I know the above link states that it is focus on Adult ADHDers but anyone can use this information. These are very quick and simple things to do that can help anyone manage their time better and improve organizational skills.
- Check your planner 3 times a day (Keep it in one spot and check it at least three times a day. Make it a habit to check at the same times each day.)
- Make a New “To Do” list every day (Each morning, make a list of the things you want to get done that day. Try to keep your list realistic, so you’ll have a good chance of getting to everything. Arrange your tasks in order of importance, putting the most important tasks first. Assign each task a specific time of day. Cross off each task when you complete it.)
- Start Organizing–one room at a time (Tackle one room at a time — start with the easiest. Divide the room into sections if you need to; schedule organization time in your planner. Use a timer to manage your work sessions; ask yourself whether you want to keep items or toss them. If you’re not sure, put them in a separate box to go through later.)
- Make Organization a daily habit (if you keep items, they should have a home. Use filing cabinets, labels, clear storage boxes, and over-the-door organizers; take 10 minutes each day to pick up and return items to their proper places; if you take it out, put it back; keep a box for loose papers and other mislaid items to be put away. Go through it at the end of every day.)
- Keep small items together (Place a small table or bookshelf near the entryway of your home. Put a tray or basket on top of it to hold important items such as keys, wallets, watches, glasses, and phones. You can also use this area to hold other items you want to remember, such as lunchboxes, briefcases, important papers, or outgoing mail.)
- Have a rotating menu (Planning regular meals for the entire family may be a challenge. Create a “Top 10” dinner list or regular rotating menu of dishes that you can cook easily. Try to keep those ingredients on hand, or list the ingredients on index cards that you can take with you. Don’t carry the burden of feeding everyone yourself: Have a floating “free” night when you order takeout, or share the kitchen responsibilities with other family members.)
- Follow a mail routine (Develop a system for checking and sorting mail every day. One idea is to create a special area to hold all important mail, such as bills, insurance information, checks, and bank statements. Review this pile at least once a week, sorting bills into a pile to be paid, and filing other important documents where they belong. Stop junk mail from coming to your house by taking your name off mailing lists.)
- Write down what you spend (Managing money can be difficult for people with ADHD, especially if you tend to make impulse purchases. Carry a notebook or use an electronic device or financial website to keep track of everything you buy — even very small purchases. Knowing how much you spend each month — and on what — will help you manage your money.)
- Use electronic reminders (Forgetting meetings, deadlines, medications, or other responsibilities can create problems at work and in your personal life. For help, turn to computer programs and other electronic devices to remind you of appointments and deadlines. For example, set your computer or smartphone to alert you five minutes before every event in your calendar.)
- Tune out distractions at work (Route your calls to voicemail, then check it only at set times during the day.
- Ask for a quiet cubicle or office at work, so you aren’t distracted by others; use a “white noise” machine or listen to earphones to drown out other sounds at work.
- Stick to doing just one task at a time.)
- Fight Boredom (Many people with ADHD get bored easily — especially during routine tasks or paperwork. This can make it difficult to stay focused at work. Try these tips:
- Break up big tasks into smaller tasks.
- Between tasks, take a walk or get fresh air.
- Take notes in meetings.)
- Simplify your lie with fewer tasks (Organizing and simplifying your surroundings will help you reduce clutter, keep track of your belongings, and remove some of the distractions that prevent you from focusing. Simplifying can work for your schedule, too. Don’t start a new project or task until you’ve finished the current one. Try not to overschedule yourself with too many projects or tasks at once. You may need to practice saying no to new tasks to stay focused.)
- Get more exercise (Regular exercise may help manage your ADHD symptoms. At the very least, it can help you channel extra energy…Some research suggests that physical activity may stimulate parts of the brain associated with ADHD. Activities like yoga and karate may be better for ADHD because they offer opportunities for memorizing movements.)
- Start Tasks with 15-minute blocks (When you’re having trouble starting a project, try this exercise:
- Set a timer for 15 minutes.
- For those 15 minutes, focus on that one task only.
- When the time is up, decide if you can keep going for another 15 minutes.
- If you can, reset the timer. Keep going at 15-minute intervals for as long as you can.
- If you can’t do any more, stop and try again later or the next day.)
- Use Color Coding (Colored files, folders, and notes can help you stay better organized. Here are a few examples:
- Use color-coded files to keep track of different types of expenses, such as groceries, auto, entertainment, and utilities.
- Use different colored pens or highlighting in your planner to separate work, personal, and family commitments.)
- Learn from your to-do lists (If you see a lot of unfinished tasks left on your “to-do” lists, try to figure out why. Did you try to get everything done at one time? Did you list big tasks that could have been broken down into smaller ones? Or did distractions keep you from completing your tasks? Use this information to help arrange future “to-do” lists, or to find ways to work more efficiently.)
Being an Adult ADHDer myself, I try very hard to follow the above in general but creating new habits or not following-through can be difficult for someone with or without ADHD.
Of the above list, here are the few I know work from personal experience:
I make a list for myself every day but usually the last 15-20 minutes of work to aid in my preparation for the following day. I am not a morning person and cannot remember everything that I need to do. In the afternoon, I know what I have not completed and when things are due, so I write them down then.
Color coding is new for me but something I have started for the last two months or so. I have actually been able to remember more tasks by writing down or highlighting text in different colors. I have started doing multiple highlighter colors in my textbooks too.
I play music at work, my boss does not mind, and it aids in me staying productive. The telephone is the only aspect that throws me off but since I am an Administrative Assistant, you cannot ignore the phone unless you’re in a meeting or webinar session.
I use electronic reminders all the time. I even discovered, thanks to Facebook actually, a new free app for iPhone (and I think Android too) called EasilyDo. It has built in processes for you to help prevent duplicate contacts, can look through your e-mail and if it appears something is a meeting date and time then it will ask if you want to put it in your calendar and can auto-fill your calendar; it will even give you reminders about birthdays on your phone and social media (Facebook, Twitter). I like it better than my normal reminders I have built in. You do have to ok it linking to all these various accounts, of course. I even recommended it to my boss who I hope tries it out. There is a free version that I am currently using and a paid version that has more functions and features.
Well, I have to get back to work. I came across the article and just had to share its usefulness with you all. Please let me know what you have found that helps you stay focused, manage your time better, and keep yourself (home, and/or work) organized. I would love to know.
Have a great day. Thank you for your reading.