by Rebecca Trammell, TBI Survivor

Being an organized individual was always a strong suit for me and among other positive qualities, they are not absent, just simply harder to access. Our brains are organized, complex, and structured. As babies, we quickly learned that crying brought a human face to notice us, or worse, we could cry and no one came. From that moment, our brains began developing pathways for connection may now be severed or misaligned. The most basic of brain tasks, making a connection, is no longer intact and is in need of being redeveloped.

How do I redevelop one of my basic skills, organization? Rather than making lists, losing them, using sticky notes, and losing them, I fell back onto one my favorite old-school tools, dry erase boards. Dry erase boards keep thoughts, lists for the store, daily tasks, weight, all kinds of things. My self-imposed rule is that nothing on my boards can be erased until completed. For shopping, I take a picture of my list, using my phone and then I have a record that can be deleted, or saved for reflection.

My smartphone has a “calendar” program that is helpful. I set-up routine daily tasks (ie., taking medication) by using the repeat function. The calendar has reminder alerts I set for two hours and one prior, which in turn helps me plan my getting dressed time. The color coding effect on my calendar is also organized: Green – Money; Red – Urgent; Yellow – TBI Support Groups. My phone also has an “alarm” app which I use to remind to take breaks and prepare meals and I have the “do not disturb” function that stops any incoming alerts from 9pm to 6:45am the following morning.

By using available tools on small, routine, items I have begun creating a new path for organization in my mind.