View Full Version : Staying Organized/ Finding Consistency


Jamiraquai08
01-03-17, 04:30 AM
Hello all. I don't frequent this place, but I browse maybe bi-yearly. Thought I would try it. I doubt I have to explain my organization issues to everyone here so I'll just move on.

I googled: how to stay organized with adhd

And it comes up with this list from psychcentral:

Use a planner.
Use eye-catching materials.
Keep tasks straight with spiral notebooks.
Have a “brain dump.”
Bank online.
Forget your appointment time.
Sort items using a five-box method.
Purge excess possessions — ruthlessly.

Isn't this a list of stuff for how anyone can GET organized? I try so many gimmicks to fooling myself into staying consistent with anything in my life and it falls apart. It gets very obsessive for 3-5 days and falls off.

The only thing that has ever moderately worked for me is to make going to the gym #1 priority and often times everything else falls into place. It's still not an entirely usable consistency.

Any advice?

Little Nut
01-03-17, 01:21 PM
Hey Jam, Gonna guess you are here because you're concerned that you have ADHD issues. What you have posted are ways that involve just you, getting more productive or manage your time better. If you do suffer from ADHD I think you will need more than just yourself to effectively address the associated shortcomings/problems.

I'm a list guy. Start at 10,000 ft and work to ground level. (IOW General desires to specific actions/tasks.) List of goals w/ priorities timelines. Break these down to specific tasks w/ associated timelines and priorities. You may need an intermediate list depending on time frames. Then work the lists. Planners (hard and soft) facilitate this approach. Review your process from time-to-time to assess effectiveness and any needed changes. HTH, -LN

ToneTone
01-05-17, 12:57 PM
Yes, that is very ironic and I found also to be true: the stuff that highly organized people do is stuff that is helpful for me with my ADHD.

The big revelation for me is that a lot of highly organized people literally take time to think of what would make their lives easier. They use organization for convenience ... not to be good people or just to be organized for organized sake.

I have also noticed that a lot of highly organized people give themselves A LOT of reminders about upcoming tasks ... The hardest thing for me to do (that organized people seem to do so well) is to accurately estimate how long a task will take. I either overestimate the time or underestimate it.

I got papers to sign from a lawyer I hired to handle for deceased brother's estate. Lawyer called a few weeks after I got the papers to ask for me to sign them. I was in the middle of another task ... When I finaly got down to the work, it took 5 MINUTES to do ... I could have done that right away ...

Anyway, I'm always asking organized folks about their systems. And the key for ADHD is to keep everything simple. Be ruthlessly realistic about what you can and cannot do.

Tone

WDJ1975
01-21-17, 07:24 PM
Hello. I'm new here posting but have read the forums for awhile. I was diagnosed with "severe" ADHD recently after years of struggling. This thread resonated with me because organization for me is at the center of most of my problems (career never reaching potential due to not completing tasks, forgetting, etc and the host of other things in our lives greatly impacted by this).

I've had long periods where a fitness routine helped discipline me in all areas but then I become obsessive with that and everything else slips back to chaos. I just started Vyvanse this week and have enough small change to get a little excited.

On organization I find if I can get up early and plan out that day on paper and then follow it step by step I do better but I go through battles in my head of finding the "perfect" system. Paper, electronic, planner...yada, yada! Interested in more examples of those that have found combinations of tools and practices that have helped them complete tasks, projects and commitments.

StudyTimeGM
01-25-17, 07:08 PM
Hello. I'm new here posting but have read the forums for awhile. I was diagnosed with "severe" ADHD recently after years of struggling. This thread resonated with me because organization for me is at the center of most of my problems (career never reaching potential due to not completing tasks, forgetting, etc and the host of other things in our lives greatly impacted by this).

I've had long periods where a fitness routine helped discipline me in all areas but then I become obsessive with that and everything else slips back to chaos. I just started Vyvanse this week and have enough small change to get a little excited.

On organization I find if I can get up early and plan out that day on paper and then follow it step by step I do better but I go through battles in my head of finding the "perfect" system. Paper, electronic, planner...yada, yada! Interested in more examples of those that have found combinations of tools and practices that have helped them complete tasks, projects and commitments.

I don't have ADHD, but being organized has never been a great strength of mine. I have also tried a lot of tools/methods for keeping things organized and having reminders etc. Some that I've tried and liked:


https://workflowy.com/- very simple format, just uses bullet points to create lists. Helps to keep lots of notes and not worry about saving it in the right place...easy to move things around, and can access/edit via phone/offline. Good if you like simplicity and no clutter.



Lately I've been trying Google Keep (https://keep.google.com/). I find myself using it more for personal To-Dos I need to get to eventually. I think reminders can be set on individual tasks or list.



At work, one method that was suggested to me that I tried for a bit was taking tasks and putting them into a calendar, with a set amount of time to work on it, as well as with a reminder. For example, instead of just having a to-do list with "Revise project presentation slides" and a due date, block off a section of time (e.g. 30 minutes, an hour...whatever works for you and your schedule) in your calendar to "Revise project presentation slides" and have a reminder set up. You could even break it into smaller chunks, e.g. "Revise first 3 slides" etc. This requires a little more effort to set up, and you need to be good about sticking to the times. The idea is that it will block the time on your calendar so that you can focus on it / not have people schedule meetings during that time.



Also, for work emails/requests, I use the 4-D method to categorize into 1 of 4 buckets - Do it (e.g. reply or do what is requested in the email), Delegate it to someone else, Delay it, or Delete it . You can also just archive rather than delete.



If you are not a fan of using a bunch of folders, one method is to create an "Archive" folder and just put every email in there after reading it. If you need to find it later, just use search. Also...I had a manager that had a "Reply" folder, where she stuck emails she needed to reply to, and would do it later.



For personal emails, I like Google Inbox - it's clean and simple, allows easy archiving of emails, and you can easily "snooze" an email to come back at a later time if you don't need to deal with it now but want to later. Easy to set up reminders as well, that can be seen in your inbox.


I've also tried Evernote and Trello, but they didn't work for me as well as they have for others...but Evernote was quite a while ago, so it could be worth a revisit.

Throw into the mix paper-based To-Do lists. Sometimes it's just easier to write and track...but I've found a balance between using paper for certain types of To-Dos (short-term vs long-term) and/or transferring certain types to electronic lists. Every now and then I tend to try something different...so it's still an ongoing process :D