Tracie Utter (one of my best skills is helping people organize who have ADD)
“Attention deficit disorder (ADD), depression, chronic pain, and grief can prevent people from getting organized or lead to a buildup of clutter”.* Did you realize that being disorganized is a symptom of something unsettled inside of you? Our bodies are not meant to sustain long-term, negative emotions. In time, physical signs surface including the lack of energy and desire. As you no longer care what goes on around you, the clutter builds. It is an ugly cycle. What can you do? First, acknowledge what is going on inside of you. Become aware of how your mind works. You were not born with organizing skills.
ADD and organization are not good pals. In working with adult clients who have ADD, I know it is exhausting for them to organizing their thoughts and things. What takes an organized person a couple of hours (or minutes) to do, takes a person with ADD days, months, years (or more likely, never) to do. And along the way, they beat themselves up over their inability to conform to society’s expectations. In our country, women are still expected to be organized. Yes, long ago, it was a woman’s role to keep the household organized and that is still somewhat true today but we are expected to keep all aspects of our lives organized, not just the house. That simply is not attainable for many people with ADD.
Or is it? When I work with clients with ADD, we spend a lot of time planning. What helps them is for me to run their thoughts through my organized thinking style and put into a format that accommodates their thinking style. They learn to think like I do. There are a couple of traits our more successful ADD clients (those that have gotten and stayed organized) exhibit:
* they acknowledge that they have ADD (by a doctor) and educate themselves
* they are aware of many (not all) of their “unorganized” habits and do something about it
* they reach out…to an ADD coach, an ADD self help group, an ADD professional organizer, a companion…to someone who has the expertise to help
* they take appropriate medication
*they are usually quite intelligent although they might not think so
There is a lot of good information available that addresses ADD. Nancy Ratey is a leading specialist on the issue, read her book, The Disorganized Mind. Locally (Louisville, KY), I refer to Kathy Peterson, to provide ADHD coaching. I attended a workshop by Ari Tuckman who has a wealth of knowledge and provided outstanding solutions to manage with ADD.
* I did not make up this statement, it is from a health professional…Dr David Tolin who was “the director of the anxiety disorders center at the Institute of Living in Hartford and an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Yale” at the time of this article. The article was published by The NY Times 1/1/2008 by TARA PARKER-POPE, “A Clutter to Deep for Mere Bins and Shelves“.