With October being ADHD awareness month, it’s the perfect time to discuss some organizing solutions for ADHD challenges. Time management, being productive, and staying focused are some of the challenges one with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder faces. If you can relate, you are in good company with us because not only do we help clients with ADHD, but we ourselves, yes – some of us professional organizers – have ADHD, too. Whether you have predominantly inattentive ADHD, predominantly hyperactive ADHD, or a combined presentation of the two, here are some solutions for ADHD challenges.
Aim for early.
Are you perpetually late? This can be a particularly challenging recurring scenario between you and your partner if one of you struggles with time management and the other doesn’t. One of our team members has a partner who finally came to understand this and came up with an idea that helped both of them. No matter what the outing, if they are going together, they always plan to arrive 30 minutes early. Setting your goal to get to your destination early is a great solution.
Factor in buffer time.
Factoring in buffer time piggy backs off of aiming to arrive early. During the day everything takes longer than you actually think it will. Allow for extra time.This will help to keep the atmosphere calm when you have time limitations, scheduled events, or to do’s that must be completed. Factoring in extra buffer time will help you to get where you need to go on time and finish what you need to do. For example, factor in extra time into your morning routine so that you are able to put the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher or help your kids complete their morning routine. Extra time will allow buffer time if you get distracted instead of finding yourself in a panic and then the kitchen a disaster zone by the end of the day.
Choose your time of day.
Find the time of day when you are able to focus best and then schedule the tasks that need your most concentration at the times of the day when you are able to focus best. If you are able to focus best before 3:00pm, then aim to schedule all meetings in the morning or at least before early afternoon hours when you are able to focus best. If you know that you struggle with staying focused in the morning, then don’t try to work on a task that needs your focus in the morning. No sense in fighting the time you work best…instead embrace it.
Set a timer and just go.
Do you find yourself often procrastinating? Maybe you have a hard time getting started on projects or tasks that overwhelm you. When you have ADHD, it can be extremely overwhelming to start a daunting task. When you find yourself hesitating, instead of procrastinating, set your timer for 30 minutes and just take a go at your task. You will be surprised at how much of the task you accomplish. Maybe you find your groove and keep going, maybe you do not. However, you have jumped over a big hurdle by jumping into your task and actively working on it for 30 minutes. This is an empowering step towards completing your goal.
Limit your “To-Do” list.
Don’t add a long list of items to your “To-Do” list. This is not reasonable or possible and will just make you even more overwhelmed. Add just one or two items so that you are able to make progress and actually complete them. You can add the rest of the items to another list if you are worried you will forget them, but don’t add them to your “To-Do” list. Being able to complete the couple of items on your list will also empower you and help you to stay focused.
Establish your launch pad.
Do you have a hard time being productive because you constantly can’t find items or remember where you put them? We highly recommend that you establish a launch pad. Organizing your launch pad helps all your comings and goings. It should be the first place you see when you enter your home and the last place you see when you leave your home. A launch pad is the in-between place meant to house anything you will be reaching for constantly like keys, purse, and mail, and store the doggie bags. If you have kids, it’s where their backpacks go and even their sports equipment. Launch pads will help you to get and stay organized.
Body doubling for the win.
In organizing, we have a technique called body doubling and use it to help clients stay grounded and focused on tasks they might otherwise avoid. This involves having someone sit with you engaging in quiet activity like reading, paperwork, or email, near you while you are trying to get work done as well. No one likes to feel like they are all alone doing a dull task while everyone else is having fun. This can be a real game changer!
Add in some background noise.
Do you hear every sound and is everything a distraction? Channel that brain power to focus your energy by putting on some background noise. It may be music, TV, a podcast, audible, or just a fan. Try this the next time you need to get a task completed. Background noise will help you to focus and concentrate on the present task.
Say yes to the need to move.
Why fight it? If you need to move, work with it! Have you tried silly putty or a fidget toy? Here are some great fidget toys you can check out. There are some really fun fidget toys out there that will help you to stay focused. Try playing with one the next time you need to sit, stay focused, and pay attention. They are the best thing ever!
Head over to our Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook for more on solutions for ADHD challenges. Do you have any solutions or challenges to share? We love to hear from you!