6 Tips For Organizing With ADHD

6 Tips For Organizing With ADHD

Organizing your home can feel like climbing a mountain. Adding ADHD to the mix makes it feels like climbing a mountain range. But it doesn’t have to feel that way. Working with a professional organizer gives you a sherpa to guide you across the mountain range to the other side.

Sherpa climbing a sunlit mountain

ADHD Is NOT An Attention Disorder

Dr. Russell Barkley is a clinical psychologist and leading expert in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) studies. He suggests that ADHD is a disorder of executive function rather than attention. Impaired executive function leads to challenges with controlling impulsivity, perceiving consequences, and measuring/using time effectively.

Dr. Barkley suggests six invaluable techniques when dealing with ADHD:

Make mental information physical to accommodate limited working memory

Organizing application: Use signs, charts, and to-do lists

Make time physical to make up for lacking an internal clock

Organizing application: Use clocks, timers, and time minders such as Alexa

Make time a non-issue

Organizing application: Break up lengthy tasks into small steps that can be done over time

Externalize sources of motivation

Organizing application: Give yourself frequent rewards such as 10-minute breaks (use a timer), snacks, accumulate points to earn a massage or other prize, a walk, reading a certain number of pages in a book, etc.

Make problem-solving manual

Organizing application: Before beginning, create broad guidelines that indicate where things belong in your home as well as keep versus discard criteria

Executive system has a limited fuel tank so plan to re-fuel your tank

Organizing application: Refuel with rewards for accomplishments, a self-delivered pep talk, regular aerobic exercise, and keeping blood sugar up by sipping a fluid such as lemonade

Organizing with ADHD is achievable, but it’s critical to recognize the challenges of impaired executive function and have tools ready to overcome those challenges.

Don’t forget to bring the sherpa!

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