Let’s talk about the one thing many of us neuordivergent folks don’t want to talk about…organization.
Growing up with ADHD, I was always the child in school with messiest desk of everyone. Homework assignments were constantly turned in with the papers all wrinkled, things would go missing, it was nightmare.
I have good news though – we can improve.
Today, I’ll be sharing with you my 3 favorite tips on living a more organized life with your unique, neurodivergent brain.
1.) “See the end in the beginning” – Dr. Russel Barkley
“One of the things us ADHDers struggle with according to Dr Barkley and the entirety of my life is seeing the benefit on a regular basis on the things that don’t come easy for us such as organization.”
The truth is, a more organized life can benefit you tremendously. On the subject of focus, a study from Princeton University found that when there was less clutter, participants were more focused in their work environments in comparison to an environment with lots of clutter involved.
When I write an organization task on my non overwhelming to-do list, I like to remind myself of the positive benefit of having completed this task. For example, “I will organize my desk so that I can be more productive and more myself in doing what I love.”
Reminding myself of the benefit here helps me tremendously. Bonus points if you’re writing it down and having a visual reminder of it somewhere.
2.) Small steps daily.
“Overwhelm is no unfamiliar territory for ADHD brains and taking on reorganizing our environments all at once can most certainly influence that.”
One of the best things we can do is take small little steps on a daily basis that will make us feel good and keep us going in the right direction. For me, this shows up in doing a little bit of cleaning each night right before bed, just enough so that it’s visually presentable to me (what matters most here) as us ADHD people are visually organized people.
This can make all the difference in waking up to a less overwhelming environment and kicking off your day in the right note, too.
3.) Seek help.
“Let me say this loud and clear for the folks in the back – THERE’S NO SHAME IN GETTING HELP HERE!”
Let’s be honest, we’re often not naturally organized people. And that’s okay. David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue and also ADHD, talks a lot about how one of the best things he’s ever done is hire an assistant who’s way more orgnanized than he is as he’s self aware that organization is not one of his traits.
While I’m not saying that you have to hire someone, I am saying that it’s a really good idea to reach out to a friend or family member who’s a little more on the cleanly side of things and see if they’ll be willing to help for a clean out day.
Look, at the end of the day, I want you to know that just like anyone else, we can be happy and organized despite the ADHD brains we have.
We just need the right tools and assistance to get there, and it is my hope that this blog post serves as such.
Marc Almodovar has diagnosed ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Upon turning his life around, Marc now coaches ADHD men to live their very best lives, including integrative nutrition.