Holiday Planning Notebook

holiday planning notebook.

 

Have you had scraps and notes everywhere for your holiday planning? Have you wanted to keep your holiday plans organized from year to year? Is being more organized this year one of your goals for the holiday season? Make your holidays more organized with a holiday notebook. It is a simple, easy-to-create notebook for you to use throughout the holiday season.

 

My gift to you this season is this free workbook for you to customize for your holiday planning. There are pages for your calendar, baking, meal planning, gift purchasing, and addressing cards. You can print this (click here holiday planning notebook printable letter size 2023) and place it in a 3-ring binder or save it digitally, turn the PDF into a Word document, and use it in Google Drive or word docs. 

 

 

 

Another option is for you to create your own with a 3 ring binder, paper, and slash pockets. 

·                     Collate your holiday notebook by deciding what categories are most important to you.  

·                     Choose a notebook with holiday theme colors

·                     Add tabbed slash pockets or dividers with labels for

holiday calendar with dates for activities

holiday recipes

holiday card lists with completed addresses

gift lists (including online purchases)

decorating ideas (with pictures of each room fully decorated.)

annual family traditions (websites for holiday entertainment)

·                     Include a pocket folder to hold the receipts

·                     Add a password list for access to all your favorite online stores.

·                     Keep in an easy-to-access spot for your use throughout the season!

 

Enjoy the holiday season even more with your organized holiday notebook. A holiday notebook is a way to consolidate all your ideas, lists and more for the holidays! 

 

 

Baby Steps for Establishing Consistency

baby steps for establishing consistency

 

Throughout the Fall we are working toward creating, managing, and improving our routines. For those with ADHD, maintaining routines can be a challenge because of focus, distractions, and interest. It is not for lack of intention or motivation that gaps occur. Lack of consistency is a struggle. With strategies, it is possible to adhere more consistently to routines. Check out these ways to establish and maintain routines.

 

Establish routines with ADHD in mind

Knowing how you work best is the best start.

  • Start small with adjustments to your routines. These small starts prevent being overwhelmed. A micro-step makes a difference. According to Thrive, the tiniest step forward can help you build the routines you want. A micro-step toward better productivity starts with spending 5 minutes prioritizing your to-do list each morning.
  • Establish an environment that supports your routines. Placing your medication in a place where you see it each morning supports taking your medication regularly. Walk your environment to learn ways you can make it more empowering.
  • Use reminders and leverage technology to support you. Using alarms with certain ring tones for certain tasks reminds you to initiate that routine. Use a variety of timers to remind you to start and end your routine. Make routines visual with charts and checklists placed strategically to cue your routine.

Empower time management to support routines

Time management focused on ADHD strengths helps you be more consistent in your routines.

  • Know yourself and how you work best. Do you need a set time block for a routine or do you need a workflow that includes a series of steps? In either situation, walk through your routine to be sure you have established sufficient time to start and complete your routine.
  • Account for or eliminate transition time. Transitions are difficult for those with ADHD to switch between tasks. You can factor in transition time to allow for the completion of the routine. If possible, eliminate a difficult transition to ensure your routine begins.
  • Create external support for your time management. These are both physical support and in-person support. Physical support can be a clock, a timer, a phone, or a device. Our friends and colleagues support your efforts by being team players in your routines. Those around you can remind you and help you be more consistent.

 

Create a strong foundation for routines with self-care

There are always times when an oops will occur in your routines. Be kind to yourself and get back on track the next day. If you find there are too many oops, look at the structure of your day to find ways to create a better scaffolding.

  • The best routines start with a great bedtime routine. Start small by creating an hour of wind downtime to get ready for bed. You will nee this time to prepare mentally to get to sleep.
  • Positive affirmations and re-focusing perspectives help keep your goals of consistency possible. “Don’t give up on the person you are becoming.” Find a mantra that supports this effort.
  • There is a fine balance between rigidity and consistency. Allow for some flow of flexibility in your schedule to accommodate unexpected events. Also, balance structure and overcommitment. When you are overly optimistic about what you can accomplish in a day, regardless of how important it all is, you will not be able to maintain your routines. Keep a positive attitude about routines and you will become more consistent.
  • Remember that consistency does not mean perfection. It might require you to create data to support your success. Find your own success number rather than 100%.

 

Establishing and maintaining routines will require some extra effort for individuals with ADHD. It is the hardest part of all routines. By starting small, leveraging external aids, and empowering time management for the way you think,  you will create consistent routines.  The big picture is about creating a structure that gives you ample opportunity to thrive.

Baby Steps to Add Structure to Your Work Week

Baby steps to add structure to your work week

 

Do you remember the structure of the school day?  There were time blocks for each subject and time for lunch and play.  As adults it can be difficult to find a pattern like this that fits for our work week. By starting small, you can create a productive structure throughout your week that makes life smoother. Here are 3 baby steps to add structure to your work week.

 

Theme Days

Assigning lengthy time blocks to specific topics makes it easier to be productive. A Theme Day assigns a set of certain tasks revolving around a specific area of work to a certain day. This could be Money Monday or Financial Friday. I have added Set up Sunday to my week to be sure I am ready to start the next week ready, organized, and prepared.  This strategy gives you ample time to complete the tasks, keeps you focused, and give you structure to your week.

 

Book end your day

Self-care happens best when scheduled. Take advantage of classes that occur twice a week to create structure. Attend the same classes for two days a week. For me, that is attending my Tuesday – Thursday 6 pm pilates class. This way I know that I have covered my exercise goals and ended each day with ample time for rest. By book ends, meaning the structuring the beginning or end of the day, I have followed Parkinson’s Law of work expands to fit the time allotted.

 

Incorporate routines

Routines are consistent patterns of activity that reinforce productivity and well-being. Having both start of the day and end the day routines helps create a daily structure for your week.

Start your day with a prioritized list of tasks each day. If you need a warm up to get started, organize the materials that are needed for each task then jump in.

 

End the day by closing down your station. Make a note of where you ended on your work. Re-prioritize your list for the next day. Place materials and resources back, clear your space, and push in your chair.

You will be relieved at the end of the day and excited at the start of the day with these new rituals that add structure to your week.

 

Empower horizontal time blocks

As you review your daily time blocks, add one horizontal time block at your most productive time slot. This power period at the same time each day throughout the week gives you time to do your most challenging and valuable work at your best time each day. Set this time block for projects that require deep thought. As a result your productivity will soar from dedicating this structure to your week.

 

Organizing your day with structure gives you a natural rhythm which offers powerful work flow. Add one of these baby steps to structure to your week this week.

 

Baby Steps for Better Time Management

 

Time awareness is a familiar challenge for those with ADHD. Often referred to as time blindness,  people have difficulty knowing how long a task will take, knowing how much time to allocate for transitions such as leaving for an appointment to be on time, or how long they are spending on a task. Start with baby steps in creating more time awareness to begin better time management.

 

Build data

Learn about time by building data about your use of time. Start by using a clock to time the duration of tasks at home like getting ready in the morning, winding down in the evening, or unloading the dishwasher. Clock tasks at work such as reading and responding to emails or completing a report. You are better prepared for setting up time blocks with this information.

Analyze patterns in your day to learn about your personal productivity. Learning your chronotype, when you work best during the day, helps you know when to schedule your tasks and projects. Focus on the positive and assess the situation, time, or location that prompted your success.

 

Externalize time

Using an external tool to help you become more time makes it easier to see or feel time. Add an analog clock in spots where time is lost. This type of clock, with arms that move, offers a visual reminder of time. Use a timer to hear the beginning, duration, and end of an allocated time. Set alarms and reminders to start and complete tasks. Each of these external time managers helps keep you on track.

Calendars are one of the best external tools for time management. With a place for dates, appointments, and tasks, you no longer have to remember this information. Update your calendar as information comes in and refer to your calendar all day throughout the day. Widgets make your calendar visible on the locked screen of your devices.

There are many more digital tools to help you on your journey, such as Alexa and Siri!

 

Get organized

Because of poor working memory, items can get misplaced and delay you. Be sure to have a “place for everything and everything in its place” to save time when you are ready to start a project or leave your home or office.  Have a reset time to replace items into their spots each week. Proactively being organized gives you the best opportunity to make use of the time you have.

Organize your calendar and reminders with cloud-based project management tools such as Click Up, Trello, and Asana. By integrating these, you are automating your time and task management.

 

 

Choose one of these baby steps to help you with your time awareness. Remember that time awareness is a work in progress and that you are learning as you progress.

Embracing Neurodiversity: Celebrating ADHD Awareness Month

embracing neurodiversity and adhd awareness month

 

October is ADHD Awareness Month. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects millions of people worldwide, and this month is dedicated to raising awareness, reducing stigma, and celebrating the unique qualities and talents of individuals with ADHD. Whether you are newly diagnosed, a veteran with your diagnosis, know someone, or work with someone with ADHD, I share what ADHD is, explore the challenges, and emphasize why it is important to embrace neurodiversity.

 

About ADHD

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by executive function issues, including motivation, organization, inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These factors can significantly impact a person’s daily life.

  • Those with ADHD have difficulty organizing their belongings and their time.  Some people lose track of keys, papers, appointments, and time.
  • Time awareness is poor for those with ADHD.  They are not sure of how much time has passed, how long a task will take, or have trouble managing their time.
  • Impulsivity such as acting through thinking or interrupting others can cause unintended consequences for those with ADHD.
  • Lack of attention on tasks, following through with instructions, or staying on track impairs productivity.
  • Individuals with ADHD struggle more with procrastination due to trouble initiating tasks and sustaining effort over time.
  • Transitioning between tasks and shifting attention can interfere with time management.
  • Because of poor working memory, people with ADHD may have difficulty holding onto information in their heads, following through on multiple-step tasks, and increased frustration with multiple-step tasks.
  • Co-existing conditions of depression and anxiety impact these daily life activities.

Executive function deficits are common in ADHD, however not all individuals with ADHD experience the same challenges to the same degree.  Every person with ADHD experiences the challenges of executive function in a different way with different levels of challenge.

Embracing Neurodiversity

ADHD Awareness Month is a time to celebrate neurodiversity by recognizing that differences contribute to the depth and breadth of our world. You can share the love of neurodiversity by learning more about it and supporting those experiencing it.

Learn about ADHD, its symptoms, and the challenges individuals face. Here are some sites that help you better understand neurodiversity.

    • ADDitudemag.com
    • Understood.org
    • CHADD.org
    • ADDA.com
    • ADDA-SR.org
    • Professional-Organizer.com

Support individuals with ADHD with understanding. These are some ways to offer support for yourself or others with ADHD.

    • Find a coach to support you with curiosity and accountability.
    • Chat with friends and family about how to best support you. If you are a friend or family, take the initiative to gently discuss how you can best support them.
    • Connect with ADDA-SR, ADDA, or CHADD to join a support group. Groups are offered virtually throughout the month and can be specially focused on parenting, aging, and more.
    • Join an online ADHD social media support offering suggestions and support.
    • Choose a therapist who specializes in support for those with ADHD.
    • Build a bigger team for those with ADHD to thrive with their diagnosis.

Empower those with ADHD to embrace their unique traits and talents, fostering a positive self-image.

    • There are many ways to accept an ADHD diagnosis, including the choice to take medication.
    • Through learning about strengths, embrace ways to build from these opportunities for out-of-the-box thinking, spontaneity, and passion.
    • Validate feelings about neurodiversity through empathy.

By getting to know ADHD better, and appreciating the strengths and challenges it brings, we can better encourage and support those with ADHD and other brain-based conditions.

Learn more here at ADHD Awareness Month!

Baby Steps to Boost Resilence

Baby steps to boost reslience

 

Resilience means the ability to weather challenges, recover quickly from difficulties, and the capacity to spring back into shape. In our uncertain world, we utilize this quality every day in our work, home, and life. Every day, we face tests where things take longer than expected, become more complicated, and can be frustrating. Boost your resilience through self-care by incorporating one or more of these baby steps.

 

Connect with others

Take a moment to actively seek opportunities to connect with others. Engage in small talk by asking about your colleagues’ weekend plans, inquiring about their family, or establishing common ground, such as discussing the importance of coffee to start the day. Start a new hobby or engage in a philanthropic project to find new energy and build friendships. Building camaraderie starts with these small conversations and establishes connections.

 

Plan outdoor time

Research highlights the significance of spending time outdoors. It rejuvenates our systems by providing Vitamin D, aids in disease prevention, and enhances overall well-being. Take a few minutes to step outside, whether it’s walking from the parking lot to the office or strolling around the backyard. Enjoy coffee or lemonade outside at a coffee spot. Sit outside for a few minutes every evening as the temperatures cool. Tend a container garden with fall herbs. Your time outside will benefit your sleep too.

 

Pause and express gratitude

Take a moment to reflect on one positive aspect of your day. Embrace that brief moment of joy and appreciate something that brought you happiness. Place a small souvenir from a vacation at your desk or add a photo to your screen to remind of you of your time away. Write a note to a friend, pick up a funny card to share, or text a quick thank you.

 

Escort your devices out of the bedroom

A great night’s rest without blue light or interruption makes all the difference for your productivity. Sleep well with time away from what keeps you awake.

 

Share kindness

A colleague shared how a few minutes of time on the phone about a concern helped another person do so much. She declined payment for the phone time and instead that person donated to the local food bank instead. The power of helping makes a big difference. Find a small way you can share kindness in a difficult situation. It might be acknowledging that others are doing a great job while in their own difficult situation with emotional support, bringing food to a family undergoing difficult circumstances, or letting someone ahead of you in line.

 

Choose a way to cultivate your resilience through pausing, reflecting, and taking time for self-care. Squeeze in a few minutes daily for this important skill that builds emotional resilience.

 

 

Baby Steps for Decluttering

 

We are all always on a decluttering journey. Some times we feel we are ahead of the curve however mainly we sense we are not. Likely you do not have time or energy for full on decluttering. Choose one or more of these baby steps for decluttering to keep your space organized.

 

Set a timer

In as few as 15 minutes, you can make a difference with decluttering.

  • Walk around your home with a trash bag and remove all the trash.
  • Review papers that have built up around your house, then shred or recycle.
  • Do a reset. Put away laundry and place items back in their homes.

Find a small spot

Start small and build momentum.

  • Declutter one drawer at a time. Toss, donate and categorize your small space.
  • Use a shopping bag to let go right away of what is unused or less loved. Drop that bag off each week.
  • Practice the “one in, two out rule” as new items come into your space.

Say no to one activity, event or commitment

Your time and calendar are cluttered too.

  • Add self-care to your calendar with exercise, doctor’s appointments and time with friends.
  • Know how much time to allocate to tasks, projects and transitions. Use white space between time blocks to give yourself wiggle room.
  • Add in preparation time, dedicated to being sure you are ready for fun.

Enlist your team

There is power in numbers. Add more team members to declutter.

  • Choose an organizing playlist and include your family in decluttering.
  • Call a local charity to pick up your donations.
  • Hire a certified professional organizer or coach to speed up the process.

Empower your editing

Your mindset empowers your decluttering.

  • Establish a mantra for living with less. Gretchen Rubin’s mantra is outer order inspires inner calm. Write out your mantra to keep you on track with editing.
  • Follow a rule for living. Peter Shankman’s rules include only black clothes in his closet to keep his attire simple. Create simple, effective rules for your living space.

Stay away from swiping

Clutter comes in quickly from online purchases.

  • Pause before purchasing. Give yourself 24 hours before purchasing items online.
  • Remember the adage, when something seems too good to be true, it generally is.
  • Make returns quickly when a purchase is not a good fit. Drop off items at your local USPS, UPS or other location within a week of delivery. You save money this way also.
  • Less coming in means less to declutter later. It is hard to remember to shop your own closet, review your school supplies and find what you need in your home.

 

Using quick and easy decluttering strategies will help you enjoy your space!

Turning Over a New Leaf: ADHD Friendly Fall Decluttering Strategies

 

adhd friendly fall decluttering strategies

 

As the Fall begins, the energy of the season moves us forward to declutter our space. For those with ADHD, the idea and action of editing might feel overwhelming. With the right strategies, you can turn that energy into momentum. Here are some practical methods that are tailored to ADHD minds to bring clarity and organization to your spaces.

 

Understanding the challenges that come with ADHD

Decluttering can be especially challenging due to difficulties with decision-making, sequencing, and sustained attention. In addition, challenges with initiation and perfectionism may make it more difficult to start or finish decluttering in your space. These strategies are curated to align with these challenges.

 

Fall decluttering strategies

Set yourself up for success with these tips.

  • Set small goals for your work.  Rather than decluttering an entire home, start with smaller areas to work. You can focus on one drawer, one shelf, or a small surface.  Starting small will help you have a shorter time to work, making it easier to maintain focus. You will have fewer decisions to make in a smaller area. These small successes will boost your motivation and confidence.
  • Use a timer to keep on task. With the Pomodoro Technique, you can set a timer for 20 minutes and declutter. Then you can take a 5-minute break. Alternate work and breaks for 3 segments. The timer will help you maintain attention and focus.
  • Sort by categories. Using context can make a difference in knowing what to keep and how many to keep. Sorting into categories makes decision-making easier.  You can sort by season, and decluttering from the summer knowing what you have used or what is ready to go. You can tackle books one day, clothes another day and kitchen items another day. It is easier to make decisions.
  • Ask a friend to be your clutter buddy. As your clutter buddy, they are working as a body double with you.

 

Fall maintenance strategies

Keep your space organized with these strategies.

  • Make it as easy as possible to maintain your space with simple rules. Use the five-minute rule to put away items ASAP. This prevents clutter from building up and becoming overwhelming.
  • As items come in, use a two-out and one-in rule. Adopt the rule that for every item that comes in, two items leave.
  • Remember that easy maintenance prevents stress. Resetting your space every Sunday is prepping for a successful week.
  • Every item needs a home. Before you purchase, review what you have and know what you need. Never shop without a list so you know what you need.
  • Make it a team effort. Work with your family or bring in a helper to get stuff back to its home. Outsourcing assistance makes it easier to maintain your space.

Embracing the energy of Fall with decluttering can be manageable by tailoring your strengths to your work. As you clear the clutter, you will find that your mental clarity and focus also improve.

 

4 Ways a Professional Organizer Offers a Fresh Start

4 ways a certified professional organizer gives you a fresh start

 

Your home may be more or less organized.  You may be able to find most of the papers you need and the stuff you use.  But you may feel that there is still room for improvement. If this sounds like you, and you are ready to get your space more organized, it is time to bring in a certified professional organizer to give you a fresh start. Just like you would enlist a trainer or nutritionist to help with fitness or wellness challenges, hiring a certified professional organizer helps you define and update your organizing with a fresh perspective. Here are four reasons why.

Objectivity

You have seen your stuff many times. You may be too close to your stuff or too detailed to have objectivity about your space and your stuff. A certified professional organizer brings in no judgment, only questions to help you with your clarity in a space. Having someone new view your space, you have the opportunity to step back and gain objectivity as well.

 

New perspective

You may be stuck in how you do your organizing. It might be you don’t know where to start or where to go next with your organizing. A certified professional organizer can offer new ideas and strategies on how to approach your work and your stuff.  Gathering a new perspective offers an opportunity for positive change in systems and routines.

Efficiency

Life is busy! We want to move through our organizing quickly and efficiently. A certified professional organizer will help you be efficient and effective in your project. As your partner in organizing, you can be assured that work will progress at a pace that works well for you.

 

Project management and completion

Something that might have seemed easy and simple to begin with, can become more complicated. Moving might include bringing items from multiple locations. You might need to dedicate time to family and work, instead of organizing. A certified professional organizer will bring in project management skills that pull together resources, details, deadlines, and finances. With this assistance, you can work best on the project.

 

Are you ready for a positive change that brings a fresh perspective and a fresh start?  Hire a certified professional organizer to help you!

4 Ways that Working with a Certified Professional Organizer Supports You and Your Goals

4 ways that a certified professional organizer supports you and your goals

 

There are possible times you might have felt overwhelmed by clutter, decisions, and stress in your home or at work. That feeling of being overwhelmed can keep you from setting goals, starting your projects, and getting started on tasks. You might feel like you lack direction.  That’s when you benefit most from hiring a certified professional organizer.  A professional organizer helps you create and maintain systems and routines for home, work, and life.

 

Support for your organizing

Being organized saves you time, money, and stress. A certified professional organizer is a partner in helping you sort and declutter efficiently.  Immediately you know what you have and how to find it. There is no more purchase duplication because you can’t find what you have. You have not wasted time and energy looking for something because it has a home and you can find it. Being organized gives you confidence and control.

Support for your productivity

Being productive gives us back time to do what we love. Working with a certified professional organizer boosts your focus. By identifying distractions and causes of procrastination, and creating a workflow with effective tools, your output improves. Starting a workflow that includes breaking down tasks, projects, and goals into chunks creates manageable deadlines and deliverables. You feel more productive, creative, and in charge.

 

Support for your financial goals

The first step is to identify how to streamline your processes, eliminate waste, and evaluate resources. They can also help you set up systems for managing your bills, receipts, taxes, and budget so that you can avoid late fees, penalties, and stress. By saving time and money, you can free up more resources for your wellness and happiness goals.

 

Support for your well-being

As your other areas improve in life, your overall health, well-being, and emotional wellness improve. Your sense of work-life integration changes, as well as time to pursue what you love and spend time with those you cherish. Establishing healthy boundaries and self-care routines in your day improves your quality of life. With time blocking and Weekly Planning, you are able to prioritize what is most important and follow through consistently. A certified professional organizer can help you establish routines for healthy habits that support your rest, nutrition, and exercise.

 

  • Communication and connection improve your well-being. A certified professional organizer can help you find ways to easily connect through organizing events, finding time for volunteering, and creating space for family connection. Keeping connected is important to a thriving, empowered life.

 

  • Life transitions occur more frequently now. A certified professional organizer can help as you navigate these transitions by coaching and supporting you. Helping build a team, including a coach, therapist, or spiritual advisor, as well as other resources, support you and reduces your anxiety. Finding strategies for relaxation, mindfulness, and positive thinking are benefits.

 

Curious about how this might work for you? Reach out to connect! Together we celebrate your successes, accomplishments, and strengths, supporting you with acknowledgment and encouragement.