How to Unpack Your Suitcase When You have ADHD‎‎

Does this sound familiar? You come home from a great trip, drop your bags down and then go and relax on the sofa. Or maybe you pet your cat, or take a shower or have a snack. You might do a variety of things, but I bet you don’t unpack your suitcase!

Your suitcan sit innocently for days, or weeks, exactly where you put it when you first got home.

Over the next few days and weeks, when you need something from your case, you lift the lid and take that one item out. Your toiletries on one day, your favorite jeans the next day. Until finally, the belongings that are left aren’t things you use regularly. Which means your suitcase stays untouched for weeks.

Having a half-unpacked suitcase isn’t the end of the world. However, it doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Here is a quick checklist to help you unpack in record-breaking time.

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Can you have ADD and ADHD?

Can you have ADD and ADHD?

 

Great question! The answer is yes…and  no.

Let’s start with,

‘No it’s not possible to have both ADD and ADHD.’

If someone told you,  ‘I have Chickenpox and Chickenpox,’ it would sound strange because they are telling you something twice.

The same is true if you say,  ‘I have ADD and ADHD’ because they are two names for the same condition. [Read more…]

5 Ways ‘Eating a Frog’ Helps Your Productivity

Fun frog

Have you noticed how important the first hour of your workday is? It sets the tone for the rest of your workday in terms of your productivity and mood.

If you check Facebook, chat to co-workers, get busy doing easy but low value tasks, you can trick yourself into believing you are busy. However, by mid-morning you might notice an uneasy feeling sneaking up on you. There is a sense that your day is slipping away, and you still have some important tasks looming.

In contrast, on days when you dive into the most important task first, you feel empowered. When you cross it off your to-do list, you feel a rush of positive emotions, and they can stay with you for the rest of the day.
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Housework and ADHD

When you have ADHD, one of the worst tasks imaginable is… housework. It is boring and mundane, 2 things that people with ADHD hate the most.  When you don’t enjoy something there is lots of potential for procrastination and distraction, and a two hour job can drag on all day.

Theoretically housework is not difficult; people without ADHD seem to be able to do it effortlessly, which only makes you feel worse! Now in addition to the piles of dishes and clothes, there is  also guilt and shame too.

ADHD characteristics do make housework hard, but not impossible. Here is a winning ADHD friendly formula that makes housework interesting and even fun. [Read more…]

A Simple Tip to Make Your Life Less Complicated

When I was studying psychology, I came across a fascinating study about memory. A group of people who identified themselves as having a good memAHDH Life Hackory were closely studied. After observing them at home and in their workplace, researchers found this group didn’t have a better memory than other people. Instead they had created an environment that supported their memory. For example, if they ran out of milk, they had a visual reminder as a memory prompt so they remembered to buy more milk. [Read more…]

5 Steps to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

The summer I was 18 years old, me and my friend Claire got a job at the local soap factory. The factory hired students every summer to help them prepare their Christmas orders.  Our job was to stand at the end of a conveyor belt and put trays containing an assortment of soaps into gift boxes, one tray per box.

As part of the interview process we had been given a dexterity test to check that we could move our hands quickly. However, that first day, while our head and hands were getting use to this new task, our hands didn’t seem to be moving fast enough.

I remember feeling really overwhelmed every time I looked  down the conveyor belt.  As far as the eye could see there were  gray trays filled with pretty soaps heading towards us. We had to keep moving fast otherwise there would be a log jam.
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ADHD and PMS

ADHD and PMSPremenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is never pleasant, but when you have ADHD, it can strike louder and harder. During the first half of your cycle, you probably feel ‘normal’, clear headed and productive. Then, as your period gets closer, you begin to feel like Mr. Hyde.

Beside the regular physical symptoms of PMS such as:

Acne

Changes in sleep patterns

Dizziness

Fluid retention

Headaches

Hot flashes

Nausea

Zero energy

Your ADHD symptoms can get much worse, and you can find it difficult to: [Read more…]

How to Wake Up When You Have ADHD

Waking up at a particular time can be very difficult when you have ADHD and it can cause huge problems, such as being late for work, flights, interviews or lectures.

If you have difficulty waking up, don’t just see it as a morning problem; instead, look your sleep habits as a whole. Everything is connected and if you can’t wake up, it could be because:
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Why do ADHDers Find it Difficult to Have an Organized Space?

Tidying UpLiving in a cluttered, unorganized environment is a common thing when you have ADHD. However, being surrounded by ‘stuff’ can make your ADHD symptoms worse. It is harder to focus and concentrate. It is easier to lose important items like keys and important paperwork, and it can also exacerbate coexisting conditions such as anxiety.

Here are 8 reasons why ADHDers find it hard to have an organized space

1) Distraction

You might start one activity, get distracted and then you start working on a second activity leaving the items from the first activity lying around.

2) Out of Sight, Out of Mind

You don’t like to put belongings away in cupboards because you are scared that you will forget about them.

3) Procrastination

Tidying up is one of those boring mundane tasks that ADHDers hate to do. This means that you keep putting it off for another day.

4) Memory

You keep newspaper articles and other objects as visual reminders of things you want to do and see. Your fear of forgetting means you accumulate lots of items, and they are difficult to keep organized.

5) Collector

ADHDers love to collect things: teapots, baseball caps, pens, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is; I bet you collect at least one thing. These collections can grow large and are tricky to keep organized.

6) Overwhelmed

You feel overwhelmed just looking at your cluttered space, and you feel parallelized, fatigued and can’t take any action.

7) Don’t Know How

You honestly never learned how to be tidy and organized. It’s not an excuse, but being tidy and organized isn’t a skill that you were born with and maybe no one taught you how to do it properly.

8) Decisions, Decisions

Organizing requires many decisions in a short space of time.

Making decisions is hard when you have ADHD. It takes mental effort, and you might second guess your decision or beat yourself up for making the ‘wrong’ decision.

How many of those points resonated with you? Don’t worry if it was all of them!

The opposite of a disorganized cluttered space, is a calm, peaceful one in which you know where your belongings are, and you feel happy to invite an unexpected visitor into your home. How do you create that space? With the help of a brilliant book by Marie Kondo called, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”.

The difference between this book and every other book written about organizing is that you ask yourself a different question. Rather than asking ‘what could I throw out’, you ask ‘what do I want to keep’. Marie suggests holding each item and asking “Does this bring me joy?” If it does, then you keep it, and if not, it is time to say goodbye.

It’s simple yet very powerful!

This simple question is very helpful for ADHDers because it cuts out all the mental negotiating that can happen in your mind. You don’t have to consider if the item was a gift, if you used it in the last year or, if you might need it again. Just ask one question, “Does this bring me joy?”

Here are 3 of my favorite tips from the book that I think will help you too.

1) Pick an Area You Want to Declutter

Start small, maybe a shelf. Remove everything from the shelf. Next, only put back  the things that bring your joy. After  you have tried the technique on a small area, and experienced for yourself how easy and fun it was, you will be very motivated to continue.

2) Start with Items That are Easier to Part With

Marie says people have trouble throwing out things that have:

Functional value (when you could still use the item)

Information value (has information you think you might need)

Emotional value (being anything sentimental)

Don’t start with any of these things! It will sabotage your good intentions. Instead, pick a category that will be easy for you. Marie suggests starting with clothes.

3) Don’t Let Your Family See What You are Getting Rid of

When people see what you are donating, they might seem shocked and you might find yourself second guessing your decisions. You have done so well to get to the donate / throw out stage; you don’t want a third person to change your mind.

With fewer items in your space, it is much easier to keep the area clean and tidy without even trying!

Have you tried any of these suggestions?