Parents, teachers, students, ADHDers often forget stuff!! Here’s something that I do and teach my students that’ saves me a lot of frustration.
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Transcript: Click here to download the video transcript PDF.
If you have ADHD like me and you’re always forgetting stuff, this is what you’re going to want to do. This is one tip that I’m going to give you that’s going to help your life. Why is it going to help your life? The way that it helps my life is it saves me a lot of frustration, it saves me from having to come home because I forgot something, it saves me from the frustration just forgetting something, wasting a bunch of time looking for the thing, it saves me from locking myself out of the house, all kinds of things like that. So what I recommend, and this is what I work with my students.
My name is Seth Perler, by the way. I’m an executive function coach, I help struggling students navigate this thing called education so you can have a great life. And one of the things that my students struggle with is this: they’re forgetful. They’re always forgetting something, they’re unprepared, and it’s really frustrating.
So what we do is we get some kind of box, and I’ll show you what this is in just a second, but we get some kind of box that you like. This is a good size for me, and you just want to get a good size for you something that you like, that’s the rule about the box to get. And what I do is, this is what I call a ‘Pocket Box,’ a pocket box. And the reason I call it that, that’s just a stupid name I came up with, but the reason I call it a pocket box is because everything that goes in my pocket goes in this box. Or when I get home things that are in my pocket go in this box. And it’s the things that really frustrate me that I really forget all the time, I need to make it easy so that I’m not losing things, I’m not misplacing things. Because I can’t imagine how much time over my lifetime I’ve wasted looking for things. It’s not cool. So this really helps my life a lot.
Basically, here’s what you do. You want to have some box that you like, then you want to think of something that I call the ‘Rule of Three.’ Again, it’s just another stupid rule that I come up with to help ADD mind. But the rule of three helps me remember three simple things that I need every day. I always when I leave the house, in my mind, I do the rule of three. Now I have it here visual for you to show you how to make it visual, because some of us need to even more visual. By this time it’s in my head. But the rule of three is this. I have to when I walk out the door, I have to have my phone, my wallet, and my keys. If I forget any one of those three things, something bad’s gonna happen. Like I need those things every day. So basically, this is what I do the rule of three. And this is bright, it’s got huge font on it, you know, make it visual for yourself so that you don’t forget. So that when you’re walking out the door, you can look at it and be like, “Oh, do I have this, this and this?” Now your rule of three may have different things. Your rule of three might have something like your lunch, your backpack, turning off the lights, turning off electricity that’s dangerous. What are the things that you need to remember? Mine are phone, wallet, and keys. But what are yours?
Now in this box are some other things as well. You want to keep this in a really easy place, by the front door, by your bedroom door, somewhere easy where you’re going to see it all the time because I depend on this box. This helps my life. But once you get it there, what are you going to put? Well, I’m going to show you my actual box and what I actually put in it. Here’s what we got. Ready? 1) Gum, keep it in here. 2) Glasses cleaners because they often need to clean my glasses, so if I’m running out the door and I need to clean my glasses, or I need to take this with me, boom it’s there 3) extra glasse, why? Because I lose glasses. 4) Next, anything and everything that has to do with money. So basically, credit cards, gift cards, your wallet. I’m a minimalist, this is the most minimalist wallet I could ever find. So, pocket change, anything that ever has to do with money I put in here. Anything that I might need on daily basis. 5) I actually keep a pad and a pen. Why? My brain is not reliable to remember things. So I have a sharpie and if I think of something when I’m leaving the door, I better write this down right now, jot it down, stick this in my pocket, take it with me. 6) Guess what else I need? Sunglasses. Don’t wanna lose my sunglasses. 7) Keys. Like I said, for me, the rule of three is phone, wallet, keys. So now we have keys, I have extra keys of everything. I have two car keys and two house keys. I have house keys hidden so that if I get locked out. So what do you need? 8) I also have my headphones because I use those. 9) I also have earplugs because noises frankly annoy me sometimes. And sometimes I wear these, and I cut them so that they’re short, they’re tiny earplugs, but I wear these sometimes just in normal, everyday life. But definitely when things get really loud and intense I will use these. 10) And then last but not least, I have the change in here, right. That’s everything for my box. Last but not least for me, I keep guitar picks in there because I play guitar. If I’m running out the house, I grab my guitar and I forget my pick, then that’s really bad and that frustrates me as well. So I just want to go over this with you really quick.
By the way, I think I mentioned. My name is Seth Perler with SethPerler.com. There’s a lot of freebies there, a lot of content. If you like what I’m doing, give it a thumbs up, subscribe, and leave a comment. Here’s what I want to know. When you’re going through the same thing, and you’re forgetful and you’re always forgetting stuff and it’s frustrating you. If you had to do a rule of three, what are the three things that you would put on your rule of three, or what are other things that you would keep by the door that other people might not think of? So you can help people by giving some of your suggestions. What are some things that I might even keep in mind? What can we do? So go ahead in the comments and leave those ideas right there, and any other thoughts you want, feel free to do that stuff. That’s all I got for you. Please support my work and have a fantastic day. Take care.
Masks!! In the rule of 3 box.
Kathleen Jermaine says
This is why people carry purses or backpacks, etc. which can be left by the door of an obvious spot that you see as you leave the house and those three things live in there all the time. For those who only use their clothing pockets, using a box works.
Susan Evans says
When I first read your rule of 3 I thought you were going to talk about using the “wallet” feature on your iPhone so you never get caught without your money! Phone/Wallet!
Any way I do this at home (I have a key basket and now my husband almost never loses his keys and wallet anymore, plus it makes it easier for us to share the keys.
I like your rule of 3. We also keep masks, hand sanitizer, and tissues in our box by the door because 2021.
My”mantra” before I leave for work is keys, phone, cup (I have a Yeti type cup I like to drink my water and soda from).
Aliza Green says
I am a coach based in toronto Canada. I love your work and often share your name with a students and parents and teachers. This is a great tool. My question/challenge is that I often run up against are student who won’t accept that they are forgetful and could use a tool like this. They still think they “should” remember all their stuff. And often their parents want me to “improve” their memory.
Lou Lloyd-Zannini says
Not sure if this will help, but when folks resist organizers because they want to “improve their memory,” I respond with “Organizers help you build a habit, which helps you improve your memory.”
Usually I can get them off the dime, but if they don’t move, and come back with the same complaint (about forgetting stuff), I simply loop back to “Organizers help you build a habit…”
It might take a few returns to the starting line, but eventually they get it.
Sarah Lang says
Do you take the whole box with you or just grab out what you need on the way out the door?
“Phone Keys Wallet Mask!” works for everyone in the family. We have a ‘phone counter’ for all phones & charging (no phones in bedrooms at night), and designated areas for each person’s daily backpack/lunch/shoes etc.
cheryl woods says
I love this idea! I have walked right past my car keys hanging on the back door so a bright box is a great idea for me. For my 7 yr. old son, I would add a comb. He never remember to comb his hair. Thanks Seth.