Whether you’re a student or adult, keeping track of all your to-do’s can be difficult. Having ADHD makes it even more difficult due to the deficits in executive functioning. And now with the COVID-19 pandemic, many adults are working from home and homeschooling at the same time. And students are struggling because EVERYTHING is online. There is no teacher in the classroom reminding them of the work they need to do.
Maybe a regular paper or electronic list/planner has been your go-to but you are finding yourself overwhelmed. That’s no surprise! Why?
- If you’re a student, online school is more difficult. There is actually more to keep track of and multiple places to look for what you’re supposed to be working on.
- If you’re an adult working from home while your students are home, my guess is you’re getting interrupted way more than you do at the office. Plus, you’re stressed, and stress wreaks havoc on our executive functions.
Never fear, I have something that just might help! A Track Your Work Poster – it’s like a to-do list, but better! You can watch the video below for instructions or read on below.
How to Make a Track Your Week Poster
You will need:
- poster board
- pencil and markers
- stencils (not required)
- washi tape (not required)
Follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Mark your poster horizontally at 9.5″ & 19.5.” Then line your yardstick up vertically to each line and use a marker or pencil to make a line from the top of the poster to the bottom.
Step 2: Draw a line across the top of your poster. This is where you will add the titles of each section. I recommend giving yourself 3-3.5.”
For my daughter’s poster, I chose to use washi tape rather than a marker to dress it up a bit.
Upon finishing Steps 1 & 2, you will have 3 sections on your poster with space at the top for your titles.
Step 3: Now grab your stencils or if you are talented with lettering, free-hand it. I did a mixture of stencils and free-hand. My daughter (see pic below) free handed all of hers. Starting with the first section, title the 3 areas as follows –
- To Do
- In Progress
Now that your poster is divided and labeled, grab your post-it notes and let’s look at how you can use each section.
The To Do Section
I know this section is pretty self-explanatory, right? So grab your list of projects around the house, the stuff you need to accomplish for work, or all your school assignments.
You can use different colors of post its notes for different subjects or tasks. My daughter had a neat idea and used bigger post-it notes for assignments that were more important or would require more work and smaller post its for assignments that wouldn’t take as much time. She’s a smart one, that girl.
The In Progress Section
You may be wondering why you need an “In Progress” section. Isn’t a “To Do” and “Done” section enough? That’s a good question! Let me ask you a few questions. How many times are you working on a task or assignment and get interrupted? The interruptions could be a phone call, a colleague dropping by your office, a text or even your own thoughts! You name it! Anything that distracts you from the task at hand is an interruption.
After an interruption, how many times have you gone back to the task at hand and completely forgotten what you were working on before you were interrupted? Boom! That’s where the good ol’ deficit in working memory gets ya, and where the “In Progress” section comes into play. Is your phone ringing? Boom, move the post-it to “In Progress.” Does your kiddo need something? Boom, move the post-it to the “In Progress” section. Just need a break? Boom, move the sticky note to “In Progress.” You get the idea!
The Done Section
Imagine how you will feel at the end of your work time to see post-it notes in the “Done” section! What a feeling of success and reward!
A Few Final Thoughts
- Don’t have a poster? Use a wall and post-it notes. You can section the wall off with painter’s or washi tape.
- Use a dry erase board and post-it notes or dry erase markers.
- It doesn’t have to “look good” to be functional!
Good luck! I hope you find this poster useful. I’d love to see pictures of what you or your student creates. Or, if you have a system that helps you keep track of what you need to do, what’s in progress and what’s done, I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time, stay Fantastically Focused!