Category Archives: ADD/ADHD

What Flavor Of Organizing Do You Need?

 

Did you know organizers don’t just organize?  Professional organizing comes in all sorts of flavors. Some organizers are more generalists and cover lots of areas; others pick one specialty and stick to that.  Have a look at the variety of challenges where professional organizers can help:

  1. ADD/ADHD
  2. Bookkeeping
  3. Business development
  4. Children and teen organizing
  5. Chronic disorganization
  6. Closet design and organizing
  7. Coaching
  8. Consulting
  9. Corporate operations
  10. Digital organizing
  11. Downsizing
  12. Eco-organizing
  13. Estate management
  14. Estate sales
  15. Event planning
  16. Feng Shui
  17. Financial management/Bookkeeping/Bill-paying
  18. Garage sales
  19. Garages/Attics/Basements
  20. Hands-on organizing
  21. Hoarding behavior
  22. Home inventories
  23. Home offices
  24. Home staging
  25. Household management
  26. KonMari organizing
  27. Notary Public
  28. Online sales
  29. Paper management
  30. Personal assistance
  31. People with disabilities
  32. Photography/Memorabilia/Collections
  33. Project management
  34. Psychology involved in organizing/productivity
  35. Records management
  36. Relocation and move management
  37. Social media
  38. Space planning and design
  39. Speaking and training
  40. Storage units
  41. Task and time management
  42. Team productivity
  43. Technology
  44. Travel prep
  45. Virtual organizing

No matter the size or scope of your project, we can help you find an organizer with the specialty you need! Ask us for recommendations or go directly to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals — NAPO.net.

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Filed under ADD/ADHD, artwork, Bathroom, Bay Area Services, Bedroom, Business Organizing, children, Closets, clothing, couples, Decluttering, disorganization, downsizing, Empty Nest, Garage, General Organizing, Holidays, home organizing, Kids, Kitchen, Laundry, Living Room, Memorabilia, Moving, Office, Paper, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, School, Seniors, Storage, Technology, Time Management, Travel, Wedding

Productivity Tips for Life Management

productivity morning ritual

Tip: Start your day with a routine that primes you to be in charge

All of us, at one time or another, get that sinking feeling of having way too much to do in way too little time. It’s demoralizing to feel overwhelmed by the routine tasks of everyday life. While barely treading water with the routine tasks, it doesn’t take much – a flat tire, an unexpected potluck, a roof leak – to push your schedule into full chaos. How can you reclaim your sanity and sense of control and competence?

Here are some strategies from a recent workshop we took from Productivity Coach, Steve Kirch.

Make Conscious Choices

Busy is a choice, but often doesn’t feel like it. You may not feel like you have choice or control over your time. But even in the most obligated person’s schedule there is enough wiggle room to create space for reflection, planning, and some choice-making. Regaining control of your schedule and your life, starts with making a little time to evaluate the bigger picture and consciously deciding what tasks are essential and where they fit best in your schedule. Otherwise, we get pulled from our important goals into other people’s priorities.

Purge, Purge, Purge

One of the most essential things to do is re-evaluate how much you take on. Just as our spaces get cluttered, so do our schedules. Given your personal priorities, figure out both your essential tasks and those that make you truly happy — and fit those in first.

Create a Morning Routine

It doesn’t have to take oodles of time to plan.  Start with 10 minutes of any day and be intentional about how you are going to spend your day. What are YOUR critical few priorities for today? The ideal time to do this is first thing in the morning.

Consider getting up a little earlier and incorporating this short morning routine that grounds you for the day and helps you feel in control of the ship:

  • Stretch or move
  • Drink some water
  • Meditate
  • Plan the day (check your calendar)

Get Things Done

Try these strategies for actually getting tasks done:

  • Time blocking – group like tasks together and schedule a block of time to complete them before moving on to a different set of tasks or project.
  • Pomodoro Technique® – work for 25 minutes, don’t work for 5 minutes, for 4 rounds –then take a longer break.
  • Don’t check email first thing in morning.
  • Know your biological prime time – what is yours? Try and schedule important tasks during this higher energy time.
  • If you’re naturally distractible (ADD), structure your planning time to avoid distractions and consider silencing your phone or putting it on airplane mode to avoid interruptions.

Try to incorporate one or two of these tips into your day and see how it feels.  If you need more help, consult with a Professional Organizer, Coach or Productivity Specialist.  Asking for help can be one of the most productive tips of all.

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Filed under ADD/ADHD, Decluttering, home organizing, organizing, Perspective, Technology, Time Management

A Perspective on Moving from a Coach

artful coaching on moving

Our favorite personal coach, Sydney Metrick of Artful Coaching has just gone through the experience of downsizing and had some valuable insights to share.

How long does it take to accumulate more stuff than you need? I’m a person who detests clutter not only for aesthetic reasons, but because I think better when things are neat and organized. Yet, it appears I have waaaay more stuff than I need or would ever use.

Stuff seems to fall into six categories:

  1. The things I use regularly and actually need
  2. Items I acquired because they were interesting and I might enjoy them
  3. The “someday” items that are clothed with good intentions
  4. Gifts
  5. Memorabilia
  6. Mystery items

Because I’m moving, drastic downsizing is mandatory. Going through two decades of books, clothes, art, and extensive miscellaneous stuff, I’ve learned two really important things. The first thing is that only the stuff in category #1 is worth packing and taking, like insurance papers, my computer, clothing, and shoes. The second insight came about from looking through everything in categories #2-#6. That is, looking through them is enough. It’s kind of like a review and letting go. It was nice to take those little trips down memory lane, but bottom line, living in the past is not for me. Would I truly miss a wooden cigar box, or a meditation candle I received one holiday? Did I really care about the glass that acknowledged Peter and Jennifer’s wedding? And what exactly are the little brushes for anyway that were in the box with printer ink?

So, in addition to scheduling time to go through everything, I also had to pack and label the things I’m keeping, and arrange for everything else to be sold, donated, given away, or shredded. It was a lot. But I thought how moving is such a great motivator. Going through all those things was fun, interesting, informative, and useful.

Wondering how this might work for you if you’re not moving? Consider the “gift of the month” exercise. Pick a drawer, shelf, box or whatever, that you haven’t gone through for quite a while (or ever). Set aside an hour or so one day that you’ll devote to emptying and looking at everything in that space. Put back only what really makes sense and discard the rest. What’s the gift? Well, it may be that you find something you’d been looking for or had forgotten. Or you have the gift of a newly decluttered and organized space.

Be Sociable!

sydney-metrick.jpg

Sydney Metrick of Artful Coaching – Coaching for ADHD and other non-linear thinkers since 1998.

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Filed under ADD/ADHD, Decluttering, downsizing, Guest Experts, Moving, Perspective, Strategies

ADHD and Relationships: A Primer

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In our experience, we often run into couples who face the challenges of ADHD within their relationship. Managing a household is challenging enough but without effective communication, decision making is compromised – potentially derailing the organizing project.

Three main criteria that define ADHD:

  • Inattention
  • Poor Impulse Control
  • Hyperactivity

Any person would have a different mix of these symptoms and a different intensity of the behaviors. Because ADHD is often misunderstood, people with ADHD often face a barrage of judgment and criticism about their behavior without receiving credit for the benefits their style provides.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Tension increases when couples don’t understand each other
  • Navigating a relationship with a person with ADHD requires understanding what ADHD is about and how it manifests for your partner in particular.
  • People with ADHD can learn to manage inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity that may be affecting the relationship.
  • If a person with ADHD commits to trying to learn new skills, it should be from the perspective of wanting to improve the quality of their relationship, not from the perspective of trying to be somebody they’re not.

This work for couples is not about being right or wrong, but about being understood. Couples need to learn to acknowledge and accept each other, not try to fix each other. Having false expectations of each other will create conflict. Basically, relationship success is based on connection, friendship and mutual respect.

What do you do about it?

Develop understanding and compassion for each other. One way to do this is to create small and large opportunities for connection. Each successful connection is like putting money in the bank to amass capital for when things aren’t going so well (like when the ADHD behaviors are particularly challenging.)  See the resource section below to find out about Love Languages.

Noted relationship researcher John Gottman has determined that there are 4 key behaviors that will sabotage a relationship. Here they are with their antidotes:

Being Critical – the antidote is: Complain without blaming. Use “I” statements to express your feelings and desires.

For example, instead of saying, “You’re always late!” try “Being late really stresses me out.” Or instead of “You’re not listening to me!” try, “I really want to share this with you.”

Defensiveness – This is a form of self-protection. Taking responsibility for your part in a conflict (even a little bit) can diffuse tension.

Contempt/Sarcasm – If you tend to make statements from a position of superiority, combat this by: Actively use positive affirmations, build a culture of appreciation and respect in your relationship.

Stonewalling – This usually happens when the listener feels flooded, gets overwhelmed and shuts down. An antidote: If you are frustrated or overwhelmed, take a break for at least 20 minutes to de-stress and agree to reconnect after that.

With all these resources at hand, there is hope.  Though it requires effort, the benefits await. Harmony in the home is the foundation for an organized and happy home.


Resources

ADHD Self-Report Scale

Love Languages Quiz

Gottman Institute

Sydney Metrick – ADD coach

Bowbay Feng, LMFT

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Filed under ADD/ADHD, Strategies

10 Tips to Keep Up During the Holiday Season

Is it a challenge to keep up during the holidays?

Is it a challenge to keep up during the holidays?

This is a re-post of a blog by our favorite time management expert, Sydney Metrick of Artful Coaching

The days are getting shorter as we approach winter, and you might feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done; especially during the holiday season. Is it possible to keep up? Or even get ahead? Here are some tips.

  1. Look at the dates of the big holidays you celebrate. What do you typically do for each of them. Think about how long the preparations have taken in past years and schedule start dates for the tasks.
  2. Do you have to do everything yourself? Consider what you can delegate and let others take care of those things.
  3. 
Are the items on your task list  “must do” or just “it would be nice to do.” Focus on the must do items.
  4. How much time can you free up to do the things that are actually important? Is watching television or hanging out on Facebook really necessary?
  5. 
Plan each day every morning. Think about what tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
  6. Learn to say no. It’s okay to set limits.
  7. Less is more. Think about what is enough and what might be more than necessary.
  8. If things feel overwhelming just pick three things you will do that day and put your energy and time into doing them.
  9. Give yourself credit for anything and everything you accomplish no matter how small.
  10. 
Get plenty of rest no matter what.

Think of being the person who designs your life.

Choose one item on this list and take action this week.  Let us know how it goes!

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Filed under ADD/ADHD, Decluttering, General Organizing, Holidays, Office, Perspective, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, Strategies, Time Management

Battling Boredom – Making Organizing Fun

Find yourself procrastinating?  Make a game of organizing!

Find yourself procrastinating? Make a game of organizing!

Does the thought of picking up and organizing your house bore you to tears or completely overwhelm you? Make a game of it to keep engaged!

Timer Games

Using a timer helps maintain your focus. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. See how many items you can put away before the timer goes off. Note that “put away” actually means that – not just shove out of sight into a random drawer, cabinet, or closet.

Need to purge an area? Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Focus only on 1 area and see how many things you can get into a donation bag or trashcan. For example, focus on your sock drawer or hanging clothes or board games or colored markers or…you get the idea.

Engage the whole family and create teams! Have a simple reward for the team that gets the most points. The losing team has to do the dishes that night or take out the garbage.

Let The Cards Choose For You

This game requires a bit of preparation but helps conquer indecision.

Take a small stack of index cards and write out regular tasks that help keep you organized. If needed, you can be very specific. Here are examples of general vs. specific tasks:

General Tasks: do dishes, open mail, put away toys

Specific Tasks:

  • Bring dishes to sink OR rinse dishes OR load dishwasher
  • Open 5 envelopes OR throw out junk mail OR mark the due date on 5 bills
  • Put all loose Legos in a box OR gather crayons and markers into a bucket OR put books on shelves

To play the game, pick a card from the deck and work on it for as long as you have set aside to work. Use a timer if that’s helpful. A variation is to pick out 2 cards and then choose the task you want to do.

It’s useful to make task cards for areas of the house that regularly get out of order. If you don’t want to make your own cards, Time to Organize® offers a card deck you can buy.

Keep it simple, make cards for tasks that apply to you

Keep it simple, make cards for tasks that apply to you

Under the Sheets

This tip comes from an article written by Dana Rayburn in ADDitude magazine and works great to reduce overwhelm. For large areas of clutter, such as your desk, a table, the floor, or a counter — any place with so much stuff on it that you don’t know where to start:

  • Drape a sheet or a blanket over most of the area you want to organize, allowing only a small area of the clutter to show at a time.
  • Deal with that bit of visible clutter.
  • Once you’ve organized the first bit, slide the sheet over to expose another chunk of the clutter, and tackle it.
  • Keep moving the sheet, clearing and organizing as you go.

Organizing can be fun and satisfying if you adjust your perspective. Most people agree that housework and filing isn’t a “fun” activity.  But you can make it fun with these tips!  Do you have any games that work in your household?  Share them here!

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Filed under ADD/ADHD, Decluttering, General Organizing, Strategies, Time Management