ADD Organizing: Teamwork From Family & Friends
Organizing for people with ADD often requires a team.
Your family and friends can be your structure and support when it comes to organizing and getting tasks done. In fact, they are your team.
The hardest part about assembling a structure and support team is admitting you need help. I tell myself, “I’m capable. I’m smart. I’m not lazy. I just need to decide to do it.” But that’s really not all there is to it.
So housework may not be rocket science, but to the person with ADD, it might as well be. Standing in a disorganized room is so overwhelming, it is as difficult as performing advanced mathematical equations is to a five year old. Especially for ADD women, admitting that housework and household organization are not their strong suit may be particularly difficult. Society puts subtle and not-so-subtle pressure on women to perform these tasks well, regardless of their personal strengths and weaknesses. So for the ADD challenged woman, asking for help is admitting that they just don’t stack up.
Deciding to ask for help is the first step to overcoming the dilemma, and for that you need permission. You need permission from yourself to ask for help, so it makes sense to make asking for help a structured part of your organizing plan. Think of it like part of the equation. A (task) + B (help) = C (organizing). There is no stigma attached to A + B = C; it just is the way it is. There are no emotions attached to variables in an equation. They are simply part of the equation and necessary to achieve the correct result.
Benefits of Teamwork
There are many benefits of obtaining help from family and friends.
- Your morale will be higher
- You won’t be as distracted
- You’ll organize faster
- You’ll stay at it longer
Here’s how to tackle ADD-Friendly family organizing.
- Let your family know specifically how your ADD affects you
- Don’t use ADD as an excuse
- Share information with your family (ideas, books, methods, organizing advice you’re following)
- Let family members be the maintenance organizers.
Friends can be less judgmental and more objective, and can help you with your structure and support sometimes more than family, especially if they, too, have ADD. Another adult with ADD can sometimes be more helpful than someone who does not fully grasp the problem. Try mutual organizing, like cleaning a room in your house one day and a room in their house another day.
Structure and support partners
Clutter Companion. Choose someone who is good at organizing possessions, clutter, closets and storage areas in the home.
Paper Partner. Choose someone who is good at organizing papers and filing.
Time Tutor. This is the person who keeps appointments on time, keeps a schedule, and accomplishes what he sets out to do during the day.
Body Double. Someone to keep you company while you organize is sometimes all you need. This person needs to be positive and cheerful.
The information in this post is adapted from ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.