ADD Life: Adding Structure & Support to Organizing
Structure and support are necessary components of organizing the ADD life.
Because without them, strategies are less likely to be successful in the long run. Yet structure and support come from different levels, depending upon the strategy being implemented. Some strategies require only support from you yourself, while others need family or friends, and still others necessitate professional help.
This article suggests strategies from the first level, where you can provide the support you need yourself. We’ll deal with the other two levels in later posts.
Each organizing challenge will require support and structure to maintain success. You can create structure in a variety of ways. Here are some:
- Create a schedule (From now on I’ll pay bills on the first and the fifteenth instead of stuffing them in a drawer and forgetting about them)
- Organize in small steps (Instead of organizing the whole pantry, I’ll just tackle the canned goods today)
- Make a step-by-step plan (Today I’ll buy the organizers for my kitchen cabinets, tomorrow I’ll clean out the cabinets, and Wednesday I’ll put all the dishes away in the new organizers)
- Developing routines and habits (Activities that you do at a certain time in a certain way)
Support is as important as structure in organizing the ADD life. Organize for yourself, not for others. Don’t allow some outside standard of “should” to motivate you to organize. There is no shame in having an environment that works for you, that meets your needs and feels good to inhabit.
Remember that supporting your organizing efforts means you will try new ideas and new ways of doing things. Don’t keep doing things the way you’ve done them in the past if they don’t work for you. Find new ways to do them.
Set reasonable goals. Remember that perfectionism isn’t the goal.
Use positive self-affirmations. Encourage yourself with positive thoughts and banish negative ones.
Recognize your progress. Look at what you’ve accomplished instead of focusing on what still needs to be done.
This post is adapted from ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life, by Judith Kolberg & Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.