We found 14 Reddit comments about ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
I'm pretty similar to you. Basically for me I've just had to accumulate a TON of strategies. Know that you need to try, but that many times you'll get very little done. You have to not let that get you down. But always try.
For me, my progress is very slow, like over a period of months. I did a month trip in May, and because I wasn't working, all my habits and productivity reverted to zero. I could only do very small things then, but I didn't get mad at myself for how pathetic it was. And by now, I'm way better, but still not where I want to ultimately be. One day at a time.
So I wrote a post to a similar thread a couple weeks ago about a lot of my strategies so I'll copy a lot of it here. This is a lot, sorry, and don't let it overwhelm you! Don't try to do all of them at once. Maybe for a week just try 3 of them. Consistency in the long run is better than a sprint now. So if you tried all of these right now and maybe did them all hard for like 3 days, you'll probably drop 100% of them in a short period of time.
Doing one or two of these, and not that well, is way better than doing none of them. You'll get better overtime.
Here's my post:
-starting is the hardest part. which is why habits help. Habits are what your brain does almost automatically. My brain won't freak out at first and give me a ton of resistance with habits, unlike normal things.
-I've been reading this book--ADD Friendly ways to organize your life right now and that helps. It's kind of geared toward housewives which sounds weird but I just apply it to my life and have gotten a lot out of it so far. Visualize how it will help you and write down plans, don't just mindlessly read it.
-chains.cc is a good way to track stuff. Here's a screenshot of how I use my chains. But don't start with as many as I have at first. Make it 5 MAX. Then overtime maybe add one more at a time if you want. Do it every day.
-the blog deep existence and the related book Mini Habits are good for that too. His book/philosophy are about making habits and goals so stupidly small, that you'll never not do them. His big example is the "one push-up a day" challenge. In reality you'll do more most of the time. But always do at least one. This could apply if you're a writer too, or anything. At least 50 words a day.
-Adderall and Propranolol help me too, but I don't rely on them a ton and even if I did, without a bunch of strategies they wouldn't be that helpful. Propranolol isn't addictive and doesn't cross the blood brain barrier so it's pretty cool. It's about lowering your body's natural anxious response, while adderall is the one that increases your focus. But again, if I'm not doing my strategies, I may just procrastinate in a more intense manner if I just took adderall.
-Cardiovascular exercise helps me! Doing it doesn't entirely fix my problems, but it kind of metaphorically flushes out my pipes when they get clogged. I'm running highish mileage 5 days a week right now. It helps break up my stressful day of tasks and my brain gets to unwind.
-use the pomodero technique. There's a good app called Phocus that is for this, but I bet there's a ton of other equally good ones. So basically it's 20-25 minutes of working, 5 minutes of break, over and over. Often, my brain is so stressed out and spazzy, but just turning on this app (and then putting my phone in AIRPLANE MODE while working) makes my brain get in the zone, and I may be able to work for like 90 minutes without a break, even when I should be taking my 5 minute breaks.
-before Pomodero, I do a "3 minutes, 3 hours, 3 days strategy" where I write down my goals for the next 3 minutes, 3 hours, and 3 days. Sometimes it could be better to do "3 minutes, 30 minutes, 3 hours". Whatever works best. picture of how I do it
-physically go somewhere else. For me, if it's something I can do in a library, I try to do it there. My brain is so much less stressed out. The "WHAT ABOUT THIS, WHAT ABOUT THAT"s can't happen as much because most of my stuff is at home.
-Block facebook/reddit/whatever. ColdTurkey also helps, it's more intense. Try taking actual long breaks from them too (shoot for 2 months). They make my brain way more spazzy and when I have good time away, I'm able to actually read books and have a more calm mind. Another thing to add onto these two things is using the SECOND of three methods here: http://www.wikihow.com/Block-Access-to-Your-Facebook-Account-Temporarily
-general ADD shit: using phone reminders and planners religiously. I simply won't remember something unless I write it down.
A few recommendations for books.
ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life
You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy
What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don't?
It may be you have Adult ADHD. See a psychiatrist to get a medical diagnosis. Good luck
I was pretty much on my way to being a hoarder when I finally changed. A couple of things came together for me that helped me. One, at work we all got trained in 5S methodology so I was forced to learn how to look at spaces and figure out how to organize them for maximum efficiency. At about this time I also went on antidepressants and started to feel more motivated to do something about the mess. Lastly I discovered this book. I don't think you have to have ADD to benefit from it.
One of the biggest revelations for me from my training was realizing that you shouldn't put things away for the sake of putting things away. Hiding a thing out of sight doesn't make life better if you have to use it often. You should put things you use frequently as close as possible to the place where they will be used. Mess happens when there's too much distance between where something's 'supposed' to go and where it feels 'natural' to have it.
Good on you!
Though, for myself, it was a bit of a reveal when I spoke with psychologists & psychiatrists who outlined their reasons for thinking I may have had ADHD and autism. (They proceeded to check, and indeed confirmed that hunch.)
Basically, both diagnoses both frequently occur in the same person, and both of them can go quite a long way to explaining all of the issues you experience compared to only one diagnosis on its own (and why some of the normal treatments/strategies for one are less effective in some people who have both).
Though I'm a hulking everyday manly man (in contrast to you dainty and unknowable women), this book (https://www.amazon.co.uk/ADD-Friendly-Ways-Organize-Your-Life/dp/1583913580) was recommended by my psychiatrist. It has proven very practical, and also describes a lot of case studies, examples and suggestions that are particularly attentive to the experiences of women with ADHD issues. (The authors are themselves women and have worked heavily with women patients.)
Basically: it seems valuable not only to me (being not a woman), but looks like something that's actually of practical use in a way that a lot more of the literature might overlook the specific manifestations that occur for women with ADHD.
May be worth a try. :)
As others have mentioned, listen to professional advice, but I wouldn't ignore the advice of others with ADHD either.
I think one of the hardest things is really coming to accept that you have ADHD, and that you are not 'normal'. It's so important not to think of the difficulties that we face as our own laziness, or telling ourselves that we have no willpower. One of the most helpful thought exercises / metaphors to deal with this, that I've been told to use is thinking of someone with an amputated leg:
Imagine your good friend has lost the lower half of his leg in a car accident. Obviously, he'll have a very hard time completing certain tasks that would be easy for other normal people, like walking, running, participating in sports, etc. This isn't something you would hold against him as a personality fault, AND with the proper prosthesis, he'd be able to enjoy those same activities.
With ADHD, we have difficulty with organization, attention, executive functioning, time management, etc. This is not a character trait/flaw you have a disability that causes this. This doesn't make us lazy, we're not broken or helpless either. Instead of a prosthetic limb, there are methods to compensate for our difficulties. These include medication, routinizing good habits, doing work with other people present, getting a coach, therapy and other things. Some may work better or worse for you. Medication usually has a very noticeable positive effect, but not for all of us.
For you right now, I'd say inform yourself about ADHD, I'd recommend this book: ADD Friendly Ways To Organize Your Life I got it for organizational reasons, but they also give stories of people that they've helped, and so many times listening to their stories I just kept on thinking, holy shit, the problem's this person are having, this is EXACTLY like me. That really helped for me to really acknowledge the validity of my diagnosis, in a more tangible way. They really talk about organizing on the strengths of someone with ADHD, so acknowledging that we are great at doing thing in quick spurts, I think their line is we are sprinters not marathon runners.
This is going way longer than I had intended so I will end on this: with your psychologist, if you're planning on seeing them regularly on an on-going basis, make sure that there is a particular goal that you're trying to achieve by going to therapy. Whether it's getting in shape, eating healthier, finding a creative hobby, or cutting down on the time you spend on reddit, make sure you have a goal, and your pscyhologist can even help you determine those goals.
Oh, and improper sleep habits GREATLY exacerbate my ADHD symptoms, so going to sleep at a reasonable time, and making sure I get enough sleep is essential for me if I want to fell more alive, and satisfied with myself. And exercise is great too.
"Women with Add" by Sari Solden is one I always recommend. This one helps you identify some of those sneaky symptoms, especially found in women and girls.
Women with ADD
Additude Magazine is also a good resource for everything from medication management to supplements or new treatments.
The CHADD website is extremely helpful but I've only just started to dig into it myself:
And as far as organizing goes, I absolutely love this book, "ADD friendly ways to organize your life," by Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau
ADD Friendly Organization
On the topic of meds, that's actually highly subjective. What I did was look at what I needed and when. As in when do I need my medication the most? I also read up on what other people did for themselves. Some of these resources should allow you to eventually decide how you want to approach it.
Personally I take Ritalin XR, the extended release, because the short acting Ritalin is not as effective for me not to mention it made my handwriting a billion times worse. I take it in the morning, after breakfast and never on an empty stomach because for me it leaves my system a lot faster when I do that. I also do not take orange juice or any other acidic juice with breakfast because it will cause my Ritalin to release super fast - found that out the wrong way.
This is the book I was referring to:
ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize your Life
If you really want to help her, tell her to read this book. It was a game-changer for me.
> I don't think she's ever late to work. Because she knows when to get up, when to get ready and when to leave the house.
Exactly. When there's a plan like "I need to be at the airport at 10 AM", it's much harder for her to realize that there is in fact no time to make breakfast.
I hope you two make it out alright. Living with someone who has ADHD can be difficult, but it's not impossible. ;)
I've been listening to ADHD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. There's a TON of information in it, so I tend to take notes on a section for a while, try to implement it, and move on once I've figured out some things that work for me.
Spend time on this forum. Here's some posts/responses I've saved:
https://www.reddit.com/r/productivity/comments/bnqg83/always_know_your_next_three_tasks_and_commit_to/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x (this is a very valid ADHD tip. It's helped me a ton)
This post : https://www.reddit.com/r/ADHD/comments/a2zntv/adhd_some_professional_tips_for_2019_task/
and this comment from that post (GTD = Getting Things Done, a book/process): https://www.reddit.com/r/ADHD/comments/a2zntv/adhd_some_professional_tips_for_2019_task/eb3fmb9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x
I don't remember shit without notes, so I take notes or save links for all the resources I've seen or used. I've been working on my attention difficulties since the beginning of the year, and I think it's been small incremental improvements. Sometimes I slip, like lately I haven't been using pomodoro timers to keep myself on task at work, and so my productivity has not been super great.
I started a very loose bullet journal where I would write down journals for the day, and eventually moved into doing a "weekly spread" to keep my priorities and appointments. I also use google calendar to keep my events further out than the month.
What are your goals? What things can you do to work toward those goals? If there are things you WANT to do, but you CAN'T, you should probably seek out therapy and/or medications. Getting medicated has made the most difference for me. I was 28 and my shit was constantly falling apart. It's a miracle I've been employed at my current job more than two years, and I can thank medication and this research for that.
I'm 42, diagnosed six months ago (although I suspected it for over two decades). Started at a low dosage of Vyvanse, up to 70mg now, and it's work wonders for me. I'm able to stay focused, and for me that means minimal daydreaming during meetings, if my mind wanders while I do work, I'm able to reign it back in, and I'm able to finish what I start.
Do keep in mind that while the medication helps "turn down the volume" around you, you still need to develop good habits and be organized. I recommend checking out the following book. While it contains some standard ADHD advice, it does contain some very valuable information that could potentially help you.
Read several books on organizing for ADHD. When I was diagnosed, I read Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD and ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. Out of all the organizing books I've read my whole life to deal with my brain (and I've read ton because I REALLY hated people criticizing me for my messiness and carelessness), the readability and the solutions are tailored to the ADHD brain. I hope these help you get some good ideas!
There's no right way to organize something. If you implement a system and things get disorganized sometime after, it's a failed system, not a personal failure on your part.
May I suggest this book?
It was a huge help for me, and laid out in a way that it's easy to read and easy to reference. The gist of it is that you recognize what works for you and your family, and then adapt the systems to your needs.
[Edited for grammar. Of course!]
This is the book I was talking about:
He should go to a psychiatrist to get properly diagnosed. There's a huge risk of abusing these drugs. If he goes in there and requests adderall right off the bat, the doctor may not want to prescribe them.
As with any mood disorder it's good to have a combination of talking therapy and drug therapy. There are ways to manage ADD without solely relying on the drugs.
Here's a book my doctors recommended:
You should read it too as it offers advice on how to help/understand people with ADD.