Don’t let ADHD stop you from getting things done and or keeping clutter under control. Use these helpful hacks to improve your organizational abilities.
1. Start Every Day with a To Do List
It helps to keep all your major appointments, deadlines, and other responsibilities or activities on one calendar that you can refer to for long-term scheduling purposes. But managing your time on a day-to-day basis is just as important. To help with this task, start every day by making a new to do list. This is a great way to make sure you stay on track with your schedule on a granular level.
Have a notepad or whiteboard specifically dedicated for your daily to do lists. If you prefer tech tools, try an app like Asana to keep everything organized. Then, use these tips to make your list as effective as possible:
- Arrange tasks in order of importance.
- Assign times to list items and set timers to stay on schedule.
- Break big tasks into smaller actions.
- Cross off each task as you complete it.
2. Create a Launch Pad in Your Home
The concept of the launch pad is popular in home design. This feature should be located near the door that you use when leaving and returning to your home. Its purpose is to create a dedicated area for all the things you need to take with you when you leave the house, such as keys, wallets, jackets, umbrellas and other accessories. This serves two purposes. First, it prevents essential items from getting lost in other areas of the house. And second, it helps you remember what you need to take with you every time you walk out the door.
People with ADHD can really benefit from this home feature. It’s easy to create a launch pad by simply placing a side table or a few hooks in the space near the door. Add baskets or trays to help contain small items. Once you get into the habit of using your new launch pad, you’ll spend less time looking for lost belongings, which will also help you avoid running late for important meetings and events.
3. Divide Rooms into Zones
When clutter accumulates, a common setback for people with ADHD is feeling too overwhelmed to even start tidying up. But the good news is that you don’t have to clean everything at once. Instead, you can divide the room into zones or categories to help break the task down into smaller chunks.
If you want to try the zone approach, pick an area of the room (such as the floor or a tabletop) and only tidy up what’s there. Once that’s done, you can decide if you’d like to tackle another area now or wait until a little later, but this gets the organizing process started.
For the category approach, you can use this video by KC Davis for inspiration. As someone with ADD, she understands that feeling overwhelmed by a mess can lead to task paralysis. To combat this, she cleans a room by placing all items into one of five categories:
- Things with a place
- Things without a place
Tidy each category in order, doing just the minimum to get the room to a place that’s “livable.” Avoid leaving the room to do things like take out the trash or start a load of laundry since these activities can serve as distractions. Instead, focus just on tidying up and see how much you can get done in a short amount of time.
4. Get Rid of Unnecessary Items
Practicing minimalism can be one of the best ways to improve your organizational abilities. Clutter creates distraction, so it only makes sense to pare down your belongings if possible. When a room has fewer objects in it, you’ll likely find that in addition to being less prone to messes, it’s also a more soothing space to be in.
Start going through your home one room at a time to look for things that are unnecessary. Have one bag designated for items to throw away, another for donations, and a third for things you’d like to keep but could store out of sight. Once you’re done going through the space, quickly take care of the trash and donate boxes.
For the third box, consider how you could hold on to important items without having them be a part of the visual clutter in your space every day. For example, you might have some souvenirs or photos that are meaningful to you but that don’t need to be on display at all times. Set aside a special box for keepsakes that you can store under a bed or couch and only get out when you want to go through them.
5. Set Reminders
Part of staying organized is staying on top of your schedule. With ADHD, it’s so easy to get caught up in one activity and forget about other things that you need to do. Plus, there are the ongoing things that you need to remember, like birthdays and social events.
If you want to get your schedule more organized, set reminders for yourself. There are lots of apps that can help with this, and it works even better if you link it up with a digital calendar. Rather than just assuming you’ll just remember to do something, set a reminder as soon as you think of it. Later on, you may have completely forgotten about the task you needed to do (prepare for a work meeting, call your sibling on their birthday, pick up milk from the store, etc.), but the reminder will get you back on track.
If you have ADHD, using these types of tactics can help you stay organized in your personal and professional life. In addition, making sure you have a good treatment plan in place can help to minimize your ADHD symptoms. Contact Done to learn about our convenient online ADHD treatment options.