Miscellaneous Tips to Make Life Just a Bit More Fun!
Organizational tasks can pose as daunting challenges for people with ADHD. But never fear! There are little things you can do to straighten things out and make your life easier.
Here’s a list of miscellaneous tips to save time and simplify tedious tasks. Some of these tips will already come naturally to you while others won’t. Pick One Tip at a Time!
Pick a tip you’d like to try. If it’s one that doesn’t come naturally, just focus on it for a while until you feel it becoming a habit. Once it’s been established into your routine, go ahead and pick another one.
# 1 Give It a Home and Put It Back!
One way to save time and frustration is to give objects and tools in your house a fixed spot. Once everything has a ‘home,’ putting things back can take seconds.
Cleaning up after yourself can be tedious and annoying, but so is looking for misplaced things every day. Any inconvenience of putting things back is better than the frustration of a lost or misplaced item.
#2 Have Stamps, Envelopes and Postcards at Hand
Buy stamps, postcards, envelopes and other correspondence materials in advance. Whenever you’re at a shop that sells them, just get some before you even need them. That way you won’t have an extra errand to run next time you have to prep and send an urgent letter.
#3 Hang a Shopping list on the Fridge
Post a shopping list on your refrigerator. Most importantly, make it a habit of immediately adding the items you run out of. This way, next time you go to the store, all you have to do is pluck your list from the fridge. Easy!
#4 Find ways to Simplify Tasks
There’s always a simpler and more effective way of doing something. With any task – especially tedious ones – make it a habit to find ways to cut corners and simplify things.
#5 Use Timers or Reminder Apps
Whenever I’m not using my old kitchen timer, I put reminders in my phone. Most smart phones have reminder Apps, so pick a suitable alert ‘tone’ and set a bunch of reminder times. Now relax – you’ll be notified when you need to do something that you might otherwise forget.
You can use these tools to remind yourself to pick up the kids from school, remove that pizza from the oven, call your accountant or even take a break.
#6 Use Visual Reminders
When I realized I would occasionally forget wet laundry in the washer, I started hanging a red towel over the top of the machine when I was laundering. This way I was visually reminded of it every time I passed.
There are many ways you can use visual cues to help your visually oriented brain remember things. Use visual reminders as often as you can!
#7 Ask and Allow for Help
People with ADHD don’t tend to ask for help, even when they should. They can be control freaks who prefer to do things themselves. But most of the time they just don’t want to burden others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even when it comes to the little things.
Delegating even a few small tasks can make a big difference in your overall sense of wellbeing. If others don’t do things exactly the way you would, don’t let it bother you. You’ll be surprised at how liberating this can be.
If you can afford it, get someone to clean your house or do some occasional gardening. Have the groceries delivered. Every little bit helps.
#8 De-clutter Regularly
Make it a habit to regularly de-clutter closets, drawers, garage shelves, etc. If you’re sorting a lot of stuff, use the ‘Three Box Technique’.
First, have a dedicated box for the things you always need to keep handy. Second, have one for stuff you occasionally need like books, specific tools etc… And lastly, make a box for those rarely used things – this includes stuff you may actually never need at all.
If, after 6 months, you realize you haven’t used any of the items in box three, it may be time to unload some of its contents. Be ruthless! Less is more… mostly more peace of mind.
#9 Sort the Mail Once or Twice a Week
Instead of dealing with your post every day, put it in a tray by the door and handle it once or twice a week. Unless you’re expecting an important letter or you have tons of mail to follow up every day, this is a great way to minimize distractions.
#10 Discuss Touchy Topics Once a Week
If you have sensitive issues (emotional, practical, etc.) to discuss with your partner (children, etc.), it can be beneficial to do it once a week, instead of throwing your annoyances at each other willy-nilly. This also allows you time to give issues some important forethought and formulate grievances in a productive way.
#11 Keep Notepads Around
No matter where I am or what I’m doing I always have some way of making notes (notepad, App, etc.). It may seem like overkill to some, but it really helps me remember any ‘off-topic’ thoughts I want to keep track of. Making notes is a great way to get stray thoughts out of your head and stay focused on the task at hand.
#12 Make A Contact List
Whether you export your contact list from your phone or manually copy your contacts into a Microsoft Word document, it can be very handy to have a simple list of all your most important contacts easily available. Sometimes a physical printout can be more convenient than scrolling through information on a tiny mobile telephone screen.
Use it when doing any kind of bulk mailings like writing Christmas cards. It’s convenient to hang a list on the fridge or inside the cupboard with important phone numbers (i.e. babysitter, doctor, plumber, internet provider, garage, landlord, bank, office, school, day care center, etc.). This way it’s easily accessible for everyone.
#13 Make Organizing Fun
As I mentioned earlier, staying organized, putting things back and keeping track of stuff can be tedious. Take some of the annoyance out of the process by finding ways to make organizing more fun.
Use folders in your favorite colors, get a sexy personal agenda (or even better, a sexy personal assistant ;). Choose a pretty desktop image or cute folder icons. These tiny things can make organizing just a little more fun.
#14 Use the Power of Music
Don’t underestimate the power of music! Music can pretty much make any task more fun. It can motivate and get you in a positive frame of mind. It can calm your nerves and help you relax. I use music ALL THE TIME!
Pick some soothing music while you’re writing, reading or relaxing. Choose some up-tempo, motivational music while you’re exercising, cooking, cleaning or doing accounting. Remember the power of music and use it to your advantage!
#15 Avoid Constant Availability
With the advent of cell phones, many people believe they need to be available 24/7. This is an illusion. Take control of your time. Don’t feel the need to be constantly available. This creates more time to focus on your main objectives and enhances your sense of inner-peace.
#16 Put Keys In One Spot
This is an obvious but often overlooked tip. Place a tray or key rack by the front door and put all the keys on it as soon as you walk in. No more frustration looking for those darn keys!
#17 Have One or More Miscellaneous Cupboards and Drawers
There’s always stuff you just don’t know where to put. Designate a miscellaneous drawer or cupboard for this stuff. It will get messy in there, guaranteed. But that’s the nature of the beast. The great thing is that you don’t have to care because that’s exactly what that drawer and cupboard are there for, to get messy.
Once in a while, usually when you run out of room, take time to sort through all the miscellaneous stuff. Use the three box technique if need be. Remember to eliminate all the stuff you haven’t used for months. You probably don’t need it.
#18 Mind Mapping
When you have several projects or aspects of your life that need organizing, try making a mind map to manage everything on your plate. Mind mapping is helpful for people with ADHD because it helps them create a comprehensive visual overview of ALL their ideas, plans, goals, etc.
Some More Tips
- Memorize stuff by recording it into a voice recorder and listening to it frequently (handy for students).
- Leave a message into your own voicemail to remind yourself of things.
- Hang a chalkboard in the kitchen for important reminders.
- Always look behind you when leaving. It’s a good way to avoid losing things.