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Great Ideas on How to Focus… Now!

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Don’t critique the job you’re doing until you’ve completed it.

Christine Adamec, author of “Moms with ADD”
Adult ADD

Adult ADD

This is just one of the “8 Ways to Focus at Work & Home” from the article in ADDitude Magazine online.

If you are distracted by bright and shiny objects, are a raving perfectionist,  or simply have to move NOW or you will die, you will find hope in these simple tips from ADHD experts.

While you are there, sign up to have the newsletter delivered to your in box. We all can use the additional nudge to simplify desktops, write lists, and ask for help from a friend. Common sense? Yes! Do we do it? No!

Is Your ADD Showing at Work or at School?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The tickler for the latest ADDitude magazine article  caught my eye: “When the System is Against You, Overcome ADD Obstacles at Work and at School.” Some of the best people I know have ADD.  I often work with folks who have organizational problems as a result. This was information I wanted to have in my tool kit.

The article gives strategies for working through ADD, how to manage with and without medication, and highlights the hidden benefits of a limiting condition.  Better still, this advice comes from five top executives who persevered despite being labeled as losers in school. I couldn’t stop reading the personal stories of  David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways; Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s; Diane Swonk, economist and author; Alan M. Meckler, Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia; and Charles Schwab, founder and chairman of Charles Schwab & Co.   Each overcame their ADD obstacles to make a difference.

Very inspiring stuff!  Read the entire article here:

Chronic Disorganization: Maria Von Trapp and ADHD?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Who wouldn’t want to pretend to be Maria from The Sound of Music? It is a fairy tale story of  aloneness to acceptance and love, rags to riches. Did this real life figure truly suffer from ADHD? It is easy to believe from the character of Maria in the movie.

True or not, I was intrigued by the title of the recent article in ADDitude magazine, “My ADHD Story: Maria Von Trapp and Me,”  Zoe Kessler’s comparison of her personal experience with ADHD with the character of Maria as we commonly view her, is food for thought.

Before receiving an ADHD diagnosis, many of us wore other labels — none of them complimentary. Just as the nuns called Maria “as flighty as a feather,” my mother used to beg me to “light somewhere.” My constant movement drove her crazy. I also heard, “you’re giving me a headache,” so I could imagine playing Maria while the sisters call her “a headache,” “a pest,” and “unpredictable as weather.” Piece of cake. I wouldn’t even be acting.

Unflattering labels, lack of understanding, criticism, and resulting low self-esteem are a few of  Zoe’s experiences that parallel Maria’s.

When the captain finally professes his love for Maria, she is befuddled. How could anyone possibly love her? She searches her memory to find something lovable about herself. “Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.” Only she can’t think what.

By the time an undiagnosed ADHDer reaches adulthood, her self-esteem is often shot. It’s hard to remember that “something good” among so many failures. Feeling like failures, undiagnosed ADHD adults may hide behind drugs or alcohol, instead of away in a convent.

My response is to want to be more understanding, more accepting of differences in people. I want to give that other person the benefit of the doubt when his/her behavior is puzzling at best and at worst repellingly rude. Thank you, Zoe, for this insightful look into a more common experience than we realize.

“How do you take a cloud and pin it down?” Let’s not do that; we need all the clouds, clowns, angels, and moon beams we can get!

Read the entire article here. You can also sign up to be notified of future ADDitude magazine editions via email on the same page.

10 Things I Do For My Clients (and it’s not what you think!)

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Perhaps you are under the impression that all organizers do is help people pitch junk, shuffle papers, and make the place look neat. Yes, we do help our clients downsize possessions, develop filing systems, and create adequate and eye-pleasing storage.

However, the results we provide have a much deeper impact on lives both physically and emotionally.

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Time Management Tip: Brains Leak, Write it Down

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Do you remember the line from the movie The Navigator? Aliens  abducted a pre-teen boy and tried to imprint maps of the universe in his brain. The plan backfired.  The talking spaceship told him he was being returned because, “Your brain leaked.”  I resemble that remark.  You, too?

I have to write things down.  It started as a memory device for the visual learner I am.  If I wrote it, I could throw away the piece of paper; it was in there.  Now if I lose the paper, I’m a goner. I also like to write things down because that act makes abstract goals and ideas more real.

Thankfully, I am not alone.  Leading efficiency and time management writers agree that writing tasks and goals is key. Here are some tricks to make this work for you.

What? Write to-do’s, facts, appointments  down as you think of them.  Keep a pad next to your computer and  in your purse/briefcase/backpack. Then you won’t have to keep repeating it to remind yourself.  Less brain chatter and leakage.

When? Now, especially when you are in the middle of a priority task. After you write it down, you can dismiss that thought and focus completely on the task at hand.

Where? Write directly in your day planner/computer calendar, if at all possible.  If not, transfer the info to your main data collection tool as soon as you have a chance. Then you will be able find it and act on it. Otherwise, the napkin or post-it note might disappear along with that thought.

Why? So you can live out and share your unique brilliance. We want to hear from you, meet with you for lunch, learn from your experience.

Make it easy on yourself. Don’t trust your leaky brain.  Write it down.  Then share it with us.

Do You Have CD?

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

No, I didn’t leave out the “O” in OCD.  CD stands for chronic disorganization.    Judith Kolberg in her book, Conquering Chronic Disorganization, states that a “Yes” answer to all three questions is an indicator of chronic disorganization:

  1. “Has getting organized been a challenge for you most of your adult life?”
  2. “Does being disorganized negatively affect your life in some way every day?”
  3. “Have you tried and failed to get organized by yourself?”1

If you found yourself saying, “That is me!” , remember that doesn’t mean you are flawed.   You are simply wired differently, and the conventional organizing methods that are logic-based do not work well for you.

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