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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Ned Hallowell

Founder of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health, best-selling author, and ADDitude contributor

Create a chore file. I write down chores on index cards -- one per card -- and place them in a card file. I meet once a week with my wife to coordinate the priorities for next week, and to figure out who will be doing what. The system helps me do only those chores that my wife and I think are most important, and provides a single location to go to when trying to remember what to do next.

Schedule sex. Disorganization, distraction, and busy lives mean we aren't organized enough for one of the most important activities in our relationship. Set specific dates for sex, then put a reminder (or two!) in your phone or calendar, so you don't forget. What's less romantic: scheduling sex or never having it?!

Chart tough decisions. Feelings of overwhelm and lack of mental organization get in the way of making important decisions, so I create a decisions chart. On a big piece of lined paper, I write the problem at the top and create three columns: Reasons to do, Reasons not to do, Creative ideas. Then, I fill in the three columns with my wife. The chart organizes our thoughts, and increases the likelihood of finding a good solution, because it forces us to work as a team.

Hire an office organizer. At least once a year, I hire a temporary secretary to do all my filing. I provide a basic overview, and I let the organizer go to it.

Create "capture" areas. I create capture spaces for "grabbing" stuff where it enters. Examples: a large mail bin near the front door, along with a key hanger; hat, mitten, and boot boxes in the mudroom; sports equipment cubbies near the back door.

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