Staying Organized With ADHD: The Mail Center
If you are a highly dysfunctional ADDer you may have reached the point of giving up organizing, but let's give it another try. Start by considering what "organizing" means. We tend to think that "getting organized" is the task we want to achieve, but the real problem is "staying organized".
Forget about "getting organized" and take a look at what you need to "stay organized".
To stay organized you need to manage new stuff which comes in the mail or is brought in by you or others and old stuff which has a place in the filing system but which has been pulled out for some reason and not put back. All this stuff arrives and settles in hot spots like the kitchen table, your desk or the living room sofa.
To stay organized you need a routine. Yes, yes, I know, routines are boring, but they really do work if, like brushing teeth, they are simple, automatic and don't require too much thinking. Try this: create a mail center. It works for me; it will work for you too.
The mail center should be at or near the door where it arrives; it should not require a detour to place the incoming mail in the Mail Center.
To stock your mail center, you will need:
Here's the process.
It shouldn't take more than a few minutes. If it takes longer you are too involved!
Ask yourself why you want to look at it again? Do you have to make a decision (aye, aye, with ADD, that's a big undertaking)? Look for a date by which whatever has to happen. If you still have to deal with it, write it into the To-Do list now with a date to-do by and file it with To-Do stuff.
Now here's the icing on the cake: apply this same process to all the lose papers on your desk -or wherever they are- and you'll have your place in apple pie order - surprise.
When you are ready to work, take out one folder. When you are finished put all the papers in the folder and drop it back in the bucket. Celebrate!
1. Remember that this is a sorting process, not a doing process.
2. Keep it simple.
3. Spend no more than 5 (maximum 10) minutes a day.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Jane Keyser worked for many years with computers as programmer, analyst, and user trainer, but her struggle with inattentive ADD kept getting in the way of her plans and dreams. Once ADD was identified and the great need that coaching filled, she added ADD Coach training (ADDCoach Academy) to complete her preparation for a new career as ADD Coach.
For a free coaching session, contact me at email@example.com
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