ADD AND ORGANIZING
Tips, Tricks & Helpful Resources

ADD and organizing 1

GENERAL INFORMATION

ADD and organizing tips may sound awkward or even over-simplified but if you or someone you know has ADD, it is possible to be a bit more organized.

Many people with ADD also struggle with being organized. Organizing tips that generally work for everyone else do not seem to work for those with ADD.

In addition to the tips and tricks on this page, I would recommend spending some time looking for other ways that are compatible with your natural tendencies. Many of the traits of ADD are actually positive when viewed in a different light!  And remember, not every tip or trick works for everyone.

So....

Try these ADD and organizing tips to see what you find useful:


ADD and Organizing
General Tips

The organizing tips below were created based on responses to concerns from those who have been diagnosed with the condition:

  • Organize for reasons that matter to you. People with the ADD do not get inspired by the mundane. They can view organizing with negative ideas attached to it (e.g. tedious, boring, etc.). Find a way to motivate yourself. Find a reason that inspires you to get organized. If you value helping others, think about donating your clothes to a women’s shelter – that outfit might help a battered woman land a job!
  • Fight the tendency to over-commit. Don’t make a new commitment until you’ve identified one you can give up. This will help you keep your commitments to a minimum.
  • Set time limits for decision-making. You probably have trouble making decisions. Give yourself a time frame or budget limit. Limit the information you research on a topic. This will help minimize distractions.  Identify what is most important to you: price, practicality convenience? Focus only on the things that are important to you when making a decision.
  • Take advantage of organizational moments. Take advantage of the spontaneous moment. Clean out your wallet while sitting at a red light. Empty out your car’s glove box when stuck in backed-up traffic. Flip through files and throw out outdated coupons and junk mail while paying your bills.
  • Fight the tendency to hyper focus. If you tend to get lost while absorbed in a project, set an alarm on your computer to remind you with an alert; set a clock or kitchen timer to go off to bring you back to reality. You could ask someone to call you to give you a reminder.
  • Clear as soon as you've cluttered. Don’t view clean up as something you do separately. It can be something you dread and avoid while things pile up. Straighten up as you go. Hang up your shirt instead of tossing it on the bed or the bottom of the closet.  Perform a clean sweep when inspired (and ask others to help). By doing this more regularly and with someone, it’s a more user-friendly approach that can get and keep you organized and living in a less cluttered environment.  It has the added advantage of clearing your mind for more creativity!
  • Keep your to-do lists brief. Make a list and limit it to no more than 5 items. Use big/bold lettering (get colored Sharpies!). Write your list on a colorful index card and post it on the Fridge. Once those five things are completed, rinse-and-repeat -- create a new list
  • Find a Chore Chum. Have a friend or family member come over and help you tackle the mundane/routine chores (checkbook balancing, reviewing financial statements, etc.)
  • Join an ADD support group. They provide much more than emotional support. You can even do it online!

  • ADD and Organizing
    Helpful Organizing Activity Planner

    A Franklin Planner is just too much for the majority of people with ADD/ADHD. That's why a simple ADD organizing planners, activity planner or a letter folder planner can help. They are simple, creative and a much less expensive way to help manage your activities.  See details below.


    ADD and organizing 4

    ADD and Organizing
    Letter Folder Organizer

    Supplies:

    • 2” X 2”Post-It Notes (get fun colors and/or shapes)
    • Scissors
    • Colorful letter-size folders
    • Colorful sharpies

    Directions:

    1. Get out your favorite color folder and open it.
    2. Mark one side as a your daily "To-Do" list
    3. Divide the other side into 2 equal sections
    4. Mark the upper one as "Need to Accomplish" section
    5. Mark the lower half as "Completed"
    6. Write down everything you can think of that you need to accomplish during the next week.
    7. Only do one week at a time
    8. Use one Post-It per item (Color code them if you feel inclined -- Pink/Personal; Blue/Auto; Green/Financial, etc.)
    9. Place all of them under the "Need to Accomplish" section
    10. Add to it as you think of things that need to be done
    11. Move the things you decide you want to do first into the daily "To-Do" section
    12. Once the task is accomplished, move it to the "Completed" section
    13. You can find fun pictures to help you visualize – cut them out and place them with the Post-It


    ADD and organizing 5

    ADD and Organizing
    Bulletin Board Organizer

    Same idea as letter folders idea above, only utilizing a bulletin board:

    Supplies:

    • 2” X 2” Post-It Notes (get fun colors and/or shapes)
    • Scissors
    • Bulletin Board
    • Colorful sharpies

    Directions:

    1. Divide your bulletin board in half
    2. Mark one half as your daily "To Do" list
    3. Divide the other side into 2 equal sections
    4. Mark the upper one as the "Need to Accomplish"
    5. Mark the lower half as "Completed"
    6. Write down everything you can think of that you need to accomplish during the next week.
    7. Only do one week at a time
    8. Use one Post-It per item (Optional: Color code them if you feel inclined -- Pink = Personal; Blue = Auto; Green = Financial, etc.)
    9. Place all of them under the "Need to Accomplish" section
    10. Add to it as you think of things that need to be done
    11. Move the things you decide you want to do first into the daily "To Do" section
    12. Once the task is accomplished, move it to the "Completed" section
    13. You can find fun pictures to help you visualize – cut them out and place them with the Post-It

    ADD and organizing 6

    ADD and Organizing
    White Board Organizer

    Same idea as letter folder and bulletin board ideas above, only utilizing a white board instead:

    Supplies:

    • 2” X 2” Post-It Notes (get fun colors and/or shapes)
    • Scissors
    • White Board
    • Colorful sharpies

    Directions:

    1. Divide your white board in half
    2. Mark one half as your daily "To Do" list
    3. Divide the other side into 2 equal sections
    4. Mark the upper one as "Need to Accomplish"
    5. Mark the lower half as "Completed"
    6. Write down everything you can think of that you need to accomplish during the next week.
    7. Only do one week at a time
    8. Use one Post-It per item (Optional: Color code them if you feel inclined -- Pink = Personal; Blue = Auto; Green = Financial, etc.)
    9. Place all of them under the "Need to Accomplish" section
    10. Add to it as you think of things that need to be done
    11. Move the things you decide you want to do first into the daily "To Do" section
    12. Once the task is accomplished, move it to the "Completed" section
    13. You can find fun pictures to help you visualize – cut them out and place them with the Post-It

    NOTE: You could even get one that is magnetic and place it on the refrigerator, stove or filing cabinet!


    LAST THINGS ABOUT
    ADD AND ORGANIZING

    These systems allow you:

    • The flexibility to change your mind and easily
    • Allows you to change your mind
    • Add and subtract from the list at you desire
    • Gives you a visual record of your accomplishments
    • Going through this process will help you get ready for the next day
    • Try to be realistic about what you can achieve on any given day.

    ****

    I hope this information on ADD and organizing was helpful.

    Here are some links to other useful information:

    Web MD information on ADD & Symptoms

    For other helpful information, click Start Here or on one of the links below.


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