Here is a section from my July 2013 newsletter, The AD/HD Connection: A-Zs to Success
There’s a reason why people have successful businesses as Professional Organizers: many people are not so great at organizing.
And if you have ADD or ADHD and that’s one of your main challenges, hiring a Professional Organizer is highly recommended.
Why? For one, there are costs associated with ‘untreated’ disorganization: stress, anxiety, losing things, taking too long to find things, being late, self-criticism, which can lead to depression, shame or low self-confidence, which can lead to procrastination, or overwhelm, which can lead to disorganization, and so on. The vicious cycle continues… until we decide it’s enough and we consciously choose to do things differently.
Sometimes we need to allow for enough disorganization that it drives us so crazy we finally become motivated enough to do something about it. Have you ever said, “OMG, I can’t stand this mess another minute!” and somehow, you found ways to avoid cleaning it up?
How much longer will you kid yourself into thinking that one day you’ll ‘feel like’ organizing everything, do it, and then everything will be organized?
Newsflash: You will never feel like doing it.
Personally, it seems more realistic to think of organization as a verb, as in an ongoing process.
5 Step Process to Becoming Better Organized
1. Decide on what’s a priority to organize and dedicate a short, doable (for you) amount of time each day (15, 20 or 30 minutes) to just organizing that one thing or area (i.e. a work space, living area of the house, files or bills, or anything that you know would make life easier if it was better organized). Maybe it’s in the morning to print out and review your schedule for that day, or at night for the next day.
2. Know you won’t be in the mood, and just do it anyway. (choose a time of day when your energy or mood is naturally at its best and most creative or productive)
3. Set up your environment for success (turn off electronic distractions, play music you enjoy, use a timer that alerts you at the end of the time, light a scented candle..).
4. Do this for 21 consecutive days (the average time it takes for a new habit to be established) and notice what happens. What does that one small act bring up as far as emotion, resistance, etc.?
5. Find someone you can tell or check in with each day that you did it (friend, coach, etc.).
For many, one of the gifts of having ADD is creativity and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. And ADD or not, we all have ideas of what a well-organized person, house, car, office, etc, looks like, or should look like. However, because what works for someone else may not be what works for you, comparing yourself with others is not helpful.
Is there any way you can imagine that someone can have AD/HD AND be organized? If not, that belief may be part of what’s holding you back, and that’s why Cognitive Behavioral Coaching can help. If you want to learn more, call me.