Setting Holiday Priorities

 

Manage your expectations.

During the month of November we are overwhelmed with holiday shopping, invitations, holiday meals, cookie exchanges and gifts to purchase. Without pausing, immediately we think we must do all of this.  If we are intentional, we can decide rather than react to the incoming information and activities. Gather your thoughts and your family to start planning what is really important. Managing our expectations means we can create the schedule and create calm for ourselves.

Choose your top three choices.

What do you and your family find most meaningful throughout the holidays? That could be seeing family, going to religious services, seeing holiday lights, or staying in to watch a holiday movie. Write these down and put a check next to each as family share their thoughts. Order your priorities from most to least important, and ask your family members to do the same.

 

Determine your “no” proposition.

Decide on what your “no’s” are and what to say to decline. It can be a simple statement that your calendar is already full. Being prepared to say no makes this easier to be true to your priorities.

 

It’s easier to make decisions with good self-care.

Happy Holidays Where All Is Calm, All Is Bright

happy holidays where all is calm and all is bright for those with adhd

Holiday gifting, meal planning and travel all require executive function skills with planning and execution. Because of this, holidays can be anything but calm and bright for those with ADHD.  Use these eleven holiday reminders to keep merry all season long.

Start with a list

An overtaxed working memory is the flaw of ADHD. Why tax it more during the holidays when you can make a list?  While your lists may have lists, it is the best way to manage all you have to do for the holiday season. Once you have the list, be sure to prioritize. Taking things off the list keeps you from having too much to do and too little time.

 

Prioritize with a calendar

Your calendar is your guide to holiday fun. Get organized with a family calendar month at a glance calendar posted where everyone can see it.  Meet together for a family meeting to capture all the details.

 

Decide what NOT to do this holiday season.

Edit your holiday activities by prioritizing. Rate what were the best moments and worthy of repeating this year. If this is the year to let go of mailing or emailing cards or limit special activities, take something off your activity list.

 

Delay additional activities to January

Window washing, room renovations, and any other big or small projects can be delayed to after the holidays. Having your home company ready can mean hiring a cleaning service to help you.

 

Bring on extra help

There is too much to do during the holidays and so many ways to get extra help. Hire teens who want to gift wrap to earn extra money, getting curbside delivery, and having outside help hang your exterior decorations are all ways to get help. You earn extra time to do other tasks this way too.

 

Do a little decluttering

Before holiday gifts arrive, take one hour to declutter in the kitchen, toy room and closet.  Give everyone in your family a bag and have them declutter what is not used or loved. Drop these off at local philanthropies right away. Taking the time to have less in a space will free up your home when gifts come in.

 

Streamline your gifting

Editing your holiday gift list is a first step to streamlining. Next, find ways to share meaningful gifts with a variety of similar items, such as books, gift certificates, or homemade treats. The same applies to hostess gifts with holiday hand soaps, coffee pods, and flowers.

 

Make it joyful

Listen to your favorite holiday playlist throughout the holiday season. Music brings us joy and lightens our loads.

 

Enjoy the outdoors

Get out and exercise, take a walk at night to see the lights and get moving. Brains work best when you exercise and exercise lowers stress.

Take time for you

When we are most stressed and there is less time, that is the most important time to be sure we take care of ourselves. That is setting aside time for a walk, bath, early bedtime,  or nap.

 

Try just one of these eleven ADHD friendly tips to have a calm and joyful holiday season. Give yourself the opportunity to do less and enjoy more.

Virtual Workshop and Support Group Conquer Your Planner

 

 

Conquer Your Planner

Virtual Workshop and Support Group for Individuals with ADHD

 

Have you purchased multiple planners and are not sure what works best for you? Might you have missed an event because you did not look at your planner? Do you want to learn to use your planner more effectively?

Planner choices can be overwhelming because these come in a variety of styles in either digital or paper format. There are routines to implement to use your planner effectively.

 

Join our Virtual Workshop and Support Group for Individuals with ADHD. This fee-based group is the starting point for creating solutions for successfully using your planner and making lists.

  • The Virtual Workshop and Support Group meets for four one-hour weekly sessions to learn planner skills and get support for organizing your time and tasks.
  • We will meet in a small group setting by logging into Zoom on your device.
  • At each weekly meeting there will be skill building instruction and personal organizing time. I will share skills and concepts. We discuss which planner to purchase and why at the first meeting.  Starting with the 2nd meeting, you will bring your planner to capture all information, enter dates and times, use lists to assign tasks, and plan ahead for projects and goals.

 

Meeting Logistics

  • Meetings are held online through Zoom link. You can join from a smart phone, smart device or computer. Simply click on the link to join.
  • January 2022 is the perfect time to start fresh! Meeting dates are Mondays, January 24, then February 7,14 and 21
  • Meeting times are 7- 8 pm central time.
  • At our first meeting we will discuss planner styles, personal strengths and different planner options. If you are looking for a planner, I will share recommendations. Or bring your existing planner.
  • Cost is $100 for the four sessions.
  • Group size is limited to 10 attendees. Join today!

 

Register by January 21, 2022
For information and to register, call 281.360.3928 or email edelap@professional-organizer.com

Holiday Organizing Made Easy

holiday made easy

Hybrid Work Productivity Strategies for ADHD

hybrid work strategies for adhd

 

The only things we can count on right now is change at home and at work. That is the current situation with working from home and working at the office.  There is an evolving hybrid work plan in most companies with days at home and days in the office.  As the uncertainty continues, start planning now for your organizing and productivity in  hybrid work spaces.

 

Tools of the trade

Start with trusted tools for your work, at home, office or hybrid. Your access to these tools ensures your success regardless of the location. Good organization makes it easy to transition between work spaces.

  • Pick a planner that works for you. You may choose digital as the way to go with planners and documents.  Thanks to Microsoft we can access Outlook in the cloud and on multiple devices. It’s easy to access online wherever you are and have alerts pop up on your devices as reminders. With Google and gmail, there is a suite of options available to assist you with planning your time and managing your resources.  If a paper planner is what is best for you, the Planner Pad gives you options for yearly, monthly, and weekly scheduling. There is space for notes and strategies for list making. You can add a TUL notebook for extra notes.
  • Create multiple sets of organizing supplies needed for work. That includes cords, chargers, pencils or any other supply you use frequently. Having these in both work spaces eliminates frustration and helps you get started on your work. A well established set up helps you get started on work.  If you need an additional set in your car that can help too!
  • Choose a work bag with compartments. One compartment is dedicated to your device, another to supplies, another to cords and chargers. Keep it compact and easy to carry. Use your setting up time as a an initiation strategy for work. Be sure to pack you bag each night in preparation for your transition to the office.

Managing projects

If you have lists of lists, it is time to think about a project management tool. Whatever the tool, it has to be easy to capture and categorize tasks. There are strategies like Getting Things Done with categorized lists or Kanban with To Do, Doing and Done. Asana, Trello and Click Up are digital tools to create and categorize tasks.  Whichever tool you choose, your frequency of use and agility with the tool make the difference.

 

 

Managing time and energy

The more you use your planner, the more productive you will be. It is your guide for work. Add every event consistently and use your Weekly Planning Time effectively.  Use your weekly planning time to assess in what space you will be most productive given the work that week. The variety of spaces can be a bonus in productivity. Add a 30 minute recap time each evening to be sure you have added dates and information that came via email, text and other communication.

It seems like the amount of time we have and the speed at which things are happening are changing. This change feels unsettling. Have you notice how everything, from school drop off to meeting times, take longer?  Take this information and add extra time for this and transition time into your schedule.  Be sure you have accounted for the extra steps that we don’t remember like parking your car and walking to the office.

 

Managing communications

There is a greater need for empathy as hybrid work unfolds. Everyone is “going through something” right now and that empathy will help support you and those around you. Take extra steps to share how things are today, since every day is very different right now. Expect that some days you are going to need Plan B and C to feel productive.

Your home and office teams are going to need more support with general communication. Now is the time that family meetings are especially valuable. As things change so do responsibilities at home. Be sure your home team works well together by creating partnerships. Take extra steps to communicate goals and deadlines with easy to use visual tools such as charts. Be sure to include deliverables, responsible parties and deadlines.  Share these frequently to help your colleagues  manage deadlines and work in chunks.

 

Incorporating self care

Transitions create evolving self care. The bandwidth you have depends on the self care you do. Continued self care will help you through this transition and other changes that are coming daily.  Be sure to calendar in the time you end the day and the days you will take off for vacation.  If possible, give yourself the gift of one day to have no plan or time line.

 

Your mobility is a positive for energy and productivity. Your agility is an asset as you move between spaces to use the energy of that space to get work done. Being organized helps with high energy, positivity and productivity. It is all a work in progress as we transition, find patterns and look at new ways to be productive in multiple environments.  Most importantly give yourself time to adjust and ample self care.

Healthy ADHD Habits and Exercise Routines

healthy adhd habits and exercise routines

 

Research has long shown that exercise and physical activity have a strong positive impact on the brain and for areas related to ADHD.  Exercise boosts executive function, attention and working memory.  So what is it that keeps us from regular exercise?  It is getting organized and creating better habits to incorporate exercise and movement into our daily lives. Creating new habits can be daunting. The consistency of habits are the most difficult. Think of all the ways to incorporate exercise that can engage you in multiple positive ways. Check out these many ways to incorporate exercise habits.

Use transition time for self care

Early in the day or early evening can be good times for self care. These are when other transitions occur, such as dropping off kids at school or coming home from work. Use this existing transition as a time for exercise.

 

Creating rules that reinforce goals

You can start exercising with small changes to what you already do. Make rules that enforce your commitment. These rules can be park farther away from the store to walk a longer distance when shopping.  Take the stairs when possible instead of an elevator. Walk to the farther bathroom in your home and office.  Any of these strategies accomplish the goal of walking more steps in a day.

 

Track your success

Our devices have built in trackers for us to acknowledge our success. You can see how many steps you walk in a day on any of these devices. Make it a goal to walk 10k a day from just your usual activities. Look each evening at your step count before you place your devices in the common charging area. Aim to improve rather than set a lofty goal.

 

Make it fun

Have you longed to go kayaking or play pickleball? Start a new exercise routine that includes competitive sports or games. This is especially valuable for brain health as you are learning a new skill and physical activity.

 

Buddy up

Work out as a family, join a Pilates class, or join a fitness group. There are many ways that people are partnering to get more exercise and create connections. As hybrid work continues, there are exercises groups continuing that started during the pandemic.

 

Start or continue with a challenging sport

Technically difficult sports have technical movements that include an array of brain areas that control balance, timing, sequencing, and concentration. These sports include ballet, martial arts, white water rafting, and gymnastics. As an athlete of a challenging sport, you are both overcoming symptoms of ADHD and building coordination.

 

Mix it up

Make exercise more engaging by having a variety of options. If you belong to a YMCA, you can try a variety of classes. At home you can play basketball or football with your kids, take a walk with your partner, or have a family dance party.  Variety keeps you going, especially if you decide you are tired of one type of exercise.

 

Make the commitment

The moment you realize that you are missing something in your day, you know you are committed to exercise. It’s a game changer for how you feel about your work and your day.

 

Remember its good to experiment

Looking at a variety of options helps you commit to exercise. The habit you are building is the habit of lifetime exercise rather than the rote activity. It’s not that you must be perfect at the routine, you are aiming for small daily commitment to exercise.

 

What is my exercise strategy?  I love my weekly Pilates and my class, as well as my daily walks listening to podcasts. On weekends I hop on my bike with my husband and check out the greenbelts in my neighborhood. When you look forward to this self care time, you love to exercise and work hard to never miss a day.

6 Habits that Productive People with ADHD Use to Get Stuff Done

October is National ADHD Awareness Month.

To “celebrate” this month, I am sharing 4 very important habits for living your best life with ADHD

in 4 blog posts throughout the month.

We think that in order to be more productive we need a new app, digital tool or planner.  The role of habits is often overlooked as a way to get more stuff done. Habits are powerful productivity tools because these bridge the gap to getting started, creating a work flow or finishing up your tasks and projects. Check out these habit productive people use to get stuff done.

 

Write dates and tasks in a planner

Productive people use their planners with skill.  They write all the tasks and dates in their planners to be sure they are accountable for their work. By making it a habit to write stuff down, they are able to work on deep work without having to remember all the details.

 

Work as a team

Team work makes the dream work. Together everyone achieves more. Working as a team, productive people do what they do best and delegate the rest. They are accountable to each other in accomplishing assignments because everyone relies on each other.

 

Get organized just good enough

Productive people organize papers, digital files, and emails just good enough to get your work accomplished.  Being overly organized with complicated systems or not organized enough with distractions can stall you out and prevent getting started. Productive people start a work session with a warm up of getting materials together to get stuff done.

 

Break tasks and projects into manageable chunks

It is overwhelming to see so many tasks and projects ahead, especially if there is a lot do for one project. Productive people break tasks and projects into manageable chunks. They act on one task or step at a time to keep moving forward with work.

 

Set up time blocks for email and administrative tasks

Email becomes a distraction as much as social media.  Administrative tasks are boring and can be neglected.  Productive people set a time block for these tasks throughout the day and week.  They check email just often enough and work from the Two Minute Rule (If the task takes less than two minutes, do it.) Setting up time blocks keeps you from getting distracted and allocates time for what might be missed.

 

Prioritize every list

Lists grow and grow. Productive people know that every list requires prioritizing. That is they choose the three Most Important Tasks each week. They limit the number to three tasks that align with their Quarterly Objectives. Some projects on the list  also move to the “Parking Lot,” waiting for a better time to begin or determine importance. Productive people know that not everything can be done at the same time.

 

Use one of these tips productive people use this week. See how much more productive you can be!

 

Healthy Habits and Morning Routines for ADHD

healthy adhd habits and morning routines

October is National ADHD Awareness Month.

To “celebrate” this month, I am sharing 4 very important habits for living your best life with ADHD

in 4 blog posts throughout the month.

 

Establishing a successful habits and positive morning routines make for a great day! Successful habits are those that are consistent.  A positive morning routines gives you the foundation for a productive day. A smart morning routine consists of a series of habits.

 

Prepare and organize the night before.

A productive day always starts the night before with preparation. Mornings can be less stressful when you are already set up for success.  Being ready to go in the morning means having your backpack or bag packed with everything already stashed in it.

Pro tips to prepare:

  • As your kids get in the door, unload and reload athletic bags and lunch boxes.
  • The final step for homework is to load the backpack and place it by the exit door.
  • Connect your and your kids’ devices to the central charging spot by 8 pm.
  • Everyone do a quick calendar check to be sure there are no surprises the next day.

 

Simplify meal prep.

Easy, quick and on the go food insures good nutrition. Protein is most important for everyone to do their best.

Pro tips to meal prep:

  • Set up a lunch station for your kids to pack their lunches. Use pantry and refrigerator bins to stay organized.
  • Pack lunch primarily the night before. Most items can be grouped together so lunch is all set.
  • Prep breakfast and keep breakfast simple. Breakfast could include healthy fruits and nuts, a smoothie, or a microwave egg bite. Stay away from sugary cereals or carbohydrates.
  • Limit the meal options. Rotate the what is offered rather than give a range of options at a single meal.

 

Build in extra time for your morning routines.

Distractions and sluggishness slow down you and your family in the morning. It is unlikely that everyone in your family is a morning person.  Not to worry – add in extra time for your morning routine.

Pro tips for extra time:

  • Give everyone extra time to get up. Be sure there are multiple alarms set. Use alarms like the Sonic Boom to help wake deep sleepers or use wake up light with Sunrise alarm clocks.
  • Be proactive about time awareness. Allow three times as much time as you think to eat breakfast or get dressed. Work backwards to set time lines for leaving the house to arrive on time at work and school.
  • Take medications immediately upon waking up to kick in as you and your family are getting ready.

 

Set early bedtimes for everyone.

Getting to sleep and getting rest are difficult for those with ADHD. Setting an earlier than required bedtime means you will be prepared to rest regardless of whether you fall asleep quickly.

Pro tips for best rest:

  • Place everyone’s devices in the common charging station earlier than you think.
  • Use a gratitude practice, meditation and prayer before bed as a transition to bedtime.
  • Keep consistent for the time of bedtime each day. You might need to leave early from an event in order to keep consistent.
  • Know what works best for you and your family.

 

Place visual reminders to help your routine.

Hair brush, tooth brush and grooming tools can be strategically placed for everyone to look and feel their best before they leave.

Pro tips for looking your best:

  • Keep your kids’ grooming tools in first floor area to get this done immediately after eating and before leaving.
  • Organize your grooming tools for easy access. That includes make up and hair products for kids and parents.
  • Check lists for grooming, writing on a mirror or post it notes are visual reminders for each step of grooming.

 

Remember what not to do in the morning.

If you have one thing that immediately takes you off track, be sure you eliminate this. Once you go this direction, you know your routine will be off track.

  • Check email
  • Turn on the tv
  • Play a video game

 

Your morning routine will take a bit of work and time to become consistent. Don’t worry if it takes longer than you think. Recognize baby steps and successes for everyone!