ADHD can present challenges when it comes to getting and staying organized. Whether you are downsizing, going through menopause, away at college, or helping a kid with ADHD get organized, it’s important to work with ADHD – and not against it – to organize your life. Here are 10 tips for organizing with ADHD:
Set up a consistent routine:
Establish a predictable schedule to help you stay on track and reduce distractions. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, and plan your day around specific times for work, meals, and other activities. Consistent routines become habits. Help your child build and stick to a routine. Building morning, afternoon, and evening routines is the ticket to having a successful day and remembering everything that has to be done. You will see that children thrive on routine.
Use a planner:
Write down important dates, deadlines, and appointments in a planner or calendar. Consider using a color-coding system to help you quickly identify different types of tasks. It can get tricky as kids get older to find the balance between helping them learn how to manage time on their own, and managing their time for them. Using tools like calendars, schedules, and checklists is a very effective way to remind your child of their routines, commitments, and tasks. Check out this Morning_Afternoon Checklist for Kids that one of our team member’s uses with her children.
Break tasks down into smaller steps:
Large tasks can be overwhelming, so try to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. Then make sure you acknowledge small progress benchmarks. This will help you with staying motivated, having fun, and with feeling a sense of accomplishment as you complete each step. This sense of accomplishment is what helps to propel you into the next task needed in order to complete the project.
Use visual cues:
This tip in the list of 10 tips for organizing with ADHD, should consist of something bright or eye-catching. Post-it notes, sticky reminders, and other visual cues are the way to go to help you remember important information. While there are some great ways to make yourself visual cues, post-it notes are one of the organizing products we love most. Use them for pretty much anything and everything from marking important pages in a book or labeling items in a sort, to reminding you of upcoming tasks. They are our go to when we need to remember something and need to use a visual cue to remember it. Kids love them, too – and they are wonderful to use when organizing with kids.
Create designated spaces:
Assign a specific place for each item in your home or office. This can help you find what you need quickly and prevent clutter from building up. A launch pad is a simple and efficient space that helps maintain and contain all that comes in or goes out of your home. We especially find it useful for families. Whether for extracurricular school activities such as sports equipment, or just for getting out the door for an evening walk, a launch pad is the key to helping your child get in the habit of leaving home without forgetting anything.
Get rid of unnecessary items:
Clearing out items that you no longer need or use can help reduce clutter and make it easier to stay organized. Research shows that the more decisions you have to make, the less energy you have for doing other things. When kids have fewer things to play with, they actually play better! Simplifying choices and reducing distractions allows children to play with what they have for longer periods of time with more focus and creativity. As an added bonus of having less items, putting things away becomes less of a hassle. Clean-up time doesn’t have to be a battle, and having less stuff helps! Here are some tips for decluttering with your kids.
Use your phone or a reminder app to set alerts for important tasks or appointments. This can help you stay on track and avoid forgetting important deadlines. Setting alarms can also help you to fight against hyperfocus. Read more about setting reminders in this ADDITUDE article by Judith Kohlberg, author of Conquering Chronic Disorganization, with tips for how to get organized with ADHD.
Make a list of tasks in order of importance. This can help you stay focused on what’s most important and avoid getting sidetracked by less important tasks. Distractions, loss of focus, getting tired, becoming discouraged – and so many more emotions, feelings, and interruptions can stall you from completing a project. Prioritizing tasks will help you work towards completing the goals you set and staying motived to complete those goals.
It’s important to give yourself regular breaks throughout the day. This can help you stay focused and avoid burnout. Think outside the box and use your breaks to continue to fuel your progress. If you have children that you are helping complete spring cleaning projects or homework, be creative with how you take breaks. In this blogpost on tips to establish a homework station, snacks are a great way – with any age – to structure breaks .
Fidget toys are the best:
Here are some great fidget toys for adults and kids to check out. If you or your child needs to fidget, fidget! There are some really fun fidget toys out there that will help everyone focus. Try playing with one the next time you need to sit, stay focused, and pay attention. They are the best thing ever!
To learn more and share your helpful tips, or add more to these 10 tips for organizing with ADHD, be sure to checkout our Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook.