The ability to think forward, organize, plan, prioritize and execute complex tasks, call on our executive functions. Our executive functions are the cognitive skills from the frontal lobe of our brains responsible for working memory, concentration, the ability to plan, organize and manage time, and control impulses.
With executive dysfunction in ADHD, everyday tasks, such as planning dinner, a trip to the supermarket, and consequently cooking dinner, can be nothing short of monumental. The challenge of executing necessary daily tasks is often the source of great feelings of shame for many women with ADHD.
Our tips below might just scratch the surface, however, will go a long way in creating new habits to help you master daily tasks.
At your fingertips. Keep every item you need to complete each task within arms reach. Do you make a cup of tea or coffee each morning? Keep the cups, a tin of coffee or the tea bags, sugar, teaspoons, all within arm’s reach of the kettle.
You can apply this principle to almost all of your kitchen tasks. Applying this method, you will make each task easier, more attractive to complete, and far less likely to get distracted during the process.
What’s cooking? The daily question. What’s for dinner? It can be a chore for anyone; the daily task of nourishing oneself or a family. An even greater challenge with ADHD. To master this vital daily task, answer this question in advance. Write down (keep cards or notes on your phone) a few ‘go to’ favorite yummy recipes. Include all the ingredients and quantities you need to buy. Whip out your list before you walk into the supermarket.
Buy a pressure cooker. Both a lifesaver and a necessity in the kitchen. Still not sure what to cook? Throw in all your leftover vegetables and the pressure cooker will do the rest. Forgot to take something out of the freezer? The pressure cooker will take care of it! You will be cooking up a storm while you move on to another task.
Label your life. Buy a labeller and go nuts. Label cupboards, drawers, even light switches. Make it quick and easy to find things and maintain your flow in completing the task.
Collect the mess. Buy some plastic tubs or organizational baskets to keep like items together. If applicable, leave a basket at the bottom of the stairs and collect all the items that need to go upstairs. Grab the basket the next time you head up.