Almost everyone has to run errands. To me “errands” include grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, going to the library and much more.
Some people have very little trouble getting these things done. But, people with ADHD tend to have a lot more problems with this chore. We forget our coupons and/or what we need from the grocery store. We don’t plan our route and/or forget one of our stops. We don’t give ourselves enough time to get everything done before we must be somewhere else.
If you have any of these problems, something like one of them and/or if you run errands for more than one person, here are some ideas for you:
1. Give yourself extra time! This can range anywhere from starting 15-30 minutes earlier than normal to doubling the amount of time you think you need.
2. Keep something to write on (and with) handy at all times and make lists. List each stop you need to make and what you need to buy, pick-up or drop-off. Many people recommend using an envelope to write your grocery list on and then putting coupons inside the envelope.
3. Take your cell phone and make sure that it has a good charge. This is especially important if you are running errands for someone else.
4. Combine errands. Many grocery stores now have pharmacies, birthday cards, gift wrap and more. If you still need more than one store, try to find a shopping center where you can buy needed items and park between the stores. If you can accomplish most of of your To-Do list in one place or at least in one shopping center, you will save time and gasoline.
5. If you’re running errands for someone else, make sure you ask them to list everything they need. Once you are finished with that list and headed toward their home, do not go back! If they call with one or more additional items, decide if you can purchase them in between where you are and their house but don’t be afraid to tell them no.
6. Reserve one or two days per week for running errands and grocery shopping. Do not go buy bread, milk or prescriptions every day.
7. If you’re new to the town or specific area where you’re traveling, use a map or GPS to arrange your stops in an orderly fashion. Otherwise, look at your list of stops and decide the best route before you start.
Now, if you try some or all of these suggestions and you still have trouble with your errands, remember this: Do NOT berate yourself! Don’t let anyone else put you down either. If you gave something your best effort, then pat yourself on the back and say, “Good job,” or at least, “Good try.” Perhaps you can find someone who will do your errands in exchange for something you can do such as childcare, cleaning, mowing the yard or pet sitting.