by Mary Jane Johnson, PCC, ACT
1. For some AD/HD individuals, transitioning from work to home can be a problem, as the stresses from a hard day at work are often taken home at night. Try to take at least 10 to 15 minutes at the end of each workday (even if you have to stay after work for a few minutes) to wrap up on any odds and ends and clean off your desk. Check your calendar/schedule to see if anything important is due the following day, placing these folders and supporting materials neatly on the middle of your desk for the morning. This is closure for the workday.
Once that is done take a few minutes to look at your calendar/schedule for anything that needs to be done that evening at home. For instance, review what you will be making for dinner and/or if you will need to stop by the store on the way home. Do you have an evening appointment or does Johnny have a piano lesson tonight? What chores need to be done? This process brings your mind from focusing on work issues to focusing on home issues. As you drive home continue to review in your mind what needs to be done when you get home. That evening lay out your clothes for work the next day, pack your lunch if needed, and place all items that need to go with you in the morning by the door you will be leaving from.
Later in the evening (or first thing in the morning), review your calendar/schedule checking off items that have been completed or writing in things that need to be done at home the next evening and then see what needs to be done when first arriving at work the following day. This provides closure at home and starts you thinking about work. On the drive to work, continue to review in your mind what needs to done at work. When you arrive your important "to dos" for the day will be waiting for you on your desk.
2. Many AD/HD individuals fail to plan for transitions. When starting a project/task, and scheduling time on your calendar/schedule to complete the project/task, make sure to allow time for transitions. Not only do you need to plan for the amount of time it takes to work on the project/task, but you also need to look at what steps it takes to get ready to do the project (i.e., find a place to do it, get out the necessary supplies, or go to the store to get what you will need, etc.). Add another 15-30 minutes to your project time to transition into the project/task. Once the project has been completed, another transition needs to take place (i.e., clean up, put materials away, etc.) Add another 10-15 minutes to project time to transition out of the project/task. Planning ahead for this additional time in your schedule enables you to be more realistic about what you can actually accomplish in a day.