Time Management Struggles with ADD / ADHD

Recently, Tara McGillicudy and I spent time talking about the time management struggles that adults with ADD / ADHD face on a regular basis.  We talked about how ADD and ADHD affect time management personally and professionally.  Listen below to gain valuable insight…

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How Students With ADHD Can Use Tickler Files to Get Organized

I recently started a discussion on linked in about an article I wrote earlier this year.  The article title is Start a Tickler File to Get Focused.  A special education teacher in the group was wondering how she could use something like this with her high school students who have ADHD.

I think this concept can definitely help students.  I have a couple ideas that students with ADHD can use tickler files to get organized and manage their school work.  I would love your ideas and input.  I think these ideas have merit, but I think they may need more detail to be ready for implementation.  Please add your comments and suggestions below!

Accordion Files

In my original article, I described a process where you would use an accordion file, numbered 1 – 31 to keep track of paperwork (i.e. bills) at home.

  • When you receive a new piece of paper that is time sensitive, write the date that you need to take action on the top of the paper.
  • File the paper in behind the tab with the corresponding date.
  • Check the tickler file once each day to see what paper needs to be handled.

Can this work for students?  I think YES, but I think it needs some adaptation.  I think the 31 day accordion file either needs it’s own plastic container or it needs to stay in one classroom.  If this accordion file ended up in a backpack or locker, I have visions of papers falling out, getting lost and leading to missed assignments.  Not what we are shooting for!  By keeping the file in one classroom, a homeroom or specific subject teacher could teach the students how to use it and help them build the habit.

Zipping Binders

If leaving a 31 day accordion file in a classroom or keeping it in a plastic container isn’t realistic, consider adapting a binder with a closing zipper to use as a tickler file.

  • The binder will need to have folders inside of it that go into the binder rings.
  • Label each folder can be labeled with the dates of a specific week.
  • Each time the student gets an important paper or assignment, have them put the paper in the appropriate week.
  • Every day, the student should review the files for the next two weeks to see what assignments need work and planning.
  • Every week, the student should review the files for the next six weeks to see what longer term assignments need work and planning.

Using a zipping binder will help to keep the papers in place while still tying the papers to when they are important.

Other Adaptations

How else could the concept of a tickler file be adapted for students?

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