Get Organized: The ADHD Experts on Time Management and Decluttering

Manage time, battle clutter, fight forgetfulness, and be as organized as experts with these 40 tips!


Filed Under: Get Organized at Work, Organization Tips for ADD Adults, Organization Tips for ADHD Kids, ADHD Time Management
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Beth Main

Beth Main, ADD/ADHD coach and ADDitude contributor

Easy access. I keep items that are used together near each other. For example, the cutting board lives next to the knives. It minimizes running back and forth to get the things I need to do a job. Similarly, I keep stuff that I use regularly (like exercise equipment) easily accessible.

Don't procrastinate. When new paperwork comes into the house (in the mail, from the school, from the doctor), I immediately sort it into Action Required, Might Act On Someday, Reference/Cold Storage, or Trash. The Action Required items go into a bin, and also get entered on my to-do list.

Maintain a to-do list. I keep a master list with everything I intend to do someday, in Microsoft Outlook. (The "Tasks" feature lets me categorize, assign due dates, and reorder things according to priority.) A master to-do list keeps me from forgetting important things, and frees up mental bandwidth, since I don't have to store things in my head.

Use technology to stay organized. I use Google Calendar to track appointments and time-sensitive tasks. I program it to send a text message to my phone to remind me of an appointment. I set up different calendars for different parts of my life: coaching appointments, personal stuff, project milestones. Each is color-coded, and I can display or suppress the calendars individually, depending on what I need to know.

Organize your thoughts. Mind maps (aka graphic organizers) create some semblance of order in my head. They help with making decisions, solving problems, ruminating, or getting started on a writing project. I draw circles and write a few words representing an idea in each one, then connect the circles that are related. I am not a linear thinker, so this technique works well for me.

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