10 Quick and Easy Tips Productivity for Those with ADHD

 

quick and easy productivity tips for those with adhd

 

Because our pace has picked up, and we love an easy win, I wanted to share some quick and easy tips for productivity.  See which one you might wan to try this week.

 

Ruthlessly prioritize

Every list of tasks has to start with prioritizing. That means just choose 3 Most Important Tasks for the day or the week. Right away you are going to feel less overwhelmed and be more productive.

 

Simplify your task list

Feeling overwhelmed?  Not sure what to do next?  Just add the one next step to your task list.

 

Use a timer

Spring into action or use this as a warm up to initiate your task, a timer can help you be more productive. You can also use your time with the Pomodoro method, alternating 30 minute time intervals with 5 minute breaks.

 

Maximize automation

You can use automation to help you do your work. These voice activated helpers can add a task to a list, make a grocery list, or set up reminders for your daily routines.

 

Batch Similar Tasks

Review your list to see which tasks you can batch-process. Those are initial calls to leave a message or quick email responses.  The first step of tasks you hate can be a batch of its own.

 

Gather up dates

You are more productive when you know dates and deadlines. It is a combination of data that drives your planning and accountability.

 

Eliminate choices

Too many options can be paralyzing. Keep your choices to three or less to maximize your productivity. Give yourself three options for content for your newsletter or blog, three choices for what to have for dinner this week or three choices of when to meet with colleagues on a project.

 

Elevate your space

Move to a new location to work or add music you love.

 

Go for a walk

Exercise helps us think clearly, be creative and be more efficient.

 

Pause

Take a 5 minute pause.  Think about what you are working toward, why it is meaningful and gain fresh insight.

 

Given our new day-to-day and work environments, it’s a great time to implement and integrate a quick and easy tip that can help you.

Quick and Easy Wins for Families with ADHD

quick and easy wins for families with adhd

 

Quick and easy, what family doesn’t want to make life less stressful and simpler? Having a heads up on what easy to use tips and tools can give you a head start as a family.  See which of these ideas can make life better for you and your family.

 

Time tips

  • Want to know where everyone is going and what activities are coming up?  Use a google calendar for everyone to add their dates and activities.  It’s a quick view of what’s going on for everyone.  Review your calendar at your family meeting. Front load your calendar with school dates and upcoming family vacations.
  • Place analog clocks in all transition areas. An analog clock clicks in time passing and time awareness.  Those transition areas include bathrooms where time can pass without acknowledgement. Talk to your kids as you place these.  Remind them these are placed to help you be on time and know what time it is.
  • Set up rewards for everyone for being on time.  Find a “cheap thrill” such as $5 Friday Smoothies as a reward for being on time and replacing a meal.  The small incentives prompt positive behavior and makes family time together more fun.

Decluttering

Taking care of space and taking care of stuff is harder for families with ADHD. Be sure everything has a home so that there is always a way to maintain your organizing. 

  • Structure a decluttering session monthly.  You can have a Purge and Pizza party to get everyone involved. During your pizza party,  have a family discussion on decluttering, what was easy and what was hard. 
  • Create natural consequences for things left behind. Strategize with your child as a coach on how to “remember” such as setting up visual reminders or alarms.
  •  Build in time to reset your stuff weekly.  A family reset time includes getting items back to homes, getting ready for the week, and restocking items.

 

Emotional regulation

Emotional regulation skills help everyone keep it together, even when the going gets rough.

  • Everything is better with a good night’s sleep. Promote good sleep with a common charging space, a sound machine, time to unwind, a lavender bath and an early start. Encourage one night a week of an early bedtime.
  • Catch your family doing “good stuff.” Give praise and encouragement whenever you see it. A “ticket” or positive note give your kiddo a physical reminder and recognition.
  • The green space is where we all feel better.  Exercise can include walking the dog, joining a team, a solo sport like tennis, horse back riding, or going to the pool.
  • When life gets chaotic, think about adding structure. Some families call this guardrails,, boundaries or just plain rules. If your kiddo is not ready to be out to dinner at 8 pm since it’s past bedtime, if eating sugar adds to poor choices or if too many clothes are cluttering your kiddo’s floor, it’s time to introduce structure.

 

Life in your family with ADHD can be bumpy. Be sure to seek support and add to your knowledge base every chance you can.

 

 

10 Quick and Easy Organizing Tips for Those with ADHD

quick and eays organizing tips

 

Using the theme of Quick and Easy for May, here are tips for simple, effective organizing for those with ADHD. Since our pace has picked up again, it’s important to keep organizing easy to accomplish.  When a task seems easy, it’s more likely we will get started!

 

Keep a donation bag handy for ongoing decluttering

Rather than take hours to make decisions on whether to keep an item, use the energy and spirit of the moment when you feel an item is ready to be donated.  When the bag is full, take it immediate to a drop box in a local parking lot or call a local philanthropy to pick up at your front door.

 

Invite a friend to be your paper partner or clutter buddy.

Be a support and be supported by a friend who is also struggling. Inviting another to work as partners you will can brag on your successes and commiserate on struggles.

 

Use command hooks for point of use storage.

Command hooks give you a “home” for items right where you use these.

 

Maximize vertical storage with an shoe organizer on the inside of any closet.

Shoe organizers are not just for shoes! You can use them in a play room for hot wheels or Barbies, in a craft room for adhesives or accessories, or at the back door for bug spray and hand sanitizer.

 

Add a shoe basket at the back door.

Maybe you or your family don’t want to run back to the closet to get their shoes?  A shoe basket keeps all your footwear at the point of use in and out of the house.

 

Use slim line hangers to maximize space.

Slim line hanger save space and make your clothes pop!  It’s an easy way to look and feel more organized. As you rehang onto new hangers. decide if you have not worn an item in a quite a while.

 

Place a small tray where you keep rings and important jewelry.

Never lose a ring or earrings again with a small tray placed by your vanity or kitchen sink.

 

When in doubt about paper, know where you can find it online.

There are many ways to find the same information online rather than on paper.  Bookmark on your device or use Evernote or Notes to keep the website information.

 

Use two dry erase month at a glance calendars for dates and planning.

Capture information from your texts, emails and phone on month at a glance magnetic calendars. It’s easy to see and easy to add information.  Add a splash of color for fun.

 

Use the “one in – two out” rule.

For every item you bring into your home, remove two items. It will keep your home in balance with stuff.

 

Choose one of these strategies and see how you feel once you have accomplished a little organizing!

 

More quick and easy tips here!

How to Prevent and Eliminate Clutter in Your Home

 

how to prevent or eliminate clutter

The best case for clutter control is keeping clutter out of your space. That saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies in this situation. Proactive strategies for clutter prevention are double the rewards in saving you time, money and energy. Here are some easy strategies for you to use in your clutter prevention.

 

Paper clutter prevention

Paper clutter prevention helps you from spending hours on sorting and decluttering paper.

  • Set up a recycling and shredding center at the entry to your home. Immediately after pick up the mail, triage and remove the clutter.
  • Unsubscribe to magazines. Make magazines special by purchasing these as a reward for yourself.
  • Use your smart phone to take a picture of information on papers. Create an album for papers in your photo stream.
  • Use digital coupons available through store apps.
  • Add business card information to your contacts and label the contact with who referred and the work itself.
  • Use Evernote or Notes to capture and organize information.

Purchase only what you need

Over purchasing is often when clutter accumulates.

  • If you have determined a need for a purchase, it’s time to let go of the item it is replacing.
  • Purchase only what you need, not additional “just in case” items.
  • Establish one area for returns and set a date to return items.
  • Set up a purchases sub-folder in your inbox in order to keep up with online purchases and required emails for returns.
  • Purchase from a list. If you are not prepared with a list, postpone your shopping until you are prepared.

Declutter

Routines help you keep clutter regulated.

  • Declutter your closet every season, at the end of the season. Know what you have before you purchase. Create criteria for letting go of your clothes so your decisions are not as cumbersome.
  • Declutter your cosmetics every year, at your birthday.
  • Declutter your kids’ clothes at the start and end of the school year.
  • Keep a shopping bag to drop clothes and other items in as you are ready to let these go.
  • Recycle weekly.
  • Establish a “home for everything” and a time to get items back to their homes. Reset time helps you know what you have and where you have stored it.

 

Start with one small step in clutter prevention and see how easy it is to be proactive.

How to Add Structure to Your Family Schedule

how ot add structure to your family schedule

Structure is defined as constructing or arranging according to a plan. It is to give a pattern for your time and your space. Families operate best with a structure in place for how they live and work together in their home. Without structure, your family feels haphazard and chaotic.

What exactly is structure? It is specific rules and routines that focus on maintaining consistent times for actions within your family.  Structure can help every family feel a sense of togetherness, a sense of belonging and a sense of well being.  Here are a few ideas on how to add structure to your family structure.

 

Identify the rules that are the structure of your family.
All families work best with rules and routines. Those rules detail bedtime, meal time, household responsibilities and respect for each other. It also delineates what spaces are used to do what activities.
Create rules for yourself and your family that reinforce the values you hold.  For example, families that value productivity and timeliness often have bedtime rules.  Whatever rules you create, be sure you are as specific as possible, focus on specific behaviours as examples and should be realistic to be accomplished.

Putting structure into place

Structure thrives when there is consistency, predictability and follow through with actions. Often these are the most difficult parts behind structure.  Consistently heading to bed at a set time or having regular meal times as a family can be derailed because of distractions like electronics, chronic lateness or any other activity.  The best ways to achieve consistency is by setting that time as sacred with a strong stop time before that.  The more consistent you are, the more predictable everyone’s life is.  Knowing that there is no other option, that the structure can’t be denied, then life proceeds calmly.  Follow through may be difficult in the moment because of distractions.  However, the more you adhere to the rules and the plan, the easier follow through becomes. These three actions are interrelated and lead to your success.

 

When to start creating structure

If your family life lacks order, now is the time to start creating structure.  As a parent, you establish daily routines including school for your family.  Your daily self care routines are important.

  • Start small. The best starting point is having a structure for bedtime.  This way you are getting a great night’s rest.
  • Get input and buy in from your family.  Hosting a discussion during a family meeting helps everyone be heard and creates a collaborative strategy.
  • Create house rules within your structure so that everyone works as a team to embrace the structure.
  • With work from home, establish and post a schedule for your day. Be sure your work day ends to permit family time together.
  • Use automated devices to help you with structure for self care.  Alexa, Siri and Google Home can all be programmed to share your routine.

 

Structure is not easy to accomplish however well worth the investment in time and energy.

How to Organize a Busy Family Schedule

 

organize a busy family schedule

Family schedules are ramping up.  We all want more time together as a family, time to do what we love and time to be a model for our kids.  You can have all of these!  A busy family schedule requires a combination of intention, planning and tools. Here are four tips on getting and staying organized.

 

Start with values

Family values are the solid foundation for your family schedule. Your intentions become goals, which translate to actions and activities.  There are many “good” opportunities for familes that include building strong minds, spiritual growth and physical well being.  Spend time with your partner or co-parent and discuss what this looks like for your family.  Strong foundations start with strong goals.

The best way to share these goals and activities is with during your family meeting. Gather together to discuss what your time together and apart look like and the options for how to empower these goals. Gather the thoughts, write them down and place these where everyone can see these regularly.  We see this in a lot of word art so why not have your own goals as the art itself.

These family values are also a boundary for everyone getting too busy.  That’s when we feel overwhelmed. At times you will have to prioritize what is best for everyone because there are many “good” opportunities.  By relying on your goals, it makes for easier discussions and decisions.

 

Tools to use

My first thoughts in every team effort is to build solid tools we can all use together. That’s why a family calendar is so important. Because of it’s easy access on everyone’s phone, it’s best to use a digital calendar to keep everyone’s information and activities.

  • Add dates as soon as you learn about these.
  • Block time to add a series of dates such as those that start the school year, holiday times and more.
  • Add dates during the family meeting. Back into what’s needed to accomplish tasks by planning ahead about purchases and driving.
  • Plan a month in advance if possible for big events like birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Add alerts from your smart phone and smart watch. Use your home devices like Alexa and Google Home to help by seting automated reminders.

The hardest part of a family calendar is keeping it up to date and being alert to overlapping activities. It takes consistent management to be sure everyone in your family updates the calendar each day.

 

Communicate vigorously

Family communication keeps everything running smoothly. That communication is more than verbal. It is in email, text, a Trello board, an Asana task and the list goes on. Give yourself space between appointments with short intervals to catch up with communication.  Because so much information comes in quickly daily, you are not always able to respond at that time.  Add a little wrap up communication time to your day.  You will feel more proactive and more in control.

 

Work as a team

Research shows that we can promote teamwork within our family. Kids are natural helpers when they are young and we need to capitalize on this. When your kids offer to help, give them specific tasks and times to accomplish these tasks.  An example of this is when you are making dinner and your kids are ready to help, answer yes to any offers.

No one wants to be the only one to do a task at home. Partner up with family members and create a chart that shares these responsibilities. When there’s a chart, there’s no nagging needed.

There is always more to do than time to do it when it comes to home responsibilities. Write in your family calendar the routines for cleaning the house, doing laundry and cutting the grass.  In the calendar it is an appointment now!

 

Busy family times are happy family times.  Keep a positive, optimistic, resilient attitude and tone of voice.  We convey how we are feeling in our body language how we speak to each other. Try to overcome frustration by steppng back, aligning with positivity and moving forward after a pause.  Listen to these signs and re-align your schedule with your goals to create more time for your intentions.

 

 

How to Get Your Family to Help Keep Your Home Tidy and Organized

ADHD Tidying

keep your home tidy

 

Pandemic or not, families are not necessarily the most tidy or organized.  Parents may be and kids not so much, or a kid or two is organized.  Families with ADHD especially find organizing and tidying difficult.  How can you get started and maintain a tidy and organized home? Check out these tips.

 

Have less to keep tidy and organized

Start with less. Let go of what is not being used, loved or needed. That is difficult because by nature we think “just in case” is our guideline for owning stuff.  It may not be that you want to be a minimalist however you can have less incrementally.  Having less can start with some data. Just how many pairs of undies do you need in a week?  We think it is a bigger number just in case we don’t do laundry.  It can also start with where you store your stuff. All your clothes can fit in your closet or dresser, no matter how small. Get a realistic number of how many to have and set a boundary for where it belongs.

 

Assign a home to stuff to keep tidy and organized

When stuff is not put away, it is clutter. When stuff is not put away, it is untidy.  Be sure that every item in your home, car or office has a specific spot to be put away.  This way, when it is time to clean up there is no discussion on where to place an item. Start by finding items that have never had a home since purchased. Then group like items together that are used together. If there is too much to store together, it is time to declutter. You will find being organized is the key to keeping tidy.

 

Model home tidying

A family meeting is the starting point to setting standards for your family. Start by discussing what the goals are for tidying and then set a time to do the work.  Most families need a daily time. That can be immediately after dinner so that everyone is prepared for the next day.  That includes bringing dishes to the kitchen, gathering recycling, and getting laundry put away.  Create a chart that states what is to be completed during the tidying time.  Everyone working together, at the same time, means that everyone is contributing.

 

Make tidying fun

Yes! Tidying can be fun! We all have playlists and videos. Make a family tidying video and create a Spotify list for tidying.  Serve a treat! Announce ahead of time the tidying rewards for your family! Set up Google Home or Alexa routines to help you stay on track. Ask your kids to help you make this more collaborative and fun.  Keep tidying to a short time with a timer set for 15 minutes. Everyone wants to get this job done.

 

Create routines for tidying

Routines are the hardest part of keeping tidy.  Families lose momentum and all of a sudden everyone is overwhelmed.  If you can tidy daily in the same work flow, that is the best. Everyone eats dinner, and then it is time to tidy.  If not, be sure to tidy as frequently as possible.  The intention to tidy daily may not happen, and it may be only 2 days a week, however this way you have some control.  If you find you are not tidying at the same time daily, tidy when you can daily.  The best way to keep routines going is to tie these to another task that is firmly set.  Use automated reminders like Siri, Google Home and Alexa to signal the start of tidying time.

 

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 us in April for Professional-Organizer.com’s 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 three 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. 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.
  • Meeting dates are Mondays, August 9, 16 and 23.
  • Meeting times are 7- 8 pm central time.
  • Bring your existing planner. If you are looking for a planner, I will share recommendations.
  • Cost is $75 for the three sessions.
  • Group size is limited to 10 attendees. Join today!

 

Register by August 5, 2021.
For information and to register, call 281.360.3928 or email edelap@professional-organizer.com

Accountability When You Work From Home

 

 

For a short while, work from home included yoga pants and intermittent runs to change laundry and dinner prep.  As the pandemic has gone on, and with close to 90% of the work force working from home, we have found a real need for accountability and focus. There is gap in getting done what is required, doing what we intend to do, and prioritizing getting things done. Add to that, if you have ADHD, there is the inability to make yourself do what you know you should do. Now you are looking to accountability as a solution.

 

External Accountability through Routines and Organization

We have all set alarms only to ignore these. External accountability can be more than a sound. It can include powerful routines that give us reason to do our important work. Determine your best start to the day, whether that is a morning run or meditation. Giving yourself time to warm up to your work with an intentional “star your work day” plan.  That might be jotting bullets at the end of a work session to prepare where you left off or reviewing notes from the previous work session to catch up. Planning a warm up that is part of your work plunges you into your work.

 

Do you remember that it was harder to work in your dorm than the library?  Create your work space as a dedicated, organized spot to be accountable to your work. That is a streamlined space with few distractions, good light, an ergonomic chair and little else.  Get in the zone with quiet or headphones. Organize your space to get your work day started and declutter each evening.  These steps can be a warm up and a wind down for work.

 

External accountability with a team

If you are struggling with being accountable, a team approach helps. A colleague, assistant or virtual assistant is an asset in keeping you accountable for deadlines, next steps and moving forward with purpose. A mutally supportive, open minded and understanding discussion leads to success.  This can be a coaching conversation to start this connection. In your conversation you create agreements that honor the way you want to interact going forward. Similar values, work and life priorities, and understanding your strengths make for accountability.

 

Coaching conversations during these meetings take many forms. Curiousity and clarity help focus the solutions and drive the conversation forward.  Championing successes and diving into why that success happened creates a learning opportunity.  End these conversations with a realistic deadline and set the next meeting date.

 

If you want a body double, someone to work parallel to you, try using FocusMate.com.  This online tool matches you with a partner for each of you to work on your own projects simultaneously.

 

Accountability with data

Data and metrics drive our work. Set specific goals for your day, week and month to help your accoutability.  Power up those goals with written tracking, such as a chart, check list or graph.  Use your weekly planning time to prioritize and review next week. You will be excited to see all you have accomplished.  In this way, you are checking off more than tasks. You are gaining traction for your big picture goals. The key is finding the right partner to share values.

 

Wonder what this might look like for you? A simple excel sheet with tracking a project is useful.

Task Sub Task Primary

Responsibility

Additional Participants Description Time to Complete Deadline

Time blocking ensures accountability

Accountability and time blocking go together. Coordinating a time and a task help you be accountable to yourself and your work. It’s less stress because you know your assignment. You can fully engage in deep thinking because you have given yourself permission to work for the duration on one topic.  Be specific on what you are accomplishing during your time block and leave notes for yourself at the end of your time. Write in the next time you will be working on this content.

 

 

There are many ways to be more accountable including publicly sharing successes, posting on social media and using technology tools to track your work. Find what works for you to be sure you are doing your best work.

3 Organizing Skills for a More Productive Work Day

 

3 organizing skills for a more productive work day

 

Office workers waste an average of 40% of their workday.  Not because they aren’t smart, but because they were never taught organizing skills to cope with the increasing workloads and demands according to the Wall Street Journal Report

Does your workday evaporate and suddenly it’s the end of the day? Do you think you lack skills to manage quickly multiplying projects? Does your day feel chaotic rather than organized? It all comes down to learning skills for prioritizing, organizing and planning to help you manage your work and your work load.

 

Prioritizing: learning the skill of knowing what to do

There are many good ideas for your work. Not every idea has equal benefit. Some times these ideas can be linear in implementation and some times these depend on preliminary successes. Start by gathering all these ideas together in a list.

This is strategic planning time where you create a big picture of what will move your business forward. This planning can be accomplished annually or monthly with an overview of goals for the year and specific actions assigned to a month. Without this planning, you may be working on tasks that keep you from bigger accomplishments and increased revenue. With this planning you are prepared for the weeks, months and quarters ahead that yield the results you want to see.

On your planner, schedule this time on a mid-month morning for a monthly overview. You can use a dashboard with data to drive your assessment of successes and next steps for planning. This dashboard can be consolidated data from customer information, income and expenses and marketing information. By assessing your successes, you are celebrating and setting plans for next steps.

Intuitively you may know the priorities and may be ready to list these. However, an additional professional tip is that you may need to talk through your priorities to set these.  Having a list may not be enough to help you strategize. Partner up with a trusted colleague or advisor to help you sort through and sequence your list.

 

Organizing: learning the skill of when to do

Drill down to the specific tactics to gain traction on your plan.  Week by week specific tasks will accomplish this.  Set aside weekly planning time to be prepared for the weeks, months and quarters ahead. That weekly planning time should occur at the same time every week. Use time blocking during your weekly planning time to schedule these tasks.

With the best plan, limiting distractions is key.  Set a time in your day to check email and update information received by text or other communication. These distractions take time and energy away from your actual work.  If you find yourself low in energy, drink water or take a short walk outside or around the office.  At times a “warm up” is needed to move into a work flow.  Add time at the end of a work session to leave yourself notes on where you ended to jump start your next session.

 

Organizing: learning the skill of how to access and categorize resources

This is the most frequent flaw for work.  With multiple projects, you want to have outstanding organizing to find what you need when you are ready to work. This organizing pertains to how to access and categorize your resources and materials to work.  You will have to organize your resources and documents digitally and on paper. Set up your resources by the name of the projects and the name of the client. Create digital files for the documents that parallel paper files. These can be on your device desktop digitally and should later move to document files. Paper files can be easily accessed in a file cart or a physical desk top sorter.

 

Planning: learning the skill of tracking

Next, keep this plan easy to see and accomplish. There are many ways to organize this information.  Digital planners and apps such as Asana and Trello help you schedule your work, consolidate the information and keep you accountable with reminders.  Paper planners such as Planner Pad, Bullet Journal or Blue Sky week at a glance planners offer you visual support for your plan.  Write in and record as much as you can to keep you on track on your work. A professional tip is to color code your projects.  Color coding is instant recognition of a project. Use post it notes in colors that coordinate with each project or dry erase colored markers on a white board to keep your work easy to see.

 

Planning: learning how to manage multiple priorities and work as a team

Workloads are increasing exponentially. How we do keep going with more and more to do?

  • Collaboration with colleagues for a team approach. Your skills may not match the work requirements.  A colleague could help you learn a new skill and become more efficient.
  • Communication with your colleagues with real data on time allocation. Share the time it takes to accomplish a task so that those you work with know this information.
  • Delegation with an assistant can help you do the most important work.  Carefully delegate with small tasks leading to bigger tasks. Provide check points for your collaboration to ensure you are both on the same page.
  • Further planning to ensure your priorities are on track.

The skills of prioritizing, planning and organizing will all help you be more productive each day. In addition, remember to prioritize self-care to maximize your efficiency, your effectiveness and your productivity. It is most important to get a good night’s rest every night. By combining your new skills and priorities you will reap the benefits.