To do lists are great and can be an invaluable tool for Mom’s with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.There’s just something about having a list of tasks that need to be done that can keep you headed in the right direction on a daily basis. They’re also especially beneficial for Mom’s like us because we can take a peek at the list and figure out what’s next when our mind has wandered or we’ve found ourselves seriously distracted. However I’ve found something even more useful than the To do list: The Must Do List.
A Must Do List is exactly what it sounds like; a list of tasks that must be done every single day with out fail. It should consist of extremely easy jobs that are absolutely 100% necessary for a clean home. Things like, dust the blinds and check the fire alarm batteries should definitely not be on the list. (If you feel like you need to do those things on a daily basis then you might have more than AADD and should consult your doctor). Also the list should not include the obvious, like eat and/or change the babies diaper, unless of course you struggle to remember to do those tasks. What the list should include are things like empty the dishwasher, do the dishes, and pick up the living room. My daily jobs are
- Make the Bed
- Collect dirty laundry
- Wipe down the bathrooms
- Empty the dishwasher
- Sweep the kitchen
- 5 minute kitchen clean up
- 5 minute living room clean up
- Load and run the dishwasher nightly
As you can see this list is incredibly basic, nothing more than the absolutely necessary. If done properly every single day then all the jobs should take about 30 minutes total.
So, now that you know what a “Must Do” list is, it’s time to explain why it’s so very important for Mom’s with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.The first and most obvious reason for having a list like this is because we tend to get distracted. Having AADD as a parent means there are ten trillion other things that could or should be taken care of at any given time. It’s all too easy to set out to clean up the kitchen only to find yourself a short time later scrubbing the shower. And all because you noticed how dirty the tub was when you went to put away the rubber ducky you tripped over while cleaning the kitchen.The idea is, that using the must do list will ensure that the absolutely necessary gets done before you move on to whatever other cleaning or organizing task makes it itself known. Plus if you do happen to find yourself doing the uncessary, like alphabetizing your book case, you can quickly jump back on track and complete the necessary stuff.
The second reason why this list is important is because People with AADD suffer from something called Hyperfocus(Here’s a great article describing the issue). Essentially, AADDers sometimes enter a state of hyperfocus when they’re doing something they find interesting.This focus is nothing like your normal focus either its super intense and hours can pass without a care as the hyperfocused person delves deeply into whatever has interested them this time. Often times this means housework falls by the wayside. However with this list in place it ensures that you at least got the basics done each day.
Lastly procrastination is a huge disadvantage of suffering from Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. Although most everyone procrastinates a little big here and there, people with AADD are so much worse. Mostly because we’re so much more likely to get distracted when we finally do make an effort to take care of a disliked task.With this list in place there is no exception the disliked task (cleaning up the kitchen for me) has to be done a daily basis no if’s and’s or but’s. I’ll admit I don’t know how many times I’ve caught myself thinking ”Well, I guess I could sit down and make a meal plan for the week rather than sweep…” But usually the fact that I know I don’t want to be sweeping at 9pm keeps me from giving in and procrastinating this necessary (for me) task.
Hopefully I’ve made a strong case for creating a Must Do List and I’ve got you wondering . “How do I go about figuring out what is necessary for my household?” Well I’m going to sound like a broken record and come back to two points that I just can’t seem to stress enough. The first is time, lots and lots of time. I’m a year into this journey and I’m still adjusting and tweaking my list. Secondly, the main reason it will take all that time is because you need to use the Scientific Method in order to find a way to do things that work for you. Ask yourself questions about what will improve your life on a daily basis, and implement your hypothesis one by one to see if it makes a difference.
Taking the steps to make this list can be incredibly hard in the beginning. But with lots of hard work, it’s possible to develop a simple list that ensures you’ll be able to continually keep your home maintained the way you’ve always dreamed. Although I write this with Mom’s who suffer from Adult Attention Deficit Disorder in mind, I think most parents in general could benefit hugely from piecing together and finding out what’s necessary for keeping their home in order on a daily basis.