Struggling to learn how to stay organized with ADHD?
We have the perfect solution – ADHD organization tools!
Getting and staying organized is a task. Some people are just better at keeping things in order, and the rest of us find ourselves in a heap of mess at some point throughout the year.
But, if you are among the 11 million people in America dealing with ADHD, keeping things organized is a different ball game altogether.
The symptoms of adult ADHD, like impulsivity, hyperactivity, or difficulties in focusing, can significantly obstruct your ability to keep things organized. When your surroundings are cluttered at home or work, it hampers your productivity and ability to concentrate.
It’s a vicious cycle — staying organized with ADHD is tough. Yet the disorganization will make the symptoms of your ADHD much worse, which in turn makes it harder to manage stuff.
Well, you don’t have to continue living with the frustration. There are multiple ways to stay organized with ADHD. We have compiled a list of the best tips for staying organized with ADHD. Let’s dive in!
But First, Why Do Adults With ADHD Have Trouble With Organization?
The brain’s executive function are processes that allow you to:
- follow instructions,
- juggle with multiple tasks successfully,
- pay attention to details, and
- plan things accordingly.
Just as the name suggests, the executive function is your brain’s CEO!
It’s responsible for telling what, when, and how of every task assigned to you.
So, the consequences are dangerous when your executive function goes to lunch! You might forget what you do in the kitchen once you enter it. Or you might mess up the whole meeting because you couldn’t figure out your notes from the many documents in your folder. Or you could show up to an event a year late!
An impaired executive function combined with other ADHD symptoms can make it infinitely more challenging for you to keep things in order. To top it all off, finding the motivation to organize things is also hard for people with ADHD. This means things are often left to be completed until the last minute, making it further daunting and overwhelming to start organizing.
However, staying disorganized is not a norm for people with anxiety.
ADHD occurs on a spectrum. Therefore, not everyone has the same symptoms. Therefore, you can be organized and still have ADHD.
That said, staying organized with ADHD does not have to be a full-blown challenge. Here are the best tips on how to stay organized with ADHD. This list has the most diverse and effective ADHD organization tools for adults – which means you can hopefully find something that’s useful for you. Let’s dive in!
Tips On How To Be More Organized With ADHD
1. Declutter your surroundings.
One of the tips on how to stay more organized with ADHD is to simply declutter your surroundings.
The more stuff you have, the more things you need to organize. Therefore, the first step to staying organized with ADHD is eliminating all the unwanted things you keep stashed in your home or office. When you declutter and curb all those late-night impulsive purchases, there’s far less stuff that you have to worry about. This makes the whole process seem manageable and less overwhelming than before.
Now, we don’t mean you need to get rid of valuable and useful things. We are asking you to evaluate everything you own and divide them into a hierarchy of the emotional or application-based value they provide. The ones that don’t are the ones that you can discard by donating to people who might actually need it.
2. Adopt (very) simple systems.
Whether you accept it or not, over-organization is legit, and it’s a pretty counterproductive process. We are talking about all those kitchen sections with too many labels or emails with too many subfolders that make it more complicated for you to access things.
Sorting things out and assigning them to their zones are some of the best ways to stay organized with ADHD. But try to avoid going too above or beyond in your efforts.
The goal of ADHD organization tools for adults is to make your life easier. But, if you have to pull out seven different sections to find one thing, it pretty much defeats the whole process.
Therefore, try keeping things you need regularly at eye level. Use open or transparent containers that make it easier to access things.
Final tip: Keep everything as easy as possible.
3. Have a designated place for everything.
Having a home for everything you own is also one of the most efficient ways to stay organized with ADHD.
If you feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of things you need to organize, assign them designated spaces in your home or office. Use bins and boxes to house your items effectively.
More importantly, make sure that these spaces are not too obscure. For instance, do not house your keys in your bathroom because you’ll unlikely be able to find them there. Additionally, make sure you stick to these places. It might be difficult initially, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually.
4. Break down your tasks into simpler and more manageable chunks.
Most people with ADHD find it difficult to start organizing things. Organization feels like a LOT, and therefore they always lack the motivation to act.
This is why breaking down your tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks is one of the tips on how to stay organized with ADHD. Smaller steps make it easier for you to get started.
So, rather than going through all your 600 emails simultaneously, try going through the first 50 (or whatever you can manage). Permit yourself to stop when things get overwhelming, but ensure you return to it the next day.
5. Use a whiteboard or notepad to organize your ideas.
How often do you find yourself working on an idea and going to a different room for a minute, only to lose track of your thoughts, abandon the process altogether, or be engaged with a new idea eventually?
If you have said 0 as the answer to this question, great! We’d love to have those superpowers. If you are someone who has gone to re-read the above sentence because you lost track of your thoughts, here’s one of the best ways to stay organized with ADHD!
Get a notebook or whiteboard to place all your thoughts and ideas in one place. This way, you never lose track of what you are doing, even when your ADHD symptoms threaten your concentration.
6. Get a planner and use it to organize your days.
A planner is one of the best ADHD organization tools for adults. It helps you keep track of your work and organize your to-do lists effectively.
There’s no hard and fast rule about using a physical or digital planner. You are free to use the one that suits you best. The only requirement is to be consistent with its usage. Try to check your planner at least twice daily and maintain it by adding your to-do lists and reminders.
7. Use visual reminders.
Another practical tip on how to stay organized with ADHD is to use visual reminders to keep yourself on track. Here are some visual reminders that you can use:
- sticky notes,
- color-coding objects,
- object orientation,
- magnets, and
Color coding items can help you figure out the emergency of your tasks. Sticky notes are your life-savers. Use them wherever you need reminders or checklists. Additionally, object orientation can be a great ADHD organization tool for adults. For instance, keeping your shampoo bottles inverted when they are about to get empty can help you remember when to refill them.
8. Use technology.
In this digital age, there’s an app to help you do almost everything you want to. Therefore, utilize technology to streamline your life and get things in order.
Using ADHD organization tools like apps, digital planners, journals, and electronic reminders are some of the best tips on how to stay organized with ADHD.
Staying organized with ADHD is a challenge. ADHD symptoms can obstruct your executive functioning, which in turn restricts your ability to manage things.
While the scenario sounds pretty gloomy, there’s hope. Learning how to stay organized with ADHD is possible. You can use small modifications in your daily life to regain your sense of control.
We hope this blog post on ways to get organized with ADHD will help you start getting your life in order.
ADHD symptoms also mean that your productivity might go for a long vacation on most days. Here are the best ADHD productivity tools to help you get work done.
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