Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be very debilitating in extreme cases, especially when untreated. On the other hand, the symptoms of ADHD may be brought under control with the help of certain medications and therapy.
In many instances, individuals with ADHD need some help staying organized, be it at school, work or in their personal lives and here are some tips to help both children and adults with ADHD overcome their impulsiveness and get organized.
Organization Tips for Children and Adults with ADHD
The typical characteristics associated with ADHD include an extremely impulsive behavior, lack of attention and hyperactivity, especially in children. All these characteristics together make it difficult for these individuals to stay organized in their lives.
Diagnosed with ADHD or not, a little bit of organization has never hurt anyone.
Organization tips for adults with ADHD:
- Carry sticky notes so that in case you have to leave a task in the middle, reading or knitting, for instance, you can leave a note to yourself saying where you need to pick up when you get back to it.
- Avoid taking up multiple high-priority projects simultaneously because people with ADHD would stress out just thinking of juggling different things together.
- Try to organize your paperwork under broader categories, to avoid getting carried away with too many divisions. For instance, instead of having multiple folders for each of your utilities, have one broad one called “Utilities” and create subfolders if required for water, electricity, etc.
- Try to get to your mailbox every day so that you don’t accumulate too much mail and make sure you sort it out soon, to avoid letting the junk mail pile up.
- Organize your closet with complete outfits, including accessories so that you can grab and go in the mornings. Make sure you have seasonal cleaning sessions so that your closet does not get too cluttered.
- Always add reminders for prescription renewal dates and give yourself an extra week so that you don’t run out of medications.
- Have a brief to-do list for your chores so that you don’t get overwhelmed by longer ones that feel never-ending.
- Have a deadline for decision-making because most people with ADHD have a tough time making up their mind even for simple things like what gift to buy for their significant other or what to cook for a dinner party. With a deadline, you’ll force yourself to make the decision within that time.
- Make time to socialize; be it at a book club, a yoga class or dinner with friends.
Tips for children with ADHD to get organized:
- Have a set routine for them every day and make sure they stick to it unless there is an exceptional situation. Place the schedule in a common area like the kitchen, where people can make changes to it when required. Give the child ample notice before changes are made so that they can prepare for it.
- Make it a habit to arrange everyday things like shoes, backpacks, toys, etc. in the same place. Moving it around can create chaos and clutter.
- Use organizers to sort out homework, assignments, etc. so that you can also keep track of school-related work.
- Write out simple rules like brush your teeth before going to bed or take the dog for a walk before dinner, etc. because kids with ADHD tend to follow rules. Don’t forget to compliment your child for the successful completion of tasks.
The most important aspect of being organized is to have a set routine for everything, from waking up to meal planning, getting to work and going to bed. Once this routine is in place, it might become slightly easier for individuals with ADHD to have more control over their everyday activities.
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml
Kolberg, J. (2018, May 18). 33 ADHD-Friendly Ways to Get Organized. Retrieved from https://www.additudemag.com/how-to-get-organized-with-adhd/