Perfect Is Pointless: 16 Organization Rules You Can Follow

Counterintuitive as it sounds, many ADHD organization challenges stem from perfectionism — the common, learned belief that things must be done impeccably. It's an impossible standard that leaves many of us with cluttered homes, out-of-control finances, and exhausting schedules. These 16 organization rules can help change the tide.

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Organize for the Big Picture

Set time limits for decision-making. ADDers can spend days agonizing over decisions that others make in minutes. Speed the process by setting a time frame or a budget cap. If you're choosing a summer camp for your child, for example, set a deadline, and make the best choice you can by that date. If you're deciding which new cell phone to buy, pick a price cap and ignore more costly phones.

Always identify the most important factor to consider in making any decision, whether it's price, convenience, aesthetics, practicality, or something else. Focus solely on that factor when considering your decision.

Fight the tendency to over-commit. For each new commitment you make, give up an old one. If you agree to join the school fund-raising committee, for instance, give up the neighborhood watch committee. ADDers tend to spread themselves too thin.

Keep your to-do lists brief. Using big, bold letters, make a list of no more than five tasks on an index card. (List any additional items on the back of the card.) Once you have done those five things, refer to the back of the card to create a new to-do list - and discard the old one. You'll accomplish more, feel less frustrated, and manage your time better. (For a high-tech approach to to-do lists, see To-Do Lists That Really Work.)

Fight hyperfocus. Set an alarm clock, kitchen timer, or computer alert - or arrange for someone reliable to call you at a specified time or times. If you tend to lose yourself on eBay for hours at a time, you need this kind of help.

Use a "body double." This is a friend or family member who sits with you as you tackle mundane chores, like balancing a checkbook, filling out a job application, or reviewing financial statements. Your body double will create a productive atmosphere by sitting quietly and doing an unobtrusive task, like affixing stamps to envelopes or clipping recipes from a magazine.

Next: OrganizeYour Finances...

To share strategies for staying organized, visit the ADHD Adults support group on ADDConnect.

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TAGS: Organization Tips for ADD Adults, ADHD Time Management, ADHD and Money, ADHD Expert Tips

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