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Index Tabs

filing tabs
Multi tasking on my mind

If I could have three wishes and I couldn’t wish for more wishes and I also couldn’t wish for money, I think I’d wish for index tabs first.

Not the kind that go on file folders, or tabs for my browser which I usually have too many of anyway, but ones that could be placed on different jobs and activities to remind me that I’ve started something that needs finishing.

Yes, I suppose I could just start a file folder and have it full of notes that tell me what I’ve started and where I’m at on all those things, but really, we all know it would be out of date, missing things, and probably misplaced within a day.

What I need …

I need virtual tabs that attach themselves to the actual job and glow or buzz or both whenever I walk by or enter a room or even maybe text me when I’ve left them undone for too long.

Actually, that would be cool, if they just made my phone ring like a to do list or a calendar app does.

And yes, I use both a to do list app and a calendar app on my phone, but I need to remember to enter things into those apps, and then when I’m notified that it is time to do those things, I need to not just shut off the notification with every intention of doing the task and then being distracted by another task and forgetting.

Sounds impossible, yes?

Well it isn’t, but it’s sure as hell not easy. It requires repetition and determination, and even then I slip up.

There was a time, before my diagnosis, when I constructed a mental process that used five cache spots in my memory. I identified them by number, and kept the five most current activities in them.

As you might well imagine, it was exhausting work.

Oddly enough

It seemed to work, though five cache spots was pretty ambitious.

I don’t recall ever having five things I was working on held in my memory at once, and rarely was I successful trying to manage four, but if I could keep the list down to three, there was a chance that I might finish one of them.

The novelty of it paid off …

Because it was an unusual approach to things, this attempting to be conscious of my tasks all at once, it actually worked … sort of, and for a while … a short one.

Eventually it wasn’t so novel. Eventually it was a bit of a burden. Eventually I took to writing down the tasks I was working on to give my aching mind a rest from incessantly repeating the tasks to myself and fearing that I would forget.

And eventually I lost my list and ended up doing other things instead.


These days I work hard at getting one thing done at a time.

And I’m not as successful at that as I wish I were, but I’m not as stressed as I was with the “cache RAM” method of multi-tasking.

The point is that if you can come up with your own mental index tabs, they help a lot in brief situations.

Like when you feel overwhelmed. Give it a try.

Index Tabs

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2019). Index Tabs. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from


Last updated: 22 Jan 2019
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