Top Ten De-clutter Tips - October

ADHD Awareness  
  1. Work on structure and routine as well as the ability to consistently maintain them. This includes putting items back where they belong after using them, and recognizing what is necessary and what is clutter. Develop routines by making lists and jotting down "notes to self."

  2. Control your paper clutter. If you find yourself noticing stacks of paper piled up in various parts of your home or office, consider what system would best help you keep them organized. You can set up a filing system (we love color-coding and labeling) or going paperless. If you truly are a "stacker," keep your stacks organized with rubber-bands and a post-it on top stating what each stack represents. Go through and deal with your mail on a daily basis. If you find managing the mail on a daily basis is a challenge, try a weekly basis first. The key is to act when you open the mail: discard, pay bills, RSVP, etc.

  3. Manage your time and understand your relationship to time. Keep a visual reminder of the time in the form of a clock, watch, and/or timer. Identify how long it takes to complete common tasks by writing down when you start/finish them. Use timers to help. If you are organizing your mail, set an alarm for when you need to leave for your meeting so you are not late.

  4. Understand your priorities and how to identify what is and is not a priority. It is easy to jump from one task to another, making large projects difficult to complete. Decide what's first by deadline and importance. Write what you need to do in the order you would like to do it. If you are working on a large project, break it down into pieces and work on one piece at a time.

  5. Maintain workplace organization by setting 10 minutes at the end of the day to clear up your workspace. This ensures a clean workspace when you start again with little distractions.

  6. Keep distractions to a minimum with a "do not disturb" sign, and face a wall to stay on track. If a random/important idea pops up in your mind, jot it down so you can get to it after you complete the task on which you're working. Set certain times to check e-mail, voicemail, texts, etc.

  7. Take care of your body and brain with adequate sleep and nutrition. Sleep deprivation can increase ADD/ADHD symptoms, hindering focus and increasing stress throughout the day. Try to remain consistent with what time you go to sleep and wake up. Nourish your body with whole foods and protein. Develop an exercise routine or set time for yourself to de-stress.

  8. If you find yourself unable to cope with your ADD/ADHD symptoms, seek guidance. No one said you have to do it alone! Invest in a coach, whether it's a friend who you can help as an accountability partner, a colleague, a therapist, or a professional ADD coach. Research your local area to see if there are any support groups. If not, look to online support groups. The goal is to find encouragement, hope, understanding and tactics to eliminate your struggles.

  9. Understand your mood swings. What is the cause? What is the solution? Avoid getting "stuck" in a bad mood by looking for the solutions to what is upsetting you. If you need help finding a solution, talk about it with someone you trust who can be unbiased and will tell you the reality of your situation.

  10. Identify your strengths to help combat your weaknesses. We all have personal and professional strengths and weaknesses, but how we manage them is what affects our life. If you work best in the morning, use this time to compete your most tedious and grueling tasks. If your office is too quiet and you have difficulty working in that condition, add some background noise/music. Work in conditions that are best conducive to your productivity.

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Regina Lark
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