Structure and Patterning

photo 2Effective time management skills are helpful to all adults and children.  These skills are especially beneficial for busy families and critical for those with children who have attention and organizational issues. Day-to-day demands become overwhelming. By managing your time wisely and modeling that for your children, you and your family can make it through the day less stressed and less overwhelmed.

1.    Home staging area

  • Choose one location on the main floor of the house, preferably by the door.
  • Each EVENING, before bedtime, place all books, briefcases, school projects, retail returns, mail and school projects in the staging area.  This will make mornings less hectic.

2.    Checklists and reminder notes

  • Back of the door
  • In the bathroom
  • In the car
  • On the TV screen
  • On the lunches packed i.e. “meet Mom in the school office at 2 PM today” or “Go to clinic for medication”

3.    Pattern Planning

  • Choose the same day each week for errands: groceries on Monday, dry cleaners on Wednesday, etc.
  • Request the same appointment day and time when setting up routine visits such as dental, medication check-ins, counseling, coaching.
  • Set up a pattern for household chores for everyone.  Use your family calendar!

4.    Implementation

  • New ideas are great, but too many of them at once can create chaos and take up much of your time.  Try to implement new ideas one at a time.
  • Be sure that the change is a good choice for you and your family. Just because a time management idea works for a friend or neighbor, it does not mean it will work for you.  You may be wasting more time trying to fit your self into a system that is not right for you!
  • Remember that each family member has a different learning style and different level of comprehension.  When starting a new plan, encourage your children on all levels of success as they get used to the process.
  • Learning to manage your time is a process.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, MCC, SCAC, BCC
Social Media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
Author: Empowering Youth with ADHD