To help me see the ADHD, I came up with a visual aid – of ADHD as a monkey on my back. Not a nice monkey from a nature documentary. This is a mischievous monkey who will pick my pockets and steal everything if I leave the window open…When I look over my shoulder to catch a glimpse of him, he jumps to the other side. I can’t see him, but I know he’s there.
With multiple projects constantly in the works, the old me used to feel like I thrived on multitasking. But now I look back and see how poorly that served me. At the end of the day, I had 20 windows open on my computer, yet I had accomplished very little. Now I keep a prioritized list and focus on one project at a time. It has worked for me ever since the pandemic started, and I began to recognize my monkey.
One simple change has improved my awareness and control over my ADHD. Every night I write out what I’m going to do in each lesson the next day. I’ve never prepared for the next day like this in my life. Having a small outline with bullet points allows me the freedom to listen and be present when talking to a student.