Back to Basics


Sometimes we forget to do the things that help us successfully manage our ADHD. When we are taking our meds, exercising, drinking enough water, meditating, eating healthy food, getting professional help from a therapist or coach, and feeling supported by family and friends life is good and we feel on top of our ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD are there but we are managing them well. This is when we may get a little too comfortable and forget to use the tools and strategies that support and maintain our progress.

One example of this is forgetting to use a planner. You may know that you need to write everything down and keep track of what you need to do in your planner but when things are going great and you feel so on top of things you decide you don’t need to use it. This is not a good idea. Not using your planner will put you on the road to overwhelm before you know it. You will eventually forget to take care of important things and miss appointments. Within a few days you will start to feel disorganized though you may not know why.

Transitions such as moving house, starting a new job, going away to school, or starting a new business can be stressful for those of us with ADHD and that is when we need to be sure that we are doing all we can to support ourselves.

Notice what you have stopped doing and start doing it again. Go back to the basics as soon as possible.


  • using your planner to see what you need to do.
  • wearing an analog watch to improve your sense of time.
  • using your alarm clocks to wake up on time.
  • using visual reminders like a whiteboard or post-it notes to remember what you need to do.
  • using a timer to help you get started and finish tasks.

Don’t beat yourself up for forgetting to use the tools you need. Put them back in place as soon as you notice what has been missing and if you have never used any of these tools start today.

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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