Tack­ling big jobs with a short at­ten­tion span

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

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.

Ellen James Martin

Smart Moves

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