I went to an elementary school that did a lot of educational testing. This was the early seventies and the school was forward thinking in the educational world. They said that if there was a test for distractibility, I would be in the 99th percentile. If a fly flew past the window, I was there. It was just the way I was.
Twenty five years or so later when getting tested to document learning disabilities before entering graduate school I am told I have ADHD. It wasn’t what I had come for but it explained so much once I read about ADHD. The next revelation came when after trying different medications we found one that worked for me. It was like a whole new world. I could sit still for forty-five minutes studying. A miracle.
It not only influenced my school work but also my personal life which was very disorganized. I was never paying bills on time because they would get lost in the mess of my apartment. My apartment itself was a nightmare, nothing put away, hung up or organized. I was out of contact with friends because I never got around to responding to letters and emails.
Aside from medication, a few of the things that helped me pull it together:
- Making a space for everything so there was a clear place that everything went. (That meant a huge decluttering job first.)
- Using a “body double” when needed (a body double is someone who keeps you company and on task as you work. Their presence “obligates” you to get something done. Family and friends are good body doubles.)
- Make simple task lists
- Have lists for repeated activities that you have trouble remembering. (I have a permanent packing list for travel that is everything but my clothes so I don’t forget things that are important nor do I spend time deciding what I need to take. Things like cell charger, contact solution, etc.)
- Hire or trade out things you just can’t do or won’t do. (This maybe hiring someone twice a month for an hour to do your bills and filing or cleaning once a week or every other week, There are many configurations, get creative.)
- Use a calendar of some sort ruthlessly! (Paper, computer or cell phone – keep it with you and check it multiple times a day. Write/enter everything in it. Look ahead a week and a month so you know what is coming down the road so there are no surprises)
Hopefully some of these tips will work for you. Maybe you have a tip you would like to share about getting it together and staying there, please feel free to comment.