Got a short attention span? 10 tips to organise your life

african american woman with baby girl working from home - Stock image
african american woman with baby girl working from home - Stock image

Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be less challenging if you organise your life.

This is according to Janssen Pharmaceutica‚ which has compiled 10 ways to organise your life to better manage your ADHD symptoms:

1. Keep calendars

At the beginning of the year‚ buy as many calendars as you need‚ and fill them with important dates to remember: holidays‚ long weekends‚ anniversaries‚ birthdays and special occasions. Stick them somewhere visible – behind the toilet door is always a solid bet. Otherwise on the fridge or on the inside of your cupboard.

2. Declutter for calm

It’s easy to hold on to items you think might be sentimental or useful in the future but the truth is‚ it just creates clutter. And clutter creates chaos. It’s much harder to find what you need in a hurry when your drawers are brimming with unnecessary knickknacks. Declutter on a weekly basis‚ and be ruthless when you do. You’ll be surprised at how much it helps to create a calm atmosphere at home.

3. Everything in its place

It’s classic ‘mom’ advice: a place for everything and everything in its place. And it’s a classic for a reason. Having a designated spot for everything in your house makes it simpler to organise and easier to find items when you need them. Set aside ten minutes every morning and evening to return things to their rightful places and you’ll find your home to be a much neater place.

4. File efficiently

Piles of paperwork will only create tension at home. Decide on a shelf for filing‚ then invest in a set of files‚ each for a different kind of paperwork. Make sure you have pens‚ file dividers‚ stickers‚ highlighters and a punch on hand to make filing as easy as possible – and file papers as soon as they arrive in the post. A little effort to set up your filing system will avoid nagging and tension at home.

5. Make a list of to-dos

Keep notepads and pens around the house to jot things down and write clear reminders as they pop into your mind – there’s less chance of you forgetting about them later. If you’re going to friends for a braai and you think you might forget the salad‚ make a clear note of it and leave it near the front door. Even better‚ set reminders directly on your phone.

6. Weekly meals

If you’re the one in charge of cooking – or if you’re not‚ but would like to be more involved – make a meal planner and stick it on your fridge each week. Map out a different meal for each night of the week‚ then shop and stock your pantry the weekend before to simplify the week ahead.

7. Arrive organised

Keep a tray near the front door for your wallet and keys. As you arrive home in the evening‚ put these items on the tray‚ to grab easily when you leave the next morning. The same goes for a hook for your handbag. If you find yourself constantly on the hunt for your keys‚ try attaching a key finder to them – it emits a small‚ unobtrusive sound and will allow you to locate your keys quickly and efficiently.

8. Stock up on clocks

The alarm on your phone is useful‚ no doubt about it‚ but if you’re separated from your phone and don’t hear your alarm‚ you could well miss it – and this results in missed appointments. Keep an alarm clock next to your bed as a back-up‚ and make sure it has a loud ring.

Place a wall clock in your kitchen or lounge that you can easily check when you need to‚ to make sure you’re on time. And invest in a good kitchen timer‚ and set it whenever you need to take something off the stove or out of the oven. You can also use alarm clocks to split up your time into easily achievable chunks.

9. Blissful bedroom

Sleep is hugely important in establishing routine‚ staying well rested and managing the symptoms of ADHD throughout the day. Make sure the blinds or curtains in your bedroom block out light and noise‚ so your bedroom is quiet and dark at bedtime. This will help you fall asleep – and stay asleep – more easily.

10. Prep your pills

It’s easy to lose track of whether you’ve taken your ADHD medication for the day‚ particularly if you’re having a frantic morning. Divide your medication into a pill tray‚ to easily monitor your daily medication.

For more information around ADHD symptoms‚ diagnosis and treatment‚ as well as tips on how to make living with ADHD easier‚ visit MyADHD.co.za or visit MyADHD on Facebook‚ or call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) ADHD Helpline on 0800 554433 to speak to someone directly.

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