Greetings fellow ADDers! Organization and Time Management – the bane of my existence and I’m sure if you’re reading this, it’s the same for you. Today we’re going to tackle the ever daunting tasks of organizing your shit! Whether it’s organizing your office or your schedule, it’s always tough for me to either get it started, stay on it or finish it. In a moment of medicated clarity, I came up with these simple, yet crucial helpers. Use them, and there is nothing you won’t be able to accomplish!

  1. Get back to the basics Stop searching for magic apps to get you organized! Put down the smart phone, back away from the computer and break out an old fashioned NOTEPAD and pencil (not pen) to put your plan together.
  2. Start with a simple overview  What do you want to accomplish?  Like…  I want to clean up my office or…  I’ve got a quote due for a client.
  3. Break out your plan into reasonable pieces by being visual. Now that you know what you want to do, it’s time to break it down into easier chunks. This may seem like the most difficult part of this process, but it’s really not. Here’s my secret:  So, I’ve already established what I want to do (clean my office). So break it down into tinier steps. Look around and observe. Hint: use a cell phone camera and take pictures because it makes it easier to recall stuff when you can see it.
  4. Now make bite sized chunks. Finally breakdown each piece into an actual executable task and list those tasks underneath each step.
    Example. 1 “The desks have a bunch of shit that needs to be put away or thrown away.”SOOOOO… ask yourself: What shit specifically needs to be put away and where does it go?

    Task 1: Throw away coffee cup lid, water bottle cap.

    Task 2: Either pin up my Indians baseball schedule or throw away.

    Task 3: Go through rogue post-it notes and either file away or compile a list.

    Task 4: Dust monitors and keyboards.

    Task 5: Wipe down desktop.

  5. Make a commitment to yourself that you will focus ONLY on one step until it is complete This is my hardest thing to maintain. Because of my ADD mind – I’m worried that I’ll get tied up with the few steps I’ve already come up with and I’ll lose my path for the remaining steps. So what do I do? I’ll step the process and start with 1/3 of my plan done. This always ends up in NOT accomplishing what I want AND the process taking longer because now I have to refocus on the beginning parts of the process. NOBODY wants to start over! So mentally pound yourself to NOT give up on completing each process.
  6. Make it a game by challenging yourself. If you had no distractions, how long to you thing it will take you to complete a particular step? How long will it take me to clear off my desk? 10 mins? Okay! Look at a clock and time yourself.   If you do this for all your steps, this will also give you a good idea of how long it will take you complete the entire project.
  7. Use music to help you along There is nothing better than doing what you hate, to music you love. Especially doing things like cleaning or manual labor. If you at your home or office alone, crank that stereo up to 10! (be polite to your neighbors, or course!) Otherwise, strap on some headphones and get lost in your work.
  8. Remove all other distractions I’m a programmer. If I’m doing office work, and I even notice my phone notifications go off I cannot help but to see what it is. Even if I ignore it, there is something in the back of my mind that is dying to know who commented on most recent post! Turn your phone over so you can’t see it. Put your phone on DND. Others have no problem making you wait. Why? Because they’re doing something else!
  9. Be realistic about what to keep and what to trash  This is always a tough decision for a lot of people – especially myself! I finally make a decision to throw away that box of miscellaneous screws only to start a project the next week where those screws would have been PERFECT! MOTHERFU—!!!
    I have become good with the following creedo: It’s time to get rid of it if I….can’t remember the last time I used it.
    can’t remember the last time I wore it (in season)
    have an abundance of them.
    will “eventually” get around to looking at it.
  10. Don’t waste time with a shredder  If you’re like me, you get tons of junk mail with your name and info all over it. I’m not paranoid, but I do believe it’s smart to destroy that stuff in the event it falls into the wrong hands. Problem is, if you are doing a project which involves a lot of purging of sensitive information (mail, customer documents, old tax files, etc.) shredding a bunch of those papers 3-5 sheets at a time can really eat into your day. Instead, throw it all into a trash bag or big box and wait for a community day where you can just dump them into a shredder or better yet, use it as kindling in the fire place!

By taking pictures, it gives me better visual recall and helps me put together the steps needed to accomplish my current task.