February 2006 - Volume III - Issue II

ADHD - Organizing?- Find a good friend

Statement: My intent in this newsletter is to express as quickly as possible my own beliefs and opinions on matters. I have no problems with people who disagree with my opinion and have even been swayed to rethink my position from time to time. We are still taking book orders for my new book "ADHD and The Criminal Justice System" and you can get my author's discount from the http://www.addcorridorcoaching.com/book.asp

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If you are like me and most of my coaching clients the idea of cleaning a room, organizing an area of your home, or going through a stack of old papers can seem to be overwhelming just to think about. We look at it and don't seem to know where to start so we start by watching T.V. or playing a video game. If and when we do get started it seems we come across a item we have been looking for and then we go take care of that which can easily get us off task or even lead us on to a completely different project all together.

What I have found in my coaching, especially when I go to a person's house is that all most of us need is someone to be there to talk and listen and keep us on task. It is nice if they want to help but it isn't even necessary. What is needed is someone we can trust with sharing our weaknesses with. And who will pay attention to the task we are working on and not let the old photo album or other item get us sidetracked. Finding friends like this may be easy for some of us and extremely hard for others.

You and them both need to maintain a sense of humor about everything. Don't let stress get in your way. If you need some breaks set a timer for 20-30 minutes and take one from time to time. If you get on a roll keep on moving. I like the three box method. Explain this to your friend. Box one is for trash, Box two is for things that you know have a place and you know where that place is, Box three is the I DONT KNOW box and anything you don't know what to do with goes in here. You only have 3 seconds to handle any item or piece of paper and if you are still holding it you place it in the I DON'T KNOW box.

After you go through everything immediately throw out the trash, put the I DON'T KNOW BOX off to the side and take the items that you know have a place and put them where they belong. Find a place for the I DONT KNOW box and schedule a time within a week or so to go back through this box. This time however the I DONT KNOW BOX items only have two options they go into the trash or you find them a home. If you don't know this time they go to the trash. Your friend is there for advice which should preferably error on the side of throwing things away and to hold you accountable for staying on task. Never get into an argument with your friend on their opinion.

I think that the friend method works because we don't like being alone and when we are we have trouble motivating ourselves to get started on things we know we should be doing. Knowing the friend is coming and will be there puts enough pressure on us that we have to perform. If you are like me and others with ADHD I know we are often people pleasers and so if we are asked to come to help someone else do something or work on a project outside our homes we work our tails off to do a great job. Then we come home and cannot figure out why we can't do the same type of work for ourselves.

I think it has to do with self esteem. Our appearance to the outside world is more important to us than our own little world is. The outside of our house and our yard may look great but the inside is a mess. Our vehicles may be clean on the outside but if we look inside there are items strewn all about. Some of us always look and dress nice but inside we feel like a mess and even feel like we are frauds.

Medication may help us stay motivated and some of us may have adopted almost obsessive compulsive characteristics in order to keep our areas clean, but it usually is a challenge to keep up with this activity.

Keep in mind that a clean house is NOT the most important thing in the world. If we are talking about vermin and insects this needs our attention. If we are talking about clutter which most of us and most of my coaching clients are then remember things could be worse.

Many of us would like to have friends over but don't want to deal with the stress of getting the house cleaned up to have them come. This is where a good friend can come to the rescue and help us get moving. I know it seems like it should not be necessary but for many of us it works and most people who are humble enough to ask for help are rewarded with a great response as most people are glad to help if they are asked.

Hope all is well with all of you.

Talk to you next month

Patrick Hurley

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Author's Bio: 

17 years Lieutenant on Sheriff's Department, 5 years Adult Probation/Parole Officer. Two years ADHD life skills Coach. Co-Author of book "ADHD and the Criminal Justice System"