) that measures your sleep cycles and wakes you up when you are in your lightest stage of sleep and before you absolutely need to be awake. Works by itself, or with an Android or Apple smartphone
  • Wakemate:http://wakemate.com/ ($65) A wristband that tracks your sleep and wakes you up when you’re at your lightest stage within a 20 minute window. Compatible with Apple and Android smartphones, but the android app is complete crap so don’t waste your money buying it for Android.
  • Sleeptracker: http://www.sleeptracker.com/ ($150)A watch similar to wakemate, but expensive.
  • Lark: http://www.lark.com/ ($100 - $160) Again similar to Wakemate, Apple iOS only.
Note Taking:
Software & Web Apps:

I’ve used all of these programs, and they’re all great, you just have to find what works for you. You can use a combination of these as well. All the individual applications I link here are free to use, but might have a paid version with more features or something like that, the list links have no guarantees in that regard.
  • Workflowy:http://workflowy.com An infinitely nestable list of everything in your brain. You can tag things and search so nothing ever gets lost. Dump anything and everything you ever think of in here and get it on your computer or smartphone or anything that can access the internet. Can be used with GTD
  • Reqall: http://www.reqall.com/ This is the only software up here that will remind you to do things. It can remind you of things based on time, date, or location. When I used it you couldn’t tag or categorize things, and that was a real bummer, but it is the only software I found that will remind you of your shopping list when you get to Target.
  • Evernote:www.evernote.com People love evernote. You can add pictures and make notes and notebooks and it’s another program to store everything in your brain. Can be used with GTD to great effect as mentioned below.
GTD Software & Web Apps:
  • There are probably millions of GTD applications and web apps, I just haven’t used all of them. Most of them cost money too FYI.
Pomodoro Technique Software & Web Apps:
  • Kanban Flow:https://kanbanflow.com/ Combination of the Pomodoro Technique and Personal Kanban. You get the visual aspect of Personal Kanban, as well as the time management (and even time tracking!) aspect of the Pomodoro Technique
Personal Kanban Software & Web Apps:
  • Kanban Flow: [link above] My personal choice for Personal Kanban software. It’s free and combines pomodoro & kanban.
  • Limited Work in Progress Society: http://limitedwipsociety.ning.com/page/tools This is a very large list of Kanban applications. Most of them are geared towards groups, but you can still use them just for yourself. I haven’t really tried any of these extensively, but they’re all good options from what I remember
Books:

I’m gonna be honest here, I probably haven’t finished reading any of these, and some I haven’t even started, but I’ve had them recommended to me by very reliable sources, so they’re all here.
Websites:
__________________
Diagnoses: Nocturnal Epilepsy - 2001, ADHD -April 2011, Social Anxiety - January 2012, Allergies to gluten, corn, cow milk, pears, clam, cod, and broccoli - August 2012.
RX: Adderall XR 20mg x2/day, Vimpat 100mg x2/day

Last edited by tortilaman; 06-13-12 at 03:55 AM..
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Old 06-13-12, 04:56 AM
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Re: Strategies for Living with ADD Mega Thread

Totally didn't realize you can't edit posts more than a half hour after you originally post it. Oh poop.
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Diagnoses: Nocturnal Epilepsy - 2001, ADHD -April 2011, Social Anxiety - January 2012, Allergies to gluten, corn, cow milk, pears, clam, cod, and broccoli - August 2012.
RX: Adderall XR 20mg x2/day, Vimpat 100mg x2/day
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Old 06-13-12, 09:15 AM
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Re: Strategies for Living with ADD Mega Thread

People have liked my strategies thread here.
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