Updated: Aug 8, 2022
A part of having ADHD that is tough for some, including myself, are the routines and rituals most 9-5er's live by. From when "normal" people wake up, to what is on their desk waiting for them at work, it is all the same. Brush teeth, get dressed, call cab, get coffee, open desktop email, calm down upset co-worker, rearrange meetings, begin daily calls, and boom! groundhog day 762 continued in full effect.. This attitude seems to spark intrigue and doubt in people when they hear I am a Professional Organizer. (If you think that's funny, I used to be an accountant, a 9-5er if you will). But anyway, the same of something is too much for people with ADHD to attend to, hence attention deficit. THE WHY? This is why I do what I do with 110%. I've outlined some key info to help understand ways myself & other people with ADHD have been able to manage our ADHD. I hope you all find this helpful if you either deal with ADHD yourself or have someone in your life who does, or maybe just to educate yourself about your new Organizer. ;)
Tackling to do lists: Questions to ask yourself
1. Is this a task or a project? Is this a specific doable task that you can do at one place and one time? Or is this a project, which is a series of specific doable tasks? This is a very common mistake people make confusing the two. You can’t do a project; you can only do a task.
2. If it’s a project, the first thing to do is to break it down into individual doable tasks. This is crucial, and often overlooked. Start a different projects ta da list for later itemization & detail.
3. How much energy and preparation will the tasks take? What do I estimate my total time for the task to be? What materials do I need to gather, etc? If its not doable today, add reminder for tomorrow or add to projects list.
Tackling to do lists: Time Tips
1. SET TIMERS what ever time you think it will take you, cut it in half & set alarm- start working. After alarm buzzes, reevaluate your energy level. Look at the amount you have done! Are you tired and at a good stopping place?? Begin tomorrow same routine. IF FOR Maintenance; time suggested: 10-30min vs Original Organizing Task; time suggested in 3-6 hour increments.
2. If not at a good stopping place ask yourself what needs to be completed for you to finish within the hour. Within the allotted time you gave yourself, can you reasonably get the entire task done today? If you push yourself much longer than that, I have found, motivation for continued organization dwindles.
1. Since we don’t have as much dopamine floating around in our brain as non ADHDers and are consequently under-stimulated, ADHD adults seek out jobs that will give them extra stimulation either consciously or unconsciously. This means money is not a meaningful motivator for those with ADHD, they will only do what they deem interesting. Salary numbers may be appealing at first, I have been there, but the reality is, I got bored in every job I had within 2 years. I chose to change careers to something that constantly excited me, consciously.
2. ADHD adults tend to be good at being creative at figuring out how to do things quickly with the least amount of steps possible, especially if it’s something that they’re interested in. My guess is that’s probably the combination of impatience, being able to see things from multiple angles (one advantage of not filtering incoming sensations as much as other people do), and acting impulsively by being willing to try different methods and take risks. I am always seeing what project I can tackle to improve area XYZ in homes around me! And I love seeing everything all the time! Another gift of having ADHD is you’re hyper aware of everything (surroundings, other peoples moods, the family trying to cross a block and a half down at a four-way-stop -sign, AND their dog minding their heal) literally everything.
3. Finding things. I have had so much active practice with this. My friends call me EPS. This is not a joke my friend! Call me 2 months after we work together and ask where the receipt for your sons dentist appointment went- I can tell you with in 5 feet of where it is in your home. If I could guarantee that, I would!!!
Below are before and afters of one rooms' changes over the last 3 years of figuring out what it should actually be. Still, I'm not sure ha! this is part of having ADHD! but the fun part!!!
After Photos (Take 2.5)
After, Take 2
After Take 1