Those of you who struggle with clutter, whether space or paper, know very well the impact it has on your life. For the purposes of this post, the question is: What affect, whether direct or indirect, is it having on your ability to reach your goals? In some cases the impact is obvious.
- The time spent looking for a needed item or paper is time not spent doing more productive tasks.
- You spend time looking for information multiple times because you did not “file” it away so that you can easily access it again when you need it.
- Trying to keep the clutter at bay takes up more time than using a system to keep organized.
- The mistakes you make as a result of the clutter require your attention and, of course, time.
Perhaps less obvious is that that physical clutter can lead to
- mental clutter.
- feelings of being overwhelmed.
- shutting down
If you are ready to address your clutter there are three steps. The first step is cleaning out the clutter. ADD-Friendly Ways To Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau has helpful strategies for this. If you feel that you need help, you may enlist your family or friends. Hiring an organizer may be the answer for you. Be careful, though. Any professional you hire must have an understanding of ADD. Otherwise their expectations and suggestion may not work for you. It is key to your success that whatever you choose to do to address your clutter that it be ADD friendly.
The second step is adopting organizational systems to maintain the now de-cluttered area. Again, Kolberg and Nadeau’s book can give suggestions about systems that may work with your ADD. You may also decide to hire an organizer, who, of course, is knowledgeable about ADD, to help you create an effective system.
The third step, and probably the most overlooked, is implementing the necessary structure to ensure that you will follow through on using the system. Here are some structures that might help you.
- an appointment in your calendar to remind yourself to use the system
- a date with a friend or family member to work the system
- accountability reminders from your coach
- periodic check-ins by an organizer
While the above three steps are the same for everyone, the level of support you will need to address these steps will vary. Make sure you are getting the help that you need. What will you commit to doing in order to create a better environment for yourself?