Special Circumstances that Impact Your Organization

by Lisa Woodruff

Jun 19, 2020 | Episode 340 | 37:08

The Organize 365 Story – Part 8

This is part 8 of a series sharing the Organize 365 Story. I want to talk with you about some special circumstances that impact your organizational journey. As always, I start with helping you to get the right mindset about home organization. I want to give you the ability to look at your life circumstances and understand the ways in which they are impacting your organization. Getting your thoughts and mindset ordered is vital to ordering your physical spaces. I want to share with you some life circumstances and talk about how they affect your thinking and your organizing work. This week, I want to share some special circumstances you may face in order to help the Organize 365 community to have a shared vocabulary and foundational language.

No matter when you begin your transformational journey (or when you need to reset or restart), this information will be here as a reference for you. Listen in as I teach you about how I special circumstances and their impact on organization. These ideas are at the core of everything I teach and how I approach organizing and will help you take those first steps towards learning the skills of organization in order to progress along your transformational journey. 

 

Unexpected Events

I started Organize 365 in 2012. Since then, I have developed many theories on organizing. The things I have found that work specifically for different age groups and stages of life. I strive to teach you the skills of organizing and increasing productivity for work, home, parenting, and any of your other life roles. However, in life, we experience unexpected events that alter our journey to organization. These are things that happen and are unexpected in terms of timing and how we react to them. I have shared many of the unexpected events in my own life – I have experienced infertility, became an adoptive mom, had my parents divorce when I was in my 30’s, walked with my father as he became ill and passed away, became the executor of my father’s estate, and now I am safe at home during the global pandemic of COVID-19 in 2020. 

The COVID pandemic initially left me feeling shocked and was completely disconcerting. I am normally a very flexible and adaptable person, but in March, I was unable to plan. Information would change rapidly, I was having unexpected feelings of fear (and even panic), and I was taking frequent naps to cope. In May, I was growing used to not knowing what the “new normal” would look like, but I was ready to start making plans. I have adjusted – I am not making a 5 year plan, but I am able to plan and execute some short term projects. In fact, we are close to launching a new website, Organize 365 is hiring, and we have a new product to announce (SOON!).

Every life will face some unexpected events. I am going to share a few in detail below, but the principles for surviving (and even thriving) through these events are the same.

 

Warrior Mama

In any parenting situation, there is not a smooth path. Every child and parent match up is unique. I deeply believe that each parent and child relationship is matched purposefully for the benefit of all. You parenting style and your child’s unique need is matched exactly the way it is supposed to be. Both of my children had special needs as they were growing up, and our family resources (time, money, and energy) were spent helping our kids become successful adults. Along the way, I grew as a Warrior Mama. When I call myself a MAMA – it stands for Managing All Medical Alternatives. I became an expert in supplements, therapy, and alternative treatments in order to best advocate for my children. In the podcast, you can hear some of my stories about vitamin research and supplements that I researched in order to help my children’s behaviors.

Organize 365 offers a Warrior Mama IEP Binder to help you if you are facing the unexpected event of caring for a child with a special need as they progress through school. This binder is focused on helping you keep the educational advocacy paperwork organized for your child. If your child has significant medical needs, a Medical Binder is likely to be more helpful. And, some children will benefit from having both, especially if their needs are highly complex. 

As a Warrior Mama, I have learned a few things – 

You were put here to be the MAMA for your child. I have walked this path too, and I am here to support you and help you stay organized so you can best help your child. 

 

How ADHD Affects Home Organization

Both of my children attended Springer School and Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a language learning and disability school with a very small classroom size. A large proportion of the students at this school have ADHD and it was one of the best sources for me to learn about how ADHD affects learning. As a parent of a Springer student, I learned about executive functioning and how to support my children as they matured so they could grow their executive functioning skills. Executive function skills are the self-management skills that are used to help get things done. No person has perfect executive functioning, and many of these skills can be learned over time with effort.

One of the things I learned from Springer is that ADHD is a disorder of time. For people with ADHD, time passes differently – sometimes it is hard to focus and other times there is a hyperfocus. People with ADHD (kids and adults) can learn to do anything. Sometimes it takes longer to complete a task. Sometimes it takes longer to learn the skills. Sometimes skills are acquired later in life. But, organization and executive functioning are learnable skills.

I wrote the book How ADHD Affects Home Organization: Understanding the Role of the 8 Key Executive Functions of the Mind to help adults understand how the brain works and to find strategies that actually work for helping you get (and stay) organized. The book deep dives into 6 of the 8 executive functions and what they look like when applied to organizing the inside of your home. You can listen to Podcast Episode 174 where I share more about the book. There are many studies about the impact of ADHD on work and school, but there is little about maintaining a home. The home environment has less structure and accountability, and can be a bigger challenge. I share how you can learn to create structure and supports to help you learn the skills of getting organized. 

For more information about How ADHD Affects Getting Organized you can refer to Podcast Episodes 94, 95, 96, and 97.

5 Steps to Getting Organized with ADHD is Podcast 98

I have an ADHD Organization Q&A in Podcast  Episode 309.

 

Organizing with Chronic Illness – Spoon Theory

Back when I was doing in home professional organizing, I would sometimes get called to help a person who did not have the physical stamina and energy to get organized. Chronic illness (and other physical limitations) can create circumstances where you physically cannot get organized independently. In Podcast Episode 244, I share what I have learned about Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory. Spoon Theory is a way to understand that we are each blessed with different levels of energy and physical capacity.

When working from a place of limited spoons, it is important to manage your energy level. Everyone can learn to be organized, but we are not all starting with the same amount of energy for completing the physical tasks of getting organized. How you spend your spoons, and what you spend your spoons on is a very important decision. You do not have to do all of the tasks when getting organized. You can ask for help, hire help, or do a less than perfect job. There is always a way to maximize the energy you have to make a difference in your home and life. I want to encourage you to start with your mindset. Focus on using your spoons to do the most important work that only you can do. Find what is uniquely the essence of you and spend your energy doing that. Let other people do the things that anyone can do. Understand what is important and prioritize that. 

 

Thank you!

Thank you for taking this 8 week journey with me through the Organize 365 story. I have so enjoyed diving deep into these 8 podcasts on the Organize 365 story and building a place where people can come to learn the Lisa Lingo and to understand the principles that are at the core of Organize 365. 

The most important parts of this journey are gathered together at the Lisa Glossary where you can go to learn more about different Lisa Lingo and find all of the podcasts for this series in one place.