How many calendars do my ADHD and I need?
It is no secret that organisation and planning are rarely considered strong suits for anyone with ADHD. This is extremely accurate for my own brand of ADHD, but I like to make things extra complicated for myself by having multiple calendars with multiple purposes. These are great when I’m focused on that one particular avenue of my life, but are soon forgotten when I pivot to the next!
“But how bad can it be, Ross? Surely it can’t be more than 2 or 3?” I hear you ask…
- My day-to-day work calendar
- My ADHD Hive calendar
- My family calendar
- My calendar for my email address that I’ve had for 16 years that I refuse to give up
- My calendar for my email when I realised that I needed a more “adult” email address
- My calendar for when I’m going to work out (this one is kept just to continue making me feel bad)
Now when all of these calendars are actually working, life runs like clockwork, until I forget to check one and then the whole house of cards falls. I may drop a reminder for myself to write a blog post for ADHD Hive in the evening, where I also booked a dentist appointment on one of my personal calendars, but wait, I confirmed a late work meeting yesterday for today at 5pm! In the moment, of course there’s zero worry that I won’t remember this new booking when I need it, but 2 minutes later, my ADHD already has my brain about 50 thoughts away. In addition to my multi-calendar woes, I also struggle to make time for my routines throughout the day - how is it so hard to find a gap in my day for lunch!
So when I found the Reclaim.ai app, I’m sure my full body sigh was heard across the globe. I realised that I can combine all my calendars into it, syncing my actual availability across each, and that this has the real potential to be the perfect fix for me. I don’t have to check 6 different calendars just to (effectively) make a new appointment, or remember every single responsibility I have for the week. I can merge all of my schedules into one, and even better, block time commitments across each, so instead of getting booked over my dentist appointment, my colleagues will see that I have a “personal commitment” (private default for synced events) so I can get in front of the entire time conflict.
Reclaim is a smart calendar app for Google Calendar, that is actually smart. Instead of everything being rigid when it’s booked, all the time blocks are created as flexible bookings for things like tasks, habits/routines, breaks, and 1:1 meetings.
So if I put time in for lunch every day with a “habit”, I won’t have the scenario where if a meeting is scheduled over this time, that I just won’t have lunch. I just tell Reclaim I want to take my lunch anytime between 12pm - 2pm for 45 minutes every Monday through Friday, and it will find the best time within this window. So my lunch may first be scheduled for 12pm, but if a meeting comes in that lasts until 12.45pm, it will push my lunch out to a later time to make sure that I do actually still eat!
Now there are other functions with it as well such as task prioritisation, smart 1:1 meetings, and buffer time breaks, etc. but I haven’t quite gotten to grips with those yet!
Over the next 3 months I’ve partnered with Reclaim to give an honest opinion on what I think of it and how it helps people with ADHD.
If you want to give it a try and organise your own calendars (yes plural, I know you all have some variation of my chaos!) then give it a shot it’s free as well!
*This post is sponsored by Reclaim.ai. All opinions are my own.