Hassle free Holidays for Families with ADHD

 

Hassle free holidays for families with adhd

 

Holidays are merry times for families.  For moms, dads, and family members with ADHD, there can be glitches with planning, timing, and finishing up in time for family time together. When it comes to family events, executive function limitations interfere with holidays in the ways we celebrate, the gifts we share and the time we spend with family.  Here are solutions to create hassle free holidays for families with ADHD.

 

Problem: Everything is important during the holidays. What do I do first and when do I do what? It all seems overwhelming.

Holidays can be magical and meaningful with planning. That planning starts with a calendar.  Ask your family about their special family traditions.  It’s tempting to say yes to everything, but the key take away is to limit your plans, decorating and parties. Once your family weights in, be sure all the family has access to the calendar to know the final plans and be a part of the fun.

 

Holiday plans require more time to complete. Start early on all holiday activities. It seems too early to start your holiday planning in October but it is not. For cards, take the photo in October, choose cards and have these printed in early November, and address the cards the week of Thanksgiving.    For gifts, go through your gift closet in October, finalize shopping in November, then mail presents the first week of December.  As you can see, October organizing and planning is key to holiday success. Set a deadlines for each task. A deadline will help you focus your time and energy.

 

Problem: There’s so much to do! How do I do it all?

There is no way to do it all during the holidays.  It’s also not possible to be the only family member decorating, gift giving and baking.  It’s time to look for help. Ask your family to partner with you, working in pairs to accomplish tasks. There’s many ways to get help around you.  There’s on demand delegation. You can find help with online tools to hire extra help at this time of year.  Take the semi-homemade approach and take help where you can get it from pre-cut groceries and delivery services. Ask teens who want to earn money for help with small tasks.  Be open to asking for help and accepting the “not completely perfect” solutions. When you spend extra time on a task, be sure it is valuable enough and worthy of that extra effort.

 

Problem: I can’t find the perfect gift for everyone on my list.

Find creative solutions to gift giving. Rather than many homemade gifts, choose one gift that includes an experience. Keep your gift giving for those who are especially close. Choose a small gift card for those who are service providers. Choose an organizing gift that can help you stay organized all year long. Order online in order to save time and money.  There are many ways to share the joy of gift giving.

 

Problem:  I am worn out before the fun begins.  I want to enjoy the holidays too.

Holidaze sets in early with too much to eat and too little sleep. Holiday fun is diminished with too little self care.  Be sure to keep true to your routines during this busy time of year. It’s easy to pass on the routines when you might miss out on fun.  Routines and self care make sure that you truly enjoy your holidays.

Give yourself the gift of extra self care. Extra self care looks like an afternoon to read your favorite magazine, a soak in the tub with lavender, or an early bed time.  Extra self care pays off in being ready to have fun.

 

Hassle free holidays start with knowing where the hassles begin and how to address these ahead of time.  Knowing your options and resources make a difference for holiday times.

 

What to expect when working with a Professional Organizer when you have ADHD

adhd

 

Starting in the early 2000, I noticed my clients having similar challenges. It was usually a love hate relationship with time, paper and stuff.   That’s when I learned about ADHD.  Since that time, I have been working with clients with ADHD and helping make the changes they want in their lives.   Because of our work together, these clients have started living the life they have imagined.  What is it like for us to work together?

 

What to expect before we meet

My clients reach out through email or phone, bravely taking a first step.  It’s courageous because they have finally recognized how asking for help can make a difference. That courage comes from a deep longing to create systems and routines that have been unnatural for them.

 

When we initially talk or meet, my role is a listener. I am hearing what are the challenges.  I am not judging.  Because our work is non-judgmental, we are from the start creating a trust relationship.

 

It’s common that my clients can feel anxious about our first meeting. Perhaps it is about whether there is “hope” for a solution, or whether there will be judgement, or another feeling.  After we meet, that all changes.

 

What to expect when we meet

Our meetings begin with an assessment. It’s further talk and review of goals, expectations, and ho we will work best together.  There is a lot of verbal processing going on! My clients are talkers, who as they talk, ideas become clear.   We review the process of decluttering, organizing, and maintaining that we will work on together.

 

My clients and I establish a rhythm to our work for decluttering.  Our work always begins with “what to keep and what to let go.”  It’s a conversation at times and it’s a quick sort at times.   If my client gets stuck, at times we put something aside to talk further and at times we keep it for a while. My clients often don’t know what to let go of because it is not clear how much of an item they own.  We gather items together while we are decluttering.  In the end, I bring items to donate to facilitate decluttering.

 

As we organize, my clients and I determine categories together.  There’s grouping, there’s placing, and then there’s products to help.  Many of my clients have lots of products to help us organize. We can place these more effectively together.

 

What to expect after we meet

Organizing is a journey.  It’s not over after our series of meetings.  We discuss what maintenance looks like, how to create routines to maintain and what a maintenance visit together looks like.  These new perspectives on organizing help my clients keep organized. We talk about when we might meet again as needed.

 

What to expect

My clients have recently decided that they want to make a big change.  They have hit a point where the time has come to invest in that change on many levels.

The core of our work together is trust, education, support, and communication.  Knowing how my clients work best and sharing basic knowledge about ADHD are underpinnings of our work together.  My support and establishing a team to support my clients are part of our work together.  Communication, verbal processing, and non-judgemental discussions are elements that move our work together forward.

 

Curious about ADHD and getting organized?  Let’s connect!

 

 

Successful Team Building for your Micro or Small Business

 

successful team building for your business

 

Solopreneurs and small business owners are challenged with getting everything and anything done.  Their productivity hinges on their strengths. We can’t be good at everything!  Having a team approach to productivity makes for success.

 

  • It’s a big daunting how to start building your team.  What’s most critical is defining what your team member(s) will do.  It’s a range of possibilities.  Start with what’s not being done or what you hate to do.  Flush out a system with your new team member to create a process that works.

 

  • There are levels of delegation that make this transition easier.  Start with specific, direct actions and raise the bar to collaborating on decisions.

 

Here are some sample models that have worked for my clients. I have listed the challenges faced and how a team member made the challenge happen.

 

Calling back clients

Client leads were piling up for a small business owner.  She did not have time to return calls, discuss opportunities, or make appointments.  She was in search of a team player who could help her. Where she found help was in a recently graduated long time friend. Together they set up a process for intake.  They practiced this system for a week and added in an online calendaring system.  It was a combination of the human touch and technology that made for a successful team.

 

Reconciling and creating expense reports

All those little receipts that are needed for reconciling and creating expense reports can be overwhelming and disorganized.  Getting help with routine administrative and financial tasks can help your business thrive.  After tasking this job with several different team members, a small business entrepreneur found a single outsource option. By taking a photo, she was able to send receipts to the outsource person.  After that, the business owner met weekly for a check in about the expense report.  Reports were turned in timely and the business owner was thrilled.

 

 

Billing clients

Another small business owner created a successful strategy for billing clients with technology and a team member. Using FreshBooks, the owner tasked only billing to her team member.  With automation, the client could pay online which also eliminated extra steps with banking.  A small addition of technology can pave the way.

 

Setting up a structure for teams

It’s not intuitive for small business owners to set up a structure for team work or communication.  When he started with a new company, the small business owner turned to his trusted entrepreneur guide to help him. This guide established a weekly meeting for the team, created working hours for each team member, and set up a collaborative document for them to share work.  Having a trust guide to delegate to, the small business owner could focus on his most important big picture work.

 

A highly organized business person turned her calendar over to her virtual assistant.  They collaborated through a series of google docs, email, and online calendar.  The calendar was also shared with another team member.  Having a process in place created a team calendar that worked well for getting all the details completed.

 

Finding a productive environment

A small business person struggled with how to be productive in her office. It seemed a little too noisy at the same time.  She invited her assistant to work with her on a routine basis, weekly, while she worked on a project. They worked as a body double, paralleling their work on separate projects. Having a second person in the room helped her be accountable to her own work.

 

Each of these examples of successful team building worked from resourceful, creative and committed collaborations.  Creating an effective process by everyone bringing their best efforts, strengths and skills make successful teams possible.

 

Activate Your Organizing when You have ADHD

Activate your adhd

 

Those with ADHD often feel that they know what to do, it’s more a matter of getting started.  That’s the tricky part with executive function challenges.  It’s about activating.  When you learn there are professional organizers and productivity consultants, you open up a new world to get stuff done.  With ADHD,  you feel there are ways to be more productive and create order in your world.   Here’s a list of why you can activate your organizing when you have ADHD.

 

Non judgmental partnering

Feeling a positive energy without shame is a first step in getting started. Working with a professional, you are creating a trust relationship that leaves judgement behind.  Your professional is your partner in keeping your work moving without remorse of what you are letting go.

 

Being mindful and staying on task

A professional helps you stay in the moment and on the task. Getting distracted by both internal thoughts and external actions can derail organizing for clients with ADHD.  Working together you are focused on the tasks. If you get off track, your professional is guiding you back to your work.

 

Holding the time and keeping you accountable to your goals

Setting a time to work and keeping track of time can be an executive function challenge. Executive function challenges often relate to time distortion, like how long a task can take.  It might feel like it would take forever and your professional can guide you in creating manageable chunks of work time.  By setting a date to work with your professional, you are committing and keeping accountable.

 

Helping make decisions

Getting stuck in making decisions is common for clients with ADHD.  There are many decisions back to back in organizing and it can feel overwhelming.  With your professional, when you are stuck, your professional helps you move forward with gentle questioning.

 

Calming your mind on the organizing journey

Many clients have an overlap with anxiety as well as ADHD.  It’s that feeling that professionals can help the most.  Your professional is reassuring you that you are taking the next steps, making good decisions, and moving forward with your goals.

 

These 5 reasons to get started make for great reasons to contact a professional!

Learning about ADHD, Organizing and Productivity

 

Learning about adhd

October is ADHD Awareness Month.  It’s a time to learn more about neurodiversity, that being that brains work in many different ways.

 

Every story with ADHD is a different story

I work with creative, resourceful, smart people with ADHD. They uses their strengths in different ways given their executive function weaknesses. My clients have created frameworks that help them live purposeful and productive lives. With time, paper, and stuff challenges, they look to what works for them to create solutions. These solutions often include innovative routines and habits incorporated into their days.

 

Support and team work are essential elements

Support is essential for ADHD. That can look like many different things, from professional support to help at home, from every day tasks to those that are big picture. Creating a team engages and enhances productivity. These are well established elements for ADHD success.

 

Keep learning, keep looking for solutions, keep curious

Knowing more about ADHD is important. It’s all about learning. Learning by podcast with Faster than Normal, reading books like ADD Friendly Ways to Organize, or attending the International Conference on ADHD. The more you, your family, your colleagues and teachers know, the more success in living the life you imagine.

 

A new diagnosis of ADHD brings with it the opportunity to learn about neurodiversity, organizing and productivity.  How will this new learning bring new perspectives and new options to you?  Are there ideas to share with your family on ADHD and school this year?  There’s so many ways to learn about organizing and productivity.  Here are some of my favorites!

 

Podcasts

One of my most favorite learning tools is learning by podcast. It’s bite size learning, while listening and doing.  Here are some of my favorites.

Faster than Normal

Getting to Good Enough

ADDitude adhd experts

The Complex

 

Books

Here’s a range of books to read about ADHD. Many are also available in audiobook.

ADD Friendly Ways to Organize

Faster than Normal (yes, it’s a book too!)

ADHD Effect on Marriage

Driven to Distraction

 

Webinars and online

Easy access and always available, webinars and online resources make learning easy.

ADDitudemag.com

ADD.org

CHADD.org

 

Associations

Support looks like many different things.  In each association there are numerous ways to find support for yourself and those around you.

CHADD.org offers support groups as well as online support

ADDA-SR.org offers regional support groups, a variety of seminars and state wide conferences.

International ADHD Conference is hosted by CHADD, ADDA and ADD coaching associations. It’s a once a year ADHD event that brings together experts, research, resources and those with ADHD.

 

Whatever route you take to learn, now is the best time to investigate and invest in resources that support you. Whether you are an adult with ADHD, supporting someone with ADHD, or learning about possibilities for your child, take the leap into learning.

 

On Demand Delegating

on demand delegation

 

Do you often with you had 25 hours in the day, 6 hands or could clone yourself?  It’s often that we are faced with more to do than we have time, skills, resources or energy.  Delegating is a solution for you!  With so many resources on the internet, there’s lots of options to delegate on demand.  Technology offers many options with tools of many kinds.  With all our daily tasks, using delegation can add time to you day.

Successful delegation

What are the keys to successfully delegating? Use your strengths wisely and know where you don’t have skill. Delegate when you have a small incremental task that you especially dislike and do not do well.  It’s also good to delegate when you are not your best at consistency or routines.  You can take advantage of automation for this reason.

Delegate bill paying

Online bill pay is the most frequently used system for delegating. Paying from your bank allows you to use one, consolidated online location for payment.

 

Delegate passwords

In the complex world we live in, everything has a password. Online security is most important. It’s also frustrating as we attempt to access our accounts.  Using a secure password is critical for your safety. While there are many data breaches going on, an online password keeper gives you access to your passwords from any device. Choose one password to access your password keeper.

 

Delegate your To Do List

There are many apps to capture your ideas. There are many Artificial Intelligence capture tools in our world.  The easist to use is your iphone Siri. Siri can capture your thoughts verbally and add them to lists and dates for you.  Next easiest is Google Home and Alexa.  No more worries about forgetting and working memory with these devices.

 

Delegate adminstrative tasks

Administrative tasks, including forms, filing, and more, can often fall to the bottom of your list.  There’s help with online virtual assistants who are skilled at scheduling, research, expenses and data entry (to name just a few areas). Assess what your needs are and connect one of these many options.

 

Delegate errands and tasks

Online grocery and other shopping is just a click away now. Delivery can be set up with your specific schedule. Amazon will deliver supplies with a schedule through the subscription services.  No more running out of toilet paper or paper towels now! With a Subscription List, you have a supply that arrives without fail. Making dinner is much easier with an online grocer list. Repeat the list weekly on the same day to be sure you always have milk at home.

 

More tips here on Productivity! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get more done in 1 hour rather than your 3 hours Reward financial and serenity

How to Simplify Back to School Transition

 

Back to school transition

 

Back. to. school. It’s time when we reset, organize, plan and set new routines.  It’s a transition from lots of free time to structure and deadlines.  Maybe transition is more difficult for you and your family?  We can simplify this transition with these tips.

 

Simple calendars and planners

Families + school time = dates and deadlines. Make it easy for you and your family and a calendar everyone can access. Google calendar is available on all devices to connect families to what’s due when, what needs to be purchased, and when will the parents be available.  Encourage your family to all populate the calendar during your family meeting.

 

Simple labels

Stuff gets lost and families don’t know where stuff goes. Make it easy with a label.  Label school binders, devices, lunch boxes and clothes. Label your pantry where lunch fixings are found.

 

Simple bedtime routines

The age old question of preparation for a shift in bedtimes. Parent ask, “do we start a week out with earlier bedtime or just have the kids crash the first week of school from exhaustion?” Only you know the kiddos in your home best. Take care of yourself with your own earlier bedtime the week before school starts. If you are well rested, everything will be better!

 

Simple laundry

Whittle down the loads this year with fewer clothes for everyone. Laundry and closet organizing work best with less.  How many items for each of you?  Start with just 7 sets of clothes that coordinate through a capsule wardrobe. It will save money and time!

 

Simple mornings

  • Family has been getting up later and later all summer. This transition is one of the biggest!  Getting up on time for school starts with everyone having an alarm clock.  Be sure these are set correctly the first few weeks of school, then practice getting up just a smidge earlier than you think.  Make morning simple by getting lunch and what you are wearing together the night before.
  • Place analog clocks in transition spots throughout your home. An analog clock helps you see time elapsing and helps you be on time.  Clocks are best in bathrooms, bedrooms, and by the exit and entry doors.
  • Use music to keep everyone energized and positive.  A morning playlist can be played at a low volume.

 

All transitions take time.  Celebrate the first day of school success!   Give yourself the opportunity to create a positive transition by scheduling less on the first weekends school is open. This extra time translates to more rest and more time like summer with less structure.  Keep spirits and energy high with family fun bike rides, ice cream sundae parties or family game night. Expect a few tears and set aside time to acknowledge the toughness of the first few weeks of school because of this transition.

 

More ideas on ADHD here in my newsletter.

How to make Time work for You

Be on time and be productive

 

Staying aware of time is one of the foundations of time management. It may be that you have a bit of “time blindness,” where you don’t see or feel time passing. Without this time awareness, you may be losing time and being less productive. Let’s admit it, when time passes we feel less effective and caught off guard.

 

Here are timely tips to help you track time and use it as you plan. You can rely on clocks, routines, and work flow to help you be your most productive.

 

  • Place a clock in all the important spots in your home or office. Time awareness begins with an analog clock.
  • Have a work flow, not necessarily a set schedule. Rather than a packed time table, set up work times that naturally flow in the context and content of your work.
  • Routines are the automation of time management. Establish routines that build success and structure for you. These routines begin and end your work day, and begin and end your daily life.
  • Use the Maximum and Minimum strategy to help you know how long a task or project can take. Assess what is the most and least amount of time for these and schedule your work accordingly.
  • Check out apps that can help you with time management. These include RescueTime, Toggl, and StayOnTask.
  • Use multiple alarms to keep you on track. These include one day out, one hour out, and 15 minutes out from a deadline.
  • Bedtime is the remedy for all time management challenges. Getting a great night’s rest solves many time management issues.
  • Schedule in free time, fun time and family time. Intentional time to disconnect and reconnect makes you more productive.

Choose a simple start for yourself with just one tip from this list to make you more aware of time and more effective in how you use your minutes and hours.

 

time flies and you're the pilot

Finding your Motivation

 

 

finding your motivation

 

There’s nothing more motivating than, “company’s coming” when it comes to organzing.

There’s many motivations for making a change, getting organized and being more productive. There’s also many obstacles that keep us from getting started. One of those might be ADHD, where procrastination, lack of organizing skills and being overwhelmed keep you from getting started. Having inspiration and accountability can motivate you and get your work started. Finding your motivation is key.

 

Motivational Experiences

I recently met with a client who knew, now is the time to get organized. She had experienced flooding, health challenges and was looking at new healthy choices. She had recently rebuilt her home and was prepared to make her home the organized and productive spot she craved. Her life with ADHD had held her back before and now she had compelling reasons to begin.

I have also met with client who worked long hours, raised her family and one day looked at her home and said, “wow how did all this stuff get here?” She had invested her time in good and important goals and now knew it was time to make a change in her surroundings. While focused on the important parts of making a living for her family, she had gotten overwhelmed with the inflow of stuff.

When you know it’s time to make a change to your life, your home, your work, that’s the most compelling time to get organized. What makes for a compelling reason to change? It’s truly an individual decision and a decision you can make at any time.

 

 Motivational Media

Motivation in the form of Marie Kondo’s Netflix show is sweeping the nation this year. A new show called Home Edit is in production. It’s leading to other media connections, like podcasts, blog posts, and social media. In Tidying Up the tv show, we see many like us who have struggled with clutter. The kind inspiration offered by Marie Kondo leads us to be grateful and let go of things that are unneeded.

 

There are social media posts that are keeping us motivated too. Seeing other’s conquer their clutter on Instagram or Facebook help us know that we can do this. Forming a social media group that works together to reaffirm your motivation, keep you accountable by posting your successes and support you as you move forward are very instrumental. There’s existing clutter support on Facebook to join if you want this resource.

 

Motivational Practices

Decluttering is overwhelming. Setting quick, small, practical and realistic routines into place make it easy to be motivated. These practices include placing 5 items in a bag once a week and dropping these off at a donation location, or decluttering for 10 minutes in one space daily. It’s about creating baby steps that moves you forward.

Schedule time for organizing. In our busy lives, while we are motivated, we have not assigned a time to do the work. That time must be designed into your schedule each.

 

Motivational Team Members

Your team is crucial to your motivation. It’s about feeling truly supported as you work. That support comes in questions that coach you, support that acknowledges feelings and praise for each step. There’s no limit to your possible team members including those available by cell and facetime or professionals to coach and teach skills to your kids and grand kids. Start by building your team to help you begin and continue to be motivated.

 

The most compelling motivation to me has always been something I keep very close in my thoughts. Every day it is those thoughts that help me make the choices that impact my life in a positive way. Thankfully it has been making priorities clear and simple. I encourage you to think about your priorities and how they impact your motivation. Jump right in and get started on your organizing today!

best time to start was yesterday next best time is now

 

How Goals, Calendar and Schedule Alignment Work for You

How goals, calendars and schedule alignment works for you

 

Tire alignment, also known as wheel alignment, can help your tires perform properly and help them last longer. It can also improve handling and keep your vehicle from pulling in one direction or vibrating strangely.  

 

It’s clear that tire alignment helps you save money and time.  How might alignment work for us when we are talking about productivity?  When your goals, calendar and schedule are aligned, it helps you with your performance.  That performance is getting tasks and projects completed with less stress and more joy.  When your life is in alignment, you are feeling the bonus of work life integration.  Just how do we accomplish alignment when our life seems out of kilter?

 

Check your goals first

Review your current calendar to align your goals and your actions. Is what’s on your current calender reflecting your annual or quarterly goals?  Do you see a direct connection to what your responsibilities are each month and week?  Are there times for self care and relationship building?  Knowing how close you are already to alignment will be a guidepost for you.

Write out your best week

As you look over your calendar, you may be dismayed to see disjointed and disconnected dates and activities.  Take a whole new look at your week with a best week calendar. Michael Hyatt refers to this as your “ideal week.”  This is setting yourself up for success to know what this looks like.  With a blank calendar start with filling in what are your priorities.  Parallel your plans with consistent routines for similar activities.  That would be exercising every morning at 6 am, working with clients starting every day at 10 am, and hosting meetings at 2 pm.  See what new awareness comes from this exercise.

It’s going to take time to get your best week aligned with your current week so start small. What tweaks can you put in place?  Where are there options to create alignment? What if you have no control over your goals, deadlines or tasks?  Here’s where to talk to your team and seek out solutions together.

 

Keep aware of where alignment can occur

Changes are naturally occurring on a regular basis. A client ends, a new project starts, or a new boss comes on the scene.  When you seek improved alignment, that’s when you take advantage of a shift.   Look for where new possibilities are happening. Let’s say your 10 am Monday meeting shifts to 2 pm on Tuesday.  Now you can place your high quality work on Monday mornings instead.  Another option is to schedule shorter more frequent meetings at a lower energy time.

 

Is perfect alignment possible?

There is not necessarily that you are seeking perfect alignment as there are changes occuring regularly. What you are working toward is every improving alignment for yourself. There’s also random tasks, especially administrative tasks, that are part of your week.   If you can batch adminstrative tasks to be more productive about these.

 

Remember that for tire alignment, a periodic check is required.  Use your Strategic Planning to continually assess your goals, and then assess your alignment. What you will find as the most powerful benefit is that you are feeling more on top of your goals as a result.