Adult ADD dopers: coping tips?

I just made a costly mistake due to my inattentiveness/laziness and I’m really upset with myself.

Dopers with ADD: could you please help me with tips/tricks you use to get through life?

One thing I’ve personally learned is that to learn anything new (I’m a student), I generally need to write it down . . . somehow that helps cement things in my brain.

Hiya Gestalt,

In an attempt to make you feel better, my laziness/inattentiveness/cluelessness has led me to:

  1. forget to renew my work visa, resulting in my nearly being deported;
  2. forget to renew my US driver’s license, resulting in having to spend $3000 to attend driving school in Japan to get a valid license to get an international driving license to DRIVE IN MY OWN COUNTRY.
  3. didn’t file taxes for years, rushed to file when I started a new job, didn’t take ANY deductions, and paid $15,000 after taxes/overdue fees.

What works for me are:

  1. routines: take the thinking out, and distractibility drops.
  2. remove temptation: favorites on your PC, TV remote, crap on your desk.
  3. creating deadlines: projects and farting around will expand to fill the time allotted, so have a hard deadline with other people to force you to get to work.
  4. writing stuff down on a pad so it doesn’t bounce around in your head.
  5. labeling things: drawers, files, bookshelves, cupboards, making it easier to put stuff all together in one place.
  6. using file boxes. I have boxes for cat-related stuff, my medical stuff, music stuff, etc. I don’t force myself to organize the boxes, because when the time comes I can just poke through the box and organize it then. I started doing this at work and it’s helped tremendously.

If you’d be comfortable, maybe if you tell us a little bit about what happened, we can tell you what we’d do to avoid that situation.

Set short-term goals you can meet.

For instance, work in batches. Don’t say “I’m going to work hard today and not goof off”, because that isn’t going to work. Say, “Now I’m going to type up 1000 words, and then I’ll fool around for a few minutes.” It’s the only way I’ve ever managed to have a productive day at work.

Thanks guys!

Okay, basically what happened is this: rent is due on the first of the month and we are charged late if we pay after the 3rd. So, I had time the first of the month and the second, but somehow I was very “meh” about it. The office was closed on the third (although I knew there was a way to pay online and I could have called my roomie and asked) and so I go to pay today and was hit with an $80 late fee. For basically no good reason (on my part; not angry at the policy).

Things like this have happened before, and the thing is . . . with school, up until this point the material has been interesting enough and I’ve been intelligent enough to skate by. However, now I’m med school and everything is getting Totally Super Serial and I’m in above my head.

I actually work really well with structure; however, that is sort of lacking when you get into higher-up education fields and you have to force it on yourselves and come up with your own gameplans.

Thanks for the replies so far. Alessan, I really like your idea of setting concrete goals. So far it’s just been, “work super hard today,” but that is not always successful.

I also like the idea of “deadlines” instead of scheduling your day hour by hour. So instead of saying, “from 11-noon I’ll work on X” I’ll say, “At noon I’ll be done with X”