Everyday Organizational Tips

Health Writer

Some common problems associated with ADD/ADHD usually include disorganization, losing items and procrastination. Some ideas and tips to help people overcome these everyday struggles.

  1. We each have tasks to complete that we really don't want to do. Create a plan to complete one or two of these tasks early in the day. Once you get them over with, you will be able to concentrate on those things that you enjoy.

  2. If you are consistently spending time looking for where you placed your keys, try this trick. Get a small wooden box and place it on your kitchen counter or on a table by the door you come in. Go to the bank and get a roll of quarters. Each day, place your keys and one quarter in the box. If you forget, take a quarter out of the box (later, of course, when you remember or while you are searching for your keys.) Once all of the quarters are in the box, you should be remembering to place your keys in the box each time you come home. Take the quarters and go buy yourself lunch.

  3. Use an index card box for planning. Purchase an index card box and monthly dividers. When something comes up that you will need to do, write it on an index card, put the date on the top corner and place in the box behind the month it needs to be done. Each week, you can pull out the cards that need to be completed and put in the front of the box. That way, you will have a reminder of all that needs to be done. This is great when you have advance notice and are concerned you will forget the event.

  1. Use email and voice mail to remind yourself. If you are at home and want to remember something the next day at work, send yourself an email or call your work number and leave yourself a voice message. The same goes if you are at work and want to remember to complete something later at home.

  2. Carry a small notebook at all times. Using scraps of paper to write yourself notes is dangerous. Little pieces of paper tend to get lost and forgotten. A notebook is more difficult to lose.

  3. Use the alarm system on your PDA or cell phone to alert you to appointments or items you must do.

  4. If you find yourself running out the door late each morning, use a kitchen timer and set it each morning to go off 10 minutes before you need to leave. It will be a reminder that there are only a few minutes left to get finished up and out the door.

  5. Post-it notes are a great way to remember things while you are in the car. They can be stuck to the dashboard or on the steering wheel. Keep a pack in the car to write down what you want to accomplish. Before heading back home, check your list to be sure everything is completed. Then throw away the note.

  1. Use a PDA to keep track of what you need to accomplish.

  2. Spend time creating your own grocery-shopping checklist. Use your own store as a guideline and create a list that will go aisle by aisle. At home, check off the items you need to buy. Once at the store, you will have a list that will save you time and help you get everything.

  3. Write a "things to do" list each evening for the following day.

  4. Break down large tasks. No matter what the task, write down all of the steps to complete it. Take one step at a time and cross it off your list as it is completed. Each time you cross off another item you will get a sense of accomplishment.