How ADHD Affects Getting Organized: Part 3

by Lisa Woodruff

Apr 15, 2016 | Episode 96 | n/a

In How ADHD Affects Getting Organized: Part 1, and Part 2, I laid the ground work for today's post.

I shared that I am not an ADHD expert. I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or doctor. I am a teacher, mom, and professional organizer who is willing to share with you what I have learned so you can do your own research and try what has worked for my clients and see if it works for you.

In this post, I will be sharing how ADHD affects the executive functioning skills of self monitoring and task initiation.

In other words, I am definitively answering the question...

How do I get started?!

Self Monitoring | How ADHD affects the executive functioning skills of task initiation and self monitoring.

How ADHD affects the executive functioning skill of self monitoring.

Here is why you need to self monitor in relation to getting your home organized.

What is self monitoring?

Self monitoring is the ability to monitor one's own performance and to measure it against some standard of what is needed or expected.

Don't skip over this one. :) - Yes, I know you. 

Self monitoring is KEY to keeping you focused and motivated. When you can self monitor, you can see how far you have come and be less overwhelmed with how far you need to go.

See, its important. :)

This is a big one for perfectionists as well. Watch the standard to which you are comparing yourself. I often say I am a functional organizer, not a Pinterest organizer. My solutions work, but don't usually end up in magazines.

Focus on getting organized, not becoming Martha Stewart.

This is also why you see very few DIY projects here. My focus is getting you organized, not creating organizational projects and works of art.

Of course, you can do all that and take your organization to the next level, just get to the first level of organization first. :)

Action steps to improving your self monitoring as it relates to home organization.

1. Post before and after pictures in the Organize 365 Facebook Group.

You will be amazed how many suggestions you can get when you are stuck, and the encouragement and praise you will get for each accomplishment.

Honestly. The community aspect will get you going and keep you going.

And the best part - YOU will inspire others to share and give them ideas, too!

2. When you are frustrated, go look at your before pictures!

See how far you have come!

Task Initiation | How ADHD affects the executive functioning skills of task initiation and self monitoring.

How ADHD affects the executive functioning skill of task initiation. {AKA - getting started}

Here is why you need to be able to initiate tasks in relation to getting your home organized.

What is task initiation?

Task initiation is the ability to begin a task or activity and to independently generate ideas, responses, or problem-solving strategies.

OK, this is a biggie. There are quite a few reasons why you have trouble with task initiation. If this is a struggle for you, the podcast goes into a bunch of examples I couldn't possibly type out here.


First, task initiation is the combination of knowing how to start and sustaining your focus to finish a task. 

Honestly, if this is your struggle you may like my blog and podcast, but you still can't START. I know, SO frustrating! My words make sense, but you aren't making progress. WHY?!

It is because now you have TOO MUCH information. I hear all the time about how my podcasts and posts are changing people's mindset about getting organized. They have even had SOME successes, but they just can't get started.

If this is you... you need information AS you need it, not all at once.

This is why the Mastermind Community is working so well. I am making adjustments to this program for the relaunch in August just for you.

The 100 Day Home Organization Program incorporates all the strategies I would use in the classroom to help students who struggled with task initiation:

1. Daily 15 minute challenges.

This is the key. If you are following along in the 40 week challenge, but still struggling to get started, you have too much information. The weekly checklists with 7 specific 15 minute tasks are priceless.

Instead of "cleaning out your pantry," I tell you to go through all your cereal and breakfast foods. The next day go through all your cans, etc.

You ca sign up to try a sample week here.

Note - ADHD, or no ADHD, women in the survival stage of life don't have the time to decide what to to next. They are seeing AMAZING success with the 15 minute daily challenges.

2. Delegate the decisions to me. 

When you were a student, you didn't worry about whether the teacher was going to cover the whole math curriculum for the year, you just did the next problems she assigned, right?

The 40 Weeks 1 Whole House Challenge does just that. Follow along at your own pace, or join the Mastermind Community next August when we start over again and delegate the order you organize your house to me. :)

Note - In the Fall 2016 40 Weeks 1 Whole House Challenge, there will be a few modifications. I will be moving all child organization posts to their own challenge this summer and adding a few rooms the challenge missed, like the primary bedroom. :)

3. The private Mastermind Facebook Community provides more accountability, encouragement, and personal feedback than the larger Organize 365 Facebook Group.

There is just something about signing up and working together as a group to get your house organized. In the Mastermind group, I provide a weekly video (like a teacher lesson), the daily 15 minute tasks are posted daily, and just like a teacher, I check in and comment on all the posts posted.

It really is like a classroom. :)

Action steps to improving your task initiation as it relates to home organization.

  1. Join the 100 Day Home Organization Community  Register here.
  2. Hire a professional organizer to give you a jump start. If you are in the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio area, we'd love to help.