Are you an adult struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? You’re not alone. It’s estimated that four million adults have ADHD – and while it can be difficult to focus on certain tasks, it’s not impossible. It just requires more effort. Judith Kolberg, author of the book Conquering Chronic Disorganization, assures us there’s no such thing as becoming perfectly organized, but small changes can bring more order to your life. Here are five tips to help you run your life with ADHD and not let it run you!
1. Declutter your environment.
The more clutter you have in your life, the more difficult it is to focus because as you stare at that tall stack of papers on your desk, you start feeling overwhelmed and anxious. An organized environment helps those with ADHD to feel calm and when you feel calm, you’re focused and able to function much more effectively.
2. Limit distractions.
Some distractions can be good because they help to refresh our mind throughout the day, but having too many can throw you off track. We know it can be challenging with everyone living in a technology-driven world, but if you can, try turning off the television, radio, phone, computer, or whatever else you need to stay disciplined.
3. Pace yourself.
If you focus on every single thing that you have to do for the day, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed and distracted. Instead of trying to juggle four or five tasks at once, focus on one at a time.
4. Use a planner.
Don’t underestimate the power of keeping a daily planner. Even if you don’t have ADHD, using a planner helps you to organize and prioritize your tasks because let’s face it: The older we get, the more we forget. We’ve all heard of the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind,” right? Don’t let that happen to you. Jot it down now and you won’t forget later! If planners aren’t really your thing, try keeping a daily to-do list, but keep it small.
5. Color-code everything.
As a child, did you ever color code your planner, notes or folders? Well, there’s no reason why you still can’t do that today! Bright colors grab your attention, which forces you to focus on them. While you’re at it, you could even color-code your emails. Blue for your boss, yellow for your coworkers, green for the kids, purple for friends – you get the idea. One more thing: On your to-do list, you could highlight all your morning tasks in pink and highlight all your afternoon tasks in orange – whatever floats your boat.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org ADHD center for more articles.