Feeling Overwhelmed? Take Control!

Filed Under: Organization Tips for ADD Adults

Q:

"I was recently diagnosed with ADD—it came as a huge surprise—and am now overwhelmed with learning organizing skills, testing medications and planning my large wedding."

Holly Uverity
A:

I think it's very important that you understand that you don't have to learn everything about ADD all at once; my guess is that if the diagnosis came as a 'huge surprise' to you, then you were probably doing OK in the various areas of your life and you can slowly begin to incorporate changes into your routines.

My first suggestion is that you create a place to capture all the information that will be coming your way—a sectioned spiral notebook would work great. Think of the notebook as giant pieces of scrap paper bound together; its sole purpose is to capture and hold information about ADD until you are ready to do something with that information.

Create one section for each area you've identified as something you need to learn more about. You can have a section called 'Medications', another called 'Organizing Skills', another called 'Personal Relationships', and another called 'Books/Magazines/Websites to Check Out'.

As you learn new things about ADD, and yourself, the notebook becomes the place to record your information—write down everything you hear or read or see in your spiral notebook under the appropriate section. Begin by writing down everything you already know under each section and adding to that information as you learn new things. This will come in particularly handy as you test medications—you can record all your medications, dosages and side effects in one place—and will be a great help to your doctor when trying to determine which medications and which dosages are best for you.

My assumption is that you have already started the wedding preparations and already have a method for keeping track of all the information that goes with wedding planning. If you don't have a 'wedding planner' of some sort, then by all means, start one. Using the same principles outlined above for your ADD Spiral Notebook, create a notebook. A three-ring binder might work better here than a spiral with sections relevant to the wedding.

Sections could include 'Music', 'Flowers', 'Location', 'Wedding Party', Photographer/Videographer', 'Food' etc. Be sure to include blank paper behind each tab so you can staple pictures and you'll have plenty of room to write notes. Then as you begin getting estimates on flowers, for example, all that information goes into the planner under the 'Flowers' section and when you are ready to make a decision about the flowers, you'll have everything you need at your fingertips.

By creating a home for all the information you need to keep track of, whether it relates to your wedding or your health, you'll be in a much better position to make decisions about what needs to be done.

Holly Uverity is an organization expert who runs the Houston-based firm Office Organizers. She is the founding president of Houston Professional Organizers and is a very active member of NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers.

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