‘Tis the season to start thinking about the upcoming holidays. If you get all worked up like I do, then you’ll love this! I’m excited to share with you a guest article written by my friend and colleague, ADD coach Rhonda Pawlan, MS. Enjoy!

ADD Planning Guide for Thanksgiving

By Rhonda Pawlan, MS (ADD Coach)

If you have ADD, and have decided to offer a Thanksgiving feast at your home this year, here is the way to survive the holiday – and possibly, even enjoy it.

Keep two things in mind — organization is the key, and things do not need to be perfect. Now, let’s move forward with some organizational tips that will help you get on task, and stay on task.

Start with three To Do lists — your House Preparation list, your Shopping List, and finally, the ever important Food Preparation list. Ready to get started?

House Preparation List:

Everything you need to do to get your house ready for guests goes here. This list includes things like – cleaning, straightening, perhaps setting up an additional table or getting out some folding chairs. In addition, you can get out all the dishes and silverware, (whether china or plastic), your serving pieces, and even your cooking utensils, pots, etc.

The best thing about the House Preparation List, is that these are all things you can get done in advance. Even a week in advance is not too soon to start. With so much to do for Thanksgiving, the more you can do ahead of time, the better. And as always, I recommend you assign dates in your calendar for the various tasks.

Shopping List:

Start by deciding what you’d like to serve, with the suggestion that you make reasonable choices. For instance, even though Thanksgiving brings eating to mind, it’s not necessary to go overboard. Are five side dishes truly necessary? Choose what you think appeals to most people., and stick with it. And while I’m on the topic of food choices, consider asking some of your guests to bring something along for the dinner. A side dish, a vegetable, a salad, etc., will make your load a little lighter. Be specific when asking guests to contribute to the meal, so you’ll know exactly what items are coming through the front door.

Your Shopping List may also include, any additional items you need. Some examples might be –- paper plates, napkins, a large tin in which to cook the turkey. Give yourself time to work on the shopping list, in order to avoid last minute trips to the grocery store.

Meal Preparation List:

Write a list of all the food you plan to serve and cook. Keep this list in your kitchen at all times, so you can refer to it – both while cooking, and when serving. The Meal Preparation List should also include the times you need to start preparing each dish. You can only juggle so many things, and ovens, at once. Don’t overload.. Again, make reasonable decisions and allow extra time.   Whatever dishes can be prepared in advance of Thanksgiving, be sure to do.

It all comes down to planning, keeping things as simple as possible, and doing as much as possible in advance.

Things to Remember:

Tasks often take longer than you think they will, so build in extra time for everything you do.

Assign tasks to your spouse and children. You don’t need to do everything yourself.

Neither your house nor the meal must be P-E-R-F-E-K-T. You won’t be able to enjoy family and friends if you’re frazzled. The holiday is not for impressing people, but for enjoying them.

If you follow this plan, all should turn out reasonably well. Or, you could tear up your lists, hire a cleaning crew for your house, and order the entire meal from a grocery or restaurant. Whatever you decide, I wish you a most Happy Thanksgiving!

Rhonda Pawlan, MS is a Board Certified Coach, specializing in ADHD.  She coaches adults and students around the country, helping them to get on track and reach their goals. Contast Rhonda at CoachMeRhonda.com or rhondamar@aol.com

** Do you have a holiday tip to share? Or a funny or horror story? Please share in the Comment section below **