I spoke with a woman recently who was had reached her breaking point. She had misplaced her mailbox key in her cluttered apartment. When her mailbox was full the post office simply stopped delivering her mail. Cards went un-received and bills went unpaid. This was the tipping point to a downward spiral of shame.
All of us have special talents and giftings in our lives. Some people are naturally blessed with the gift of organization. Most of us, however, are not. This isn’t something to be ashamed of. Read more
I’ve always loved the Nike tagline, “Just Do It.” The message is clear. If you want something, then stop making excuses and just do it! It’s a positive, inspirational message that cuts through a lot of BS.
For people with ADD, however, “just do it” isn’t always such a positive message. Many of us who had challenges in our youth (and even in our adulthood) have been dismissed and told to “just do it.”
I can’t concentrate on this math homework. “Well you have no problem concentrating on those video games. Just do it!” Read more
Planning is something that adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) have a lot of difficulty with.
So many things in life require planning. Getting organized requires a plan. Doing a project (like a report at work or a paper at school) requires a plan. And time management, especially, requires a plan.
Now before we go any further, let me be really clear about this:
While it's true that ADDers have difficulty planning, this doesn't mean that we can't plan. The problem is that we usually don't think we need a plan! Read more
Here is a guest post from my friend, Addy Bell, over at Well-Ordered Chaos – enjoy!
This week, I tackled one of the most challenging organizational issues for anyone, let alone an adult with ADD.
I did the filing.
That's right. I created a filing system for a couple of years worth of paperwork, and I did it all by myself. I am mighty!
The process was surprisingly emotional. Read more
Happy Spring! This is a great time of year—the days are longer, the colors are brighter, and we tend to have a lot more energy!
It's also the time of year that many of us look around and actually want to get our physical environments in shape…and that means getting rid of clutter!
So many adults with ADD are plagued with clutter. Our desks are covered with papers. Our sinks are full of dishes. Our floors and counters are covered with "stuff."
Where Does Clutter Come From? Read more
When you make a change in your life—presumably to better manage your Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)—what's the hardest part?
If you ask me, the hardest part of making any change is that there is a stage in the process in which you are guaranteed to be uncomfortable.
If change was easy, we'd all be in great shape, get places on time every time, be completely organized, and get along well with every member of our families.
If it was easy to make changes in our lives, we'd all have everything we ever wanted. But life doesn't work that way, does it? Read more
The one ADD management strategy that is guaranteed to make your ADD more manageable is…[drum roll, please]…self-care! Yes, it works for everyone. And small steps lead to really big improvements in this arena.
When I say "self-care," I'm talking about the three basic things that every person (ADD or not) needs to focus on in order to stay healthy and feel good: nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
Let's take a look at why each of these are so important for adults with ADD… Read more
Today I'd like to talk about one way to tackle overwhelm; slowing down.
If you have adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), then you know that slowing down is a hard thing to do. There are so many tasks to accomplish in a day, and so little time to get them done! So your mind goes into high speed, thinking about what you want to accomplish and how you'll manage to do it, and worrying about the fact that getting it all done on any given day seems impossible. As a result, you spend a lot of time stressing out, and very little time enjoying life.
While slowing down is a difficult skill to master, it's essential for good ADD management. Slowing down your speedy brain helps you get into a calm and centered place. Once there, you're in a much better position to manage your stress and get things done. Read more
Do you ever get the feeling that you're overcomplicating things?
There are certainly many important decisions in life that need careful consideration. But people with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) tend to get stuck "carefully considering" even the smallest decisions, like where to keep a new item that you bought, how to spend your day off, or what to order in a restaurant. We can easily over think the simplest of tasks, making them more complicated and stressful than they need to be. Read more
Life at work can be difficult for many people with adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). You may find yourself feeling chronically disorganized and stressed out at the office. Here are 5 quick tips for managing your ADD challenges at work:
1. Manage your stress both in and out of work. Many of you know what I always say about stress: Stress Management = ADD Management! The more stressed out you are, the harder it is to be on time, stay organized, focus, and get along well with others. Read more
For many people with ADD, life at work can be difficult. If your working environment is not ADD-friendly, then you may find yourself feeling chronically disorganized and stressed out at work! Whether or not you choose to share your diagnosis with your employer, the following strategies can help you become more effective at work: Read more
One of the core principles of managing your ADD is learning how to work WITH your ADD, instead of against it. And nowhere is this more important than at work, where the quality of your work often affects your time, your self-esteem, and your finances.(By the way, "work" isn't limited to your job. Housework, yard work, studying, etc. all count as work!)
As adults with ADD, our working styles often differ from those of our peers and colleagues. Our energy levels fluctuate pretty drastically. We get bored easily. We can be a bit less organized. We can get easily overwhelmed, and we can procrastinate like champs.
These, and other personal traits, have to be taken into account when you're working. Otherwise, you end up spinning your wheels and working against your ADD. Read more
You want to get your (actual) butt in shape? Try loading a wheelbarrow with 100 lbs and then pushing it up a steep hill. Then do it a few more times, and repeat the following day. This is what I did over the weekend, as I tried to create a planting bed around my house. It turns out that I am an absolute expert when it comes to gardening the hard way. The last time I worked on the landscape, I planted a few shrubs and thought that I could easily dig up the ground. WRONG. Read more
How many times have you started your day with thoughts of the many things you want to get accomplished, but feeling unsure of where to begin or how to prioritize it all? On days like this, you can find yourself succumbing to overwhelm before you ever leave the house. There is so much to do, and so little time and energy!
For adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), time management is one of the hardest skills to master. Read more
If you're finding yourself procrastinating today, then I've got a great tip that can help you ease into your tasks and manage your time more efficiently. Time management is one of the biggest challenges that adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) face. A lack of time management skills causes significant stress, frustration, and overwhelm. Read more
You may already be composting in the backyard, showering with a low-flow shower-head and installing CFL bulbs in every light fixture but are you efficiently using your biggest resource… your very own built-in natural energy?
Energy – we all have our very own unique cycles of high and low energy. When we sync these cycles to our daily tasks, projects and activities we become more energy efficient and as a result we can get more done in less time with less stress.
Do you spring out of bed at 6:30am raring to start your day or are you more of a night owl, who just begins to really wake up at 10:30pm? Perhaps you're like me, Read more
Do you have one thing on your to-do list that you keep avoiding? You know, that thing that makes you stress-out just a little whenever you think about it. Does it keep transferring over to tomorrow’s list?
You may think “out of sight, out of mind”. You may mistake that slight feeling of relief you experience when you set your mind to putting it off until tomorrow as a stressful situation averted. Read more
Well, the holiday season is officially upon us! And for some adults with ADD, this is the most stressful time of year. Here are a few practical tips for managing your ADD this Thanksgiving (or any holiday.)
1. Know Your Own ADD and Plan Ahead to Deal with It
You know yourself better than anyone, so ask yourself "How does my ADD affect me on the holidays?" Make a list of all the things that tend to stress you out, and make a plan to deal with them.
Here are a few examples: Read more
For the last couple of weeks, I have been under a LOT of stress. Sometimes my coping mechanism consists of spending all my free time in bed with the television and a generous helping of something calorie laden and delicious.
But I found a nice wallet/planner while shopping a few days ago and found that it was just as satisfying, if not more (and a lot less fattening!) to transfer all my addresses and phone numbers from the old one to the new one. Read more
Ever wonder why, if the results of procrastination are so unpleasant, you do it anyway?
Because, for a lot of us, procrastination becomes a way of coping with the emotions and physical symptoms that accompany depression. Like any form of escape, it may bring some temporary relief, but eventually compounds our misery later.
Do you fall into one of these categories of procrastinators? Read more
Having trouble keeping up with things that used to seem easy? Feeling guilty because you just can't seem to handle what you could before? Everyone in this world is disorganized in one way or another, at one time or another, even Professional Organizers (gosh did I just write that). It is true; we all have days and sometimes weeks, when we cannot stay on top of things and our lives get chaotic. The good news – you don’t need to let guilt about it take over your life! There are things that you should be looking at that may be the cause of the problem.
Now these are causes of problems, not excuses that you can use just because you want to procrastinate and not get the job done! Read more
Have you ever noticed that when you're stressed out, it's more difficult to get to your appointments on time? And you tend to forget more things? Like where you put the keys…while you're already running late for that appointment?
And that during times like these, it seems like every traffic light you approach turns red and you're more likely to accidentally spill your drink all over yourself, right before you walk into that appointment? Read more