I can’t imagine there’s a person with ADHD out there that would not benefit from at least trying this. It keeps the mess manageable. It gives you a chance to organize your brain in a literal, tactile, visual way.
Okay okay, I can’t say that I know how everyone should live their work lives, but…if you struggle with work organization I highly suggest it…because after years of doing this, and trying different ways, I generally DON’T STRUGGLE MUCH WITH WORK ORGANIZATION ANYMORE.
When we take the time to practice positive coping techniques it can become easier over time, and it cans become easier, more of the time, and…it is NOT a waste of time to do this, to try this, to at least give yourself a chance to see what works for you.
I do not organize myself in the same way in each workplace. Some people might benefit from trying that, but for me, it works better to find a method that works for THAT job.
Here at my desk at the theater (yes, I work at a theater) I have a long list of email folders where I can stash my emails into logical categories…and most importantly can stash and rediscover those emails QUICKLY. I may love organization but I’m still impatient. It’s better than swearing and getting pissed and ruining my afternoon and wasting time and totally derailing myself because I can’t find something.
I have a “TO DO” folder, and in that folder, are about 5 other folders that pertain to specific projects. Those folders themselves are not perfectly organized within at all times. But as I go through my day, when the paper starts to accumulate and I feel my brain getting ready to explode, I can just toss things into their proper folder until I need them (things like post-its…scraps of paper…lists…printed emails). Then when I think “oh, I need to be working on my Promotions” I go to the Promotions folder and look, a pile of shit that all relates to Promotions is already there, and then I can have fun organizing it as I think about the project and prioritize its parts. Then I can stack all of the items in the order of attack that makes the most sense…and feel good knowing that I have set myself up for success. Because the next time I open that folder, I will look at the “thing” on top first and off I go on my journey to completion.
Long term projects require repeated sorting.
If you looked at my desk (and didn’t watch me while I’m working…or fall victim to a random tangent of my chatter) you would have no clue that I have ADHD. Not that appearances are what I’m caring about here.
What I’m caring about here is that I’m one of the most organized people that people who know me, know. It’s not a competition, but it does feel good.
Try it, you might like it. You don’t have to do it the same way I do it. But as I’ve said many times before, you owe it to yourself and everyone else around you to try. If you don’t know where to start, read about how other people organize themselves. Personally, I find it more useful to look at how I work…and go from there. Buying tons of organizing systems and boxes and crap won’t “fix” you for you…it’s more about developing a good relationship with yourself.
So go to it…have a nice chat between you and you…and maybe a cup of tea…