Tackling big jobs with a short attention span
Here are a few pointers:
1) Seek out the support you need to move forward
Elisa Adams, a professional organizer who’s worked with many home sellers, says people with ADD should be careful whom they ask for help.
“The last thing you want is someone who is critical or judgmental,” says Adams, who’s affiliated with the National Association of Professional Organizers (napo. net).
By visiting this association’s website, you can search for organizers in your area who are skilled in assisting clients with executive function issues. Another way to locate a coach is through the online ADD consulting firm of Terry Matlen, a Michigan-based therapist who focuses on female clients (addconsults.com).
Other places to search for help? Matlen, the author of “The Queen of Distraction: How Women With ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get More Done,” suggests you post an ad to hire someone who is naturally organized. This person could help you both create a game plan and provide hands- on assistance with the process of de-cluttering your property and pre-packing for your move.
2) Capitalize on your strengths
Anderson has developed several time- and attention-management techniques that often work for people with organizational issues as they face the tasks involved in a lengthy project.
Even after the project is broken down into small pieces, people with impaired executive function must beware of time-consuming digressions, such as phones and email, which should be shut off during projects.
Anderson suggests you take frequent breaks during a laborious task, such as a painting job. To help avoid burnout, use a kitchen timer and give yourself a brief break when it goes off.
“To keep on track, you need to pat yourself on the back every time you make progress toward your goal. Also, give yourself rewards along the way,” she says.
3) Find ways to jumpstart your work on an “off day”
Despite the best of plans, people with organizational issues sometimes have trouble gaining the momentum to launch into a new task, Anderson says.
If you find yourself in this situation, she recommends you consider starting your day with aerobic exercise — such as a fast-paced walk through your neighborhood.
“This helps stimulate the brain into action, as does the use of rhythmic music,” Anderson says.
If you’re working alone and find yourself unable to concentrate, consider asking a friend or neighbor to step in, at least until you can get your work started.
“Many people need to connect and reconnect with other people throughout a big project,” Anderson says.