How ADHD Affects Getting Organized: Part 4

by Lisa Woodruff

Apr 22, 2016 | Episode 97 | n/a

In How ADHD Affects Getting Organized: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, 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 planning and organization of materials.

Duh. :)

But if you have been following along, you know that if I started with this post and skipped over all the reasons you have trouble getting started, or being able to see different solutions, this post would do you no good. :)

All 8 of the executive functioning tasks of the brain work TOGETHER. Today's post will show you how.

Planning & Prioritizing | How ADHD affects the executive functioning skills of planning, prioritization and organization.

How ADHD affects the executive functioning skill of planning.

Here is why you need some planning in relation to getting your home organized.

What is planning?

Planning is the ability to manage current and future-oriented task demands.

Again, we are back to the concept that the passing of time is really hard for those with ADHD to grasp. And because of that, a 5 minute task will be put off because it feels like it takes an hour, and an hour long task will be attempted to be squeezed into 15 minutes.

One way to work on this skill is to estimate and then write down the actual amount of time tasks take you on your to do list. You may be pleasantly surprised like I was to realize that emptying the dishwasher only took me 4 minutes.

 

Just the act of creating and using a Sunday Basket weekly is training your brain to prioritize tasks.

Action steps to improving your planning as it relates to home organization.

1. Have only ONE place you list to do items. Keeping all your to do's on one list will help you get more done because you won't be searching for where you put your last to do.

2. Learn how long different tasks take you. 10 minutes to change the laundry, 4 minutes to unload the dishwasher, 1 hour to go through the Sunday Basket, 15 minutes to put away all the laundry, 7 minutes to empty and take out the trash.

When I start my series on productivity, knowing these numbers will be the key to getting more out of your day.

3. Plan your first 3 tasks of the day.  To START the process of becoming a master in prioritization, you need consistency. So every night pick the first 3 tasks you will do tomorrow and estimate how long they will take. Then the next day write down how long they each took.

Organization | How ADHD affects the executive functioning skills of planning, prioritization and organization.

How ADHD affects the executive functioning skill of organization of materials.

Here is why you need to be able to organize materials in relation to getting your home organized.

What is organization of materials?

Organization of materials is the ability to impose order on work, play, and storage spaces.

This is what you think of when people say they want to "organize something," but organization of material is more about being able to FIND things and not lose things than putting them in cute containers!

# 1 The number one mistake I see being made over and over by people who struggle in this area is that they keep trying different systems. Stick with ONE system.

Change is your enemy. New is not better! :) Keeping your keys in the same boring spot for 20 years is PERFECT!

In the podcast, I share how in 6th grade I created a school binder system that works for my son. His binder is set up the same way every year. We do NOT change it based on his teachers or classes.

Once you find something that works, KEEP it!

#2 Have LESS stuff. 

Sorry.

It is just easier to keep track of LESS stuff. Keep everything you want in your passion area {cooking, crafting, animals...} and reduce the amount you have everywhere else in your house.

The post/podcast next week will go more in depth about how to do this.

#3 Create routines. 

Having a set way of doing something and a set time to do it every week/month is key. This is why the Sunday Basket works so well. ALL paper goes in the Sunday Basket and it all gets checked EVERY Sunday.

Action steps to improving your organization of materials as it relates to home organization.

1. Have only ONE way to store each thing.

2. Declutter like crazy!

3. Create systems with maintenance built in.