I hate being overwhelmed.
When I am, I feel panicky and confused, and I procrastinate, especially when it comes to getting things done and keeping a lid on clutter. Fortunately, I have learned a few quick tricks that help me stay on task. Here are three favorites:
Name the Game
When you get distracted, Name the Game will move you forward:
> First, name the task at hand by saying it aloud. Let’s say the name is “I’m opening the mail.”
> Decide how you’ll know when the task is complete. For me, I’ve won the game when I've conquered all the mail-related paper clutter: all the envelopes have been opened, the junk mail is in the recycling bin, and the items that need action are in the inbox.
> Talk your way through the task. Every time you find you’re off task — you get a phone call or someone walks in the room — say, "No, that's not what I'm doing now," and repeat the name of the game aloud: "I'm opening the mail."
> When you finish your task, dance a jig and yell, "I've won the game!"
Under the Sheets
> Drape a sheet or a blanket over most of the area you want to organize, allowing only a small area of the clutter to show at a time.
> Deal with that bit of visible clutter.
> Once you’ve organized the first bit, slide the sheet over to expose another chunk of the clutter, and tackle it.
> Keep moving the sheet, clearing and organizing as you go.
This works well when an entire room is a total mess.
> With your hands or the cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper, make a spyglass in front of one eye.
> Pick a room you’d like to organize and stand in the middle of it.
> Close your eyes and turn around. Now open your eyes and look through your spyglass.
> Do you spot a small area to organize? When you focus your spyglass on one area, you can actually see the clutter!
> Dash over to the spot you spied and tidy it up. Don’t wait. Do it now!
Use the spyglass technique a few times a day to increase your awareness of your clutter. And have fun doing it.
Dana Rayburn is a Senior ADHD coach and author of the ADD Success newsletter.
This article appears in ADDitude.
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