I need help balancing online courses! - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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I need help balancing online courses!

Scatterbrainbarista profile image

Hey everyone, I recently joined this community because my doctor told me to lol! But also I really need help.

I just started a new job as a shift supervisor and I'm a full time online college student. Last semester I aced my courses...however, this semester I have neglected my classes because I have been hyper focused on learning and performing well for this new job.

I think my biggest issue is time management. I've tried apps, I have a weekly planner, daily planner, calendar by my desk, I use the calendar on my phone, and I have two mini notepads (one for work; one for daily life). Despite all of the resources available and every strategy I attempt to incorporate into my life executing the actual things on the list is what's difficult for me.

I always end up spending hours looking up & creating strategies to improve my organization and time management skills and suddenly I have no more time to actually do my homework because it is time to sleep or head to work. I typically do my homework at starbucks because that is where I work but also I cannot get any homework accomplished at home.

Any advice or ways to get myself to hold myself accountable would be amazing lol.

7 Replies

Hi Scatterbrainbarista,

Congratulations on asking for help! It sounds like you have already done a lot of the "right" things with all the calendars and notebooks. What comes to my mind, is what if you simplified things a bit.

As a coach with ADHD, I have to keep things simple. 1 online calendar for everything. 1 notebook for lists. 1 place for my paper files. I use Google drive so I can access my documents from any of my devices anywhere.

Another thing that helps me is to be really strict with my schedule. This is work time, this is family time, this is down time. I try to keep to this schedule M-F. I give my self a break on the weekends.

Another thing that comes to mind is that it sounds like you are creative because like creating new systems. What if you were to take that creative energy and apply it to your school work somehow? You need to keep your brain engaged. What about online is hard for you? If you can apply your creativity to keeping you engaged online, then maybe it wouldn't be so hard to study.

Good luck!

Scatterbrainbarista profile image
Scatterbrainbarista in reply to

It is like you are inside my brain lol! I always start out with a huge list and I've tried to condense it and I make sure to not have more than 5 things on a to do list and the last two items are always the least important because I know I will most likely only realistically accomplish the top 3 but for some illogical reason if I only have the top 3 theres no urgency to it (it's insane but I think it keeps in GO mode lol)

I'm not good at being really strict with my schedule because I have a "rebel" mindset and the more obligation there is to accomplish a task at that time/timeframe I will not do it I give up before I even start because 1. I will not realistically accomplish it in that time (easily distracted obviously) overthink it and end up not doing it cuz i know I'll fail and 2. I don't know how to hold myself accountable.

I like your idea of implementing my creativity into my online school work. I think I want to get my coworker who is really good at holding people accountable (over stuff she has no business about and remembers like every detail of everything) to be my own accountability coach lol. Because we work together and my workplace is where I study she's easily accessible to hold me accountable. What do you think?

*DISCLAIMER* I'm not 100% positive this made any sense lol

in reply to Scatterbrainbarista

You just made my day! Understanding someone so that it feels like I'm in your brain is a HUGE compliment to a coach. Thank you.

Your list strategy sounds like you have made it a game so that you get things done and it sounds like it works for you. How does that resonate to you?

Staying on schedule is hard. I don't think I did it till I had kids. Granted, I didn't know about my ADHD until I had those kids. But now, I have trouble being flexible. My schedule keeps me sane and is an anxiety management strategy that works for me. I wonder if you could put on your creative hat and think about how to make finishing a task interesting.

Coach hat on and you don't have to answer publicly: What are you gaining by not staying on task? What are you losing? The answers might help you figure out what is happening.

As a strategy, rewards can work. For instance, you can if say to yourself or your accountability coach, I can do X because I really enjoy it for an hour or 2 if I finish my assignment on time. BTW, accountability coaches are a great idea. Talking to your co-worker is a great idea. What can you do for him/her to thank them? You want them to continue to want to help you. :).

ADHDers have to keep tweaking our strategies as we grow and change. It also makes things interesting for us.

Good luck!

The 'rebel mindset'

I'd love to give advice on that but have no answers, marking my place to see if anyone does!

I wonder if this ADHD or anxiety related to fear of failure. Is it self sabotage so you won't be judged, or your ADHD brain pushing you over the edge to see what exciting things will happen if you fail to meet the deadline?

Yes I know about the rebel mindset. Sometimes I feel like I can use my issues with anxiety to blame me not getting things done or not following through because I'm lacking self confidence.

It is so easy to forget my long term goals I have to find a way to make my school work have an immediate reward I guess.

Welcome Scatterbrainbarista,

I see you also are one who likes to research.... get all the information.... sometimes there is just too much information out there.... I learned that I need to stop 🛑 and say okay I investigated enough and here is what I know.... then make the choices.....

You have apps.... at least 2 planners and 2 calendars..... Moving forward is right about condensing down to one.....then everything is in one spot.

I have a planner,calendar in one book. With all my to do’s in it.... my problem happens when I close the book.... everything disappears from my brain.... so I started using stickups and posting on the outside of the book.... I also use red for very important and yellow for important..... my phone I use the alarms for scheduling start and stop times.... I try to keep the planner and phone calendar the same.... a bit hard but I found if I use my wake up coffee time to plan my day I can check the phone-planner to make sure they are in sinc..... doesn’t always work (coffee didn’t hit yet) but usually does....

Good Luck

Hope you found something of use in my babbling....

Do you already take med. For ADHD?

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