Those who have adult ADHD rely on routines to get through what they need to do, to free up time for what they want to do. Mornings can be especially tough. Even an ingrained morning routine is hard to follow when you may not feel fully awake. The following are strategies that will help speed up your morning:
Two alarm system
Get two alarm clocks. If one alarm clock fails to fully rouse you, consider placing a second alarm out of arms reach – such as on your dresser- so that you are forced to get out of bed to turn off the alarm.
Simplify your wardrobe to one color palette – neutrals for example – and eliminate all but your favorite pieces. Separate work clothes from home clothes. Store home clothes away from work clothes to help narrow down your outfit choices. Remove and store off-season clothing under your bed or on a high shelf. This will reduce indecision when getting dressed. Most importantly – chose your outfit the night before and save a ton of time in the morning!
Don’t turn on the TV in the morning. Avoid checking email or social media while getting ready for work. Limit phone calls and texts.
Clocks and Timers
Analog clocks-well within your sight- in every room you frequent when getting ready in the morning will help you stay aware of time passing. Use timers to set boundaries around tasks such as showers or make-up application.
Eat a protein rich breakfast every day. Keep healthy protein bars or shakes on hand for on the go breakfasts.
Time to go Alarm
Set a recurring alarm on your phone 10 minutes before you need to leave. Consider this your cue to grab your keys and go.
White Boards and Lists
Write down reminders in places where you can see them such as on the refrigerator or next to your bathroom mirror. Visual cues keep you on track. Write up a short to-do list the night before.
Declutter and Simplify Vigilantly
Clutter causes visual distractions and anxiety. Keeping your home spaces clear will reduce anxiety when you are in a hurry. You are more likely to spot your keys if they are the only thing on your table.
It Does Get Easier
Try one of these strategies for two weeks and see how it speeds up your morning. When it becomes part of your routine, apply another strategy and evaluate how that works for you. Adopting new routines can be challenging, stick with it, hang in there, it does get easier!