Starting the Year with Productive Processes

start the year with productive processes.

 

Almost every task we do routinely can be improved with creating a process. A process it the standard way to do that task, whether it is laundry or email.  These systems and processes are a lot like automation. Doing these repeatedly the same way with the same steps makes for efficiency.

 

Why are processes important, especially in uncertain times? If you focus on processes you use every day, you are always going to feel in control and productive.  Implementing processes is one way of creating and providing consistency. Being consistent is especially difficult for those with ADHD. A process works like a checklist to be sure the right tasks, get done in the right order by the team.

Where you can use processes for those with ADHD.

  • Home: laundry and teaching your family how to use the washer and dry, and how to fold and hang.
  • Home: cleaning any area of your home, how to clean and when to clean.
  • Work: client intake and follow up with an intake form, entry into a CRM, and initial deposit for work.
  • Work: wrap up your work day with a list for tomorrow, closing down your computer and clearing your desk.
  • Home and Work: processing paperwork to determine what to take action on, what to file and how often to file.

Any important home or work responsibility should have a process to complete it.

Starting processes for those with ADHD

  • Begin with one important process that might not be working for you. Identify the steps. Now you have a standard operating procedure which you can share with your team.
  • Start documenting your process and make your documentation visual. Think about a video, chart, graphic or symbols that help you stay on track with the process.
  • Post your process where you can see it.
  • There is always room for improvement. Work through  your process for 2 weeks and tweak as needed. Think about how you can simplify the process too.

 

If processes are sounding a lot like routines, you are right! A routine is a consistent pattern of activity. The best routines are built from processes that work well. Changing the name and perspective on routines can make this easier to accomplish.

 

 

Start the Year with Connection

 

 

starting the year with connections

 

Referred to by Dr. Edward Hallowell as Vitamin C (Connection), being supported and connected makes all the difference for our well being. Research shows that social connection improves physical health, strengthens our immune system and leads to overall longevity. It is easy to lose track of connections with the demands of family and work. Give connections the time and attention needed with these strategies to start the new year.

 

Finding and keeping Connections for ADHD Brains

Feeling overwhelmed creates a barrier between you and friends. It might be difficult to be consistently in contact with friends. Also, sadness and anxiety could have a role in your relationships. All these impact your connections with friends and family.

  • Being inattentive to a friend or family member can be hurtful. Be present, listen and mirror back conversations to show you are tuned in and present.
  • Notice if you are interrupting during conversations and pause before interjecting a story.
  • Set time aside to be with friends with making plans and writing it on your calendar.
  • Following through with commitments is an important part of any relationship. Use your best tools to be sure you are on time, at the right location, to meet and spent time together.

Quick and easy tips for ADHD Brains

  • Keep a list of birthdays in your planner to send a quick happy birthday text to friends and family.
  • Call to check in if you have a moment between meetings or when you are driving between appointments.
  • Share a quote, article or meme in a text to a friend.
  • Offer a sincere compliment to a colleague in a meeting.
  • Share a podcast you love.
  • Write a quick note and mail a card sharing how much you are thinking of that person.

Maintaining friendships and relationships

  • Communication is important. Find a way to stay in contact that suits both you and your friend.
  • Keep a healthy sense of boundaries in your relationships. Know when you have spent too much time together and need a short break.
  • Your self care is always a high priority. If your friendships prevent this, reassess the commitment.

 

Creating and maintaining meaningful relationships are well worth the effort and the time.

Starting the Year with Self Care

Start the year with time for self care

No matter how busy you are, time for self care is an important priority.  It is easy to overlook and requires scheduling and routines. Make this intentional care taking that ensures you are at your best.

 

There are five types of self care to consider. Keep in mind your physical, social, mental, emotional and spiritual care. We must take care of our bodies to stay well. Keeping connected is important to our well being. Being mentally sharp and our mental perspective influence our psychological well-being. Nurturing our spirit through spirituality keeps us connected to purpose and meaning. Maintaining and cultivating coping skills  to deal with the many emotions we experience are part of our emotional self care. Think about these many types and where you fit on the continuum of each. Assess your needs and determine small steps to move forward in one of these areas.

 

Self care tips for those with ADHD

  • Start with a great night’s rest. Neurodiverse brains work best with adequate rest. Don’t compromise your well being for an hour of television, games or TikTok.
  • Food is fuel. Protein is important for energy and productivity. Include protein in every meal.
  • Partner with a buddy for exercise. That includes a class, a walk or youtube.
  • Intentionally set a daily time for self care. You may feel too busy to do this, however this is what keeps you productive and your best self.
  • Write a list of what self care is to you and post it where you can see it. You are reinforcing this intention.

Get started with these easy self care routines for those with ADHD.

  • Automate your meal prep by tapping into meal kits like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron or HEB Meal Simple. Order on the same day each week and prep on Sunday.
  • Keep a list with a variety of ways to exercise each week. Exercise is more interesting with variety.
  • Find activities to stimulate your interest and your brain including crossword puzzles, Sudoku or puzzles.
  • Create connection by sending texts or written notes to friends. Small gestures are important touch points.
  • Find a coach or counselor to help you process emotions and experiences.

 

With these self care tips, determine which areas of your life need more or less of something. As we experience uncertainty and go through life changes. these needs change too.

 

Starting 2022 Clutter-Free

 

GO Month 2022

 

Starting the year clutter free gives you the opportunity to live your best life throughout the year. During the last year, you may have purchased too much stuff, paper may have become overwhelming, and you may have lost track of our planner. There are many feelings that come into play with too much clutter, and you may have experienced sadness, hopelessness or being weighed down. Decluttering is the best path to empower you and help you accomplish your daily tasks and your yearlong goals. To move forward, it’s best to release what is not loved, used, or needed. If you are bogged down with paper, learn what you need to keep and shred the rest.

Decluttering tips for ADHD Brains

  • Keep a bag or box in the laundry room to drop in clothes are are ready to donate.
  • Set a 10 minute reset time to get started on organizing. Bring items together that have been distributed throughout your home together. Decide on what to keep once things are together.
  • Gather your family and send them off to their rooms with a plastic bag to let go of what they don’t need or love.
  • Write an appointment with yourself in your planner to declutter.
  • Work during your high energy time to declutter. If you are a night owl, bag up and place in the car right away that evening.

Donation tips for ADHD Brains

  • Give to a charity you feel most connected to and make this your “why” to let go.
  • Give to a person who helps you regularly, like your cleaning person or lawn person.
  • Ask a friend to partner with you and together donate together on a Saturday.
  • Use the donation boxes located in parking lots.

 

Get started with these “no decisions items” to let go.

  • Extra paper and plastic bags
  • Magazines, catalogs and newspapers
  • Out of date and unused electronics
  • Additional linens and bedding

 

Learn more here from my professional organizing colleagues!

Productivity Trends for 2021 and the Future

 

trends and future

 

Even though we are living in uncertain times, there are trends emerging. These organizing and productivity trends started during the pandemic and are taking shape to have a big impact on us and how we get stuff done.   Check out these trends for 2021 and the future.

Remote Work Is Here to Stay

Towards the end of 2021, the hybrid work trend came into being more as the norm. More people had the opportunity to work part time at home and part time at the office. Remote work is here to stay because people can be especially productive in different spaces and with different types of collaboration.  Look to improve your productivity remotely with using trusted tools that work in any space.

 

Freelance Work Is Creating Opportunities for Companies and Workers

The “Great Reshuffle” is giving new opportunities to all who seek meaning in what they do every day and the values of those they work with ongoing. Your strengths and skills open up next steps for you.  Be prepared and organized about how you seek new opportunities in order to give you the best flexibility and opportunity. Keep your new contacts readily accessible on your devices and keep your skills sharp with training.

 

Automation Is the Future

Technology, organizing and productivity have been intertwined for years. There are more apps and automation that make work effortless. Data collection and review have become a part of every process. This information helps you determine priorities and focus.  Investing time in automation give you greater income and greater opportunity. Some of these apps include Calendly for meeting clients, Zapier for essential actions in business, and Hootsuite for social media marketing.

 

Healthy Work-Life Balance

Statistics share how work-life balance and relationships are our priorities.  One in five have met their colleagues’ pets or families virtually and one in six (17 percent) have cried with a colleague this year. The new connection to who we are and what we believe in has helped us see what is truly important.  Taking care of ourselves has become critical after difficult times.  Create your own healthy balance using time blocks to get work done and have fun.

 

Lead your industry and business by using these trends. This information will  help you bring more focus to your own work this year and going forward.

Have a Holly Jolly Holiday (With Holiday Self Care)

 

 

 

have a holly jolly holiday with self care

 

The holiday season is filled to the brim with activities and time together.  There’s lots of excitement, not to mention lots of organizing and things to do. Your planning often is about taking care of others and insuring everyone’s happiness. This year we need to practice packing some extra self care with our holiday bags. Check out these ideas to add self care to your holiday planning.

 

Schedule time for self care

It is easy to think, with so much extra to do, when do I have time for self care? Self care is more important during busy times because it is the fuel that keeps you going.  Create self care routines at the same time daily. These priorities can be at the beginning of the day to give you a strong start to each day or at the end of the day to ensure your rest.

 

Keep your gratitude practice going strong

Appreciating the blessings in your life remind us of all that is good and positive.  Whether it is writing a text to a friend, writing in your journal or a note to yourself, keep your practice intact during the holiday season.

 

Acknowledge emotions

During the holidays we experience a range of emotions.  Whether happy, sad, overwhelmed or frenzied, it is good to  name emotions. We can acknowledge what we are experiencing and process this. Give yourself time to pause. Check in with your feelings, acknowledge and sort through the reasons behind these. Manage your expectations and keep these in line with what you can physically and emotionally manage.

 

Keep a list of self care options

When we start down a negative path, we want to have options to make a change. Make your own list of relaxation activities. This can include taking a walk to see holiday lights, sitting down with a hot cup of cocoa, putting on fuzzy slippers for the rest of the day, or any number of soothing activities.

 

Well being first

We all know that our physical wellbeing is critical.  Be sure you keep your health routines like sleep and diet as much as you can. While there are times for a late night and special treats, keeping to your regular bedtime and meals with protein give you the energy and emotional stability you need.

 

It will be a holly jolly holiday in all ways when you take time for your self care.

 

 

 

Holiday Solutions to ADHD challenges

 

Problem: I often purchase gifts at the last minute and send out holiday cards on December 20.

Solution: Write a plan with dates and deadlines. Be specific about what to order and when to order it.

You can begin in October with cards and in November shop for gifts.  Both of these start with having a list. Use last year’s card list and update it in October.  Ask your kids for their Santa lists in November.  Giving yourself one task at a time frees you up to do that task well. Remember that stopping is as important as starting.

 

Problem: There are so many events that happen throughout the month. I find I am double booking and also missing programs I love.

Solution: Establish a command center in your kitchen during the holidays. Use a planner for you and your family’s holiday activities. Set up a specific spot for tickets and invitations.

There are so many options for you during the holidays.  Make a decision on what is most important and write this on the family calendar.  Designate a box, basket or magnet dry erase board to hold holiday invitations and tickets as soon as they arrive. Keep digital tickets in your inbox to use when you attend the event.  If the event requires special attire pull out what you plan to wear on the weekend.

Problem: The holiday dinner is at my house. How will I get it all prepared and ready to eat?

Solution: Get a little or a lot of help with semi-homemade and catered food.

Meal prepping and planning may not be your strong suit.  Get help from family and friends for a pot luck holiday meal. Check out local eateries foods to go for the main proteins in your meal and prep only the side dishes.  Use fancy paper plates so there is less to clean up and more time with family.

 

Problem: I can never find the perfect gift for my family and friends.

Solution: Find gifts and gift cards that share experiences.

Spending time together is the best gift of all.  This year find gift experiences that you and your family will enjoy. Gift cards give your family and friends the opportunity to choose their own special item. This one size fits all approach helps you give a gift with thought and streamline your shopping.

Many families enjoy sharing homemade holiday treats.  If this is what you love to do, invite family and friends over to make a batch of fudge or peanut brittle. You enjoy the time together and they take home a treat.

 

Problem: My holidays are so jam packed I just don’t feel the holiday spirit.

Solution: Set aside time for self care and the one thing that brings you joy this holiday.

With all the things to do and the rush of the season, we feel overwhelmed, over stimulated and under energized. Write your self care on your calendar to be sure you are making yourself a priority at this time of year. Whatever your joy in the season, be sure you have that on your calendar.

 

While there are many more challenges with planning, executing and completing, remember that you can find solutions of all sorts throughout the holiday season.

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.