Bag of Tricks

felix the cat


“Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat,
Whenever he gets in a fix, he reaches into his bag of tricks.

That’s the theme song to a cartoon I loved to watch as a kid. Felix the cat was always getting into trouble but he was extremely resourceful. He carried around a bag of tricks that helped him solve every problem.

As a person with ADHD it may seem that you too are also getting into all sorts of trouble. You forget what you intended to do, to return phone calls or pay your bills on time. You might be having trouble with punctuality and are someone who is always running late. You may lose important stuff like your keys or cell phone over and over again. You may miss deadlines and appointments and have a lot of trouble starting and finishing projects. You might be someone who is living in clutter and chaos. You know the right thing to do but making yourself do it seems almost impossible.

Just like Felix the cat you need a bag of tricks to help you manage the challenges of ADHD and stay out of bad situations.

Here’s what you want to put in your bag of tricks:

Calendars – Keep these where you can see them and write down important information.

A planner – Record all your appointments in one place and keep it with you at all times.

A wristwatch – Wear an analog watch to keep track of time.

Clocks – Keep analog clocks in every room to remind you of the time.

Alarm Clocks – Use more than one to make sure you get out of bed on time.

To-Do Lists – Create a plan for how you will use your time.

Timers – Use a timer to help you stay focused and get started and finish projects.

Self-care – Eat well, exercise and get enough sleep.

Support – Get the support you need from your friends, family, therapist or coach.

Time – Give yourself time to practice these tricks. It takes time for a trick to become a habit.

The more often you use these tricks or strategies the more familiar you will become with them and it will feel easier to use them.

Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach in Brooklyn, NY. She helps teens, college students and adults with ADHD with time management, planning and prioritizing, getting started with and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and improving social skills. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in downtown Brooklyn. For more information visit her website: or email Kathy at

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