Ask the Experts

Dear Organizing Coach: How Do I Stop Being SO Indecisive?

One minute you’re overwhelmed by choices. The next, you’re making a snap decision you regret almost instantaneously. How do you strike the right balance between weighing your options and just choosing something (anything!) already? Start with this advice.

Q: How do I make decisions and stick with them? – Pennsylvania Lis.

Hi Pennsylvania Lis:

Decision making can be a struggle for adults with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD). There are too many options. Or, you’re afraid to make the wrong choice. Plus, it requires a healthy working memory, which is often impaired by the condition. Here are a few tips to get you started on choosing a path, and then sticking with it.

Start by setting a goal of what you want to achieve. Focus on making ONE decision surrounding that goal at a time. Let’s say you want to decide if you should keep an old couch in your home. Most people don’t just focus on “keep” or “go;” they get stuck on what to do with the “go” decision. “Should I donate it? Give it to my sister? Haul it out on trash day? Maybe I should save it for my kids?” And the list goes on and on. Pause, and remember to make one choice before considering the next.

Build on your success. Ask yourself, “What systems or decisions have I made that are in place that are working?” Perhaps you have an organizing strategy in your kitchen that helps you remember your keys, wallet, and cellphone. Try to replicate that in your bedroom or mudroom to maximize success.

Minimize the daily choices you need to make. This is one of my favorite tips for my clients. Limit your amount of clothing options, meals, errand stops, magazine subscriptions—any daily choice that bogs you down. With limited selection comes limited decision-making.

For more ideas, check out ADDitude magazine’s many articles on decision-making. Start here.

[Defeating Indecision — Decision Making Made Easy!]

Organization guru Leslie Josel, of Order Out of Chaos, will answer questions from ADDitude readers about everything from paper clutter to disaster-zone bedrooms and from mastering to-do lists to arriving on time every time.

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