3 Productivity Tips for People With ADHD

On October 7, 2013, in Productivity, by Ellen Delap
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Are you struggling with a looming list? Overwhelmed by all you have to accomplish?  Is it especially difficult to know that to do first? There are things you can do to get  more accomplished and feel less stressed. If you have Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it can be helpful to create an easy-to-follow process to help you get more done.

3 ADHD Productivity Tips

These three ADHD productivity tips will help you get started:


1. Pause for a Moment

There may be many thoughts and ideas swirling in your head.  And, you may not be sure of the first step or where to start.  So, give yourself permission to pause.  A pause gives you the opportunity to do your best work. A pause can be a few minutes of time just sitting, taking a few deep breaths, or it can be a physical activity like taking a walk.

A pause can be part of your regular routine, like writing down the next day’s list the night before or  a weekly meeting with a partner. Creating space for reflection can help you take stock of your present situation and give you some time to make a plan.


2. Record Your Thoughts

With many simultaneous thoughts in your head, it can be hard to focus and get clarity.  Take the opportunity to record all of your ideas so that you don’t forget them.

There are lots of ways to record:

  • You can write down all your thoughts, ideas, and tasks on paper.
  • Write on Post-It Notes (affiliate link) and attach these to a table or wall.
  • Write on a dry erase board.
  • Or, you can enter them in your phone using your notes app.  Or, use Evernote.

Whatever your tool, recording it all can help you clear out your brain. It will likely release you to do real work, rather than ruminate on all you have to do and feel paralyzed as a result.  You may need to talk it out as  you write it out too! Recording gives you a strategy to process all you are thinking.

Consider having only one spot to review and see everything, compare it all, and then be ready to decide what to act on.


3. Prioritize Your Tasks

Task  lists can be overwhelming just by the sheer quantity on the list.  But, the list is the place to prioritize.

You may want to choose the three Most Important Tasks (MITs) for the day to work on.  How do you decide what’s  a priority? A deadline may be the reason a task is a priority.  You may feel instinctively what should be completed first.  You might also prioritize what will give you the most return on investment of energy that day. Choosing just three MITs gives you the opportunity to finish the most important things on your list.

Try out this Pause-Record-Prioritize strategy. Let me know if it works for you!



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Fact Friday: Organizing and productivity facts Organize to Revitalize Blog“As people get more anxious, they are more likely to label neutral smells as bad smells (Krusemark & Li, 2013). So, anxiety literally makes the world stink. And as people get more anxious they become better at distinguishing between different bad smells (Krusemark & Li, 2012).”

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8 Fascinating Facts About Anxiety | Spring.org.uk  | 10.3.13



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Junk mail can infiltrate your home and office and make it super difficult to get stuff done. And, instead of being productive, you waste your time sifting and sorting through papers that are meaningless to you.

Get rid of junk mail with 41Pounds.org

That’s where 41Pounds.org (or Catalog Choice by Trusted ID) comes in. 41Pounds.org helps you get rid of junk mail by contacting direct mail companies and lets them know that you want to be removed from their mailing lists. The result: No more junk mail in your mailbox for every adult in your home for five years.

The service is not free, but the $35 subscription fee is minimal since you’ll reclaim your space and save some time (and trees, too!).

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Fact Friday: Organizing and productivity facts Organize to Revitalize Blog“Interestingly, research has shown that six-minute naps, known as ultra-short sleep episodes, can improve declarative memory (i.e. a type of long-term memory that pertains to our ability to recall facts and knowledge).

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The science behind power naps, and why they’re so damn good for you | i09.com | 9.26.13



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I love road trips! They’re fun and if you take the scenic route, the experience can also be breathtaking. To make sure things go as planned, I usually use a road trip checklist so that I remember to take all the stuff I need to have with me.

Checklists are great organizing tools and they’re not just helpful for uncluttering your home. You can also use them to keep your car clutter-free on a regular basis and also for those times that you take long distance trips. If the inside of your vehicle is organized (don’t forget about the trunk) before you leave for your road trip, you’ll likely have a better experience.

Who wants to be in a cluttered car for for several hours without the things they need? A road trip checklist will help you find what you want when you want it and keep your car from exploding with stuff everywhere.

Along with the things that you would normally pack for any trip (like this easy-to-use container for dirty laundry), consider taking along the items on the checklist (and infographic) below. And, just in case you’re wondering, these are the things I always have with me. In fact, I had them all on my road trip to the beach last week.

So, check out my 13 “must-haves” and leave a comment with your road trip essentials.

13 Things to Take on Your Next Road Trip

  1. Money
  2. GPS
  3. Phone charger
  4. Sunglasses (and your regular glasses, too, if you need them for driving)
  5. Audio books and/or music
  6. Car organizer or container (to keep everything in one place)
  7. Cooler with ice
  8. Water (gotta stay hydrated)
  9. Bag clips (so your snacks don’t end up all over your car)
  10. Baby wipes (they manhandle almost any kind of stain!)
  11. Paper towels
  12. Hand sanitizer
  13. Garbage bin/container (empty it every time you make a pit stop)

P.S. Road-tripping with kids? Have a look at this checklist from Real Simple.


Infographic: Road Trip Checklist

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Road Trip Checklist: 13 Things to Take on Your Next Road Trip


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Fact Friday: Organizing and productivity facts Organize to Revitalize BlogWorkers who ate healthy meals and exercised on a regular basis had better job performance and lower absenteeism, research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), Brigham Young University and the Center for Health Research at Healthways shows. Employees who eat healthy all day long were 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance, the study found, while those who eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables at least four times a week were 20 percent more likely to be more productive.”

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What you eat at work can impact on your productivity |News.com.au | 9.17.13



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4 Ways to Make More Space in Your Home

On September 17, 2013, in Guest Posts, Small Spaces, by Deb Lee
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Today’s post has four simple tips to help you make more space in your home.  Many thanks to freelance writer, Andraea C., for sharing this advice.

Are you tired of feeling cramped and cluttered in your own home due to a lack of space? If so, then you may be wondering what you can do to create more space in your home and cut down on clutter. Fortunately, there are some basic tips you can follow that will be sure to open up even the smallest of spaces.

4 Ways to Make More Space in Your Home

4 Ways to Make More Space in Your Home


1. Hold a Yard Sale

The key to creating more space is to begin by getting rid of things you no longer need. Oftentimes, we hold onto things we do not necessarily use for sentimental reasons or with the perceived notion that we will need them at some point down the road. Start to let go of this idea and put together some boxes of things you can donate or sell. Then, hold a yard sale and you might be surprised that you can make money while eliminating clutter in your home.

2. Create Storage Space

Many space problems in the home can be solved with a little bit of creativity. Do not rely on closets and pantries alone for storage. Instead, create your own storage areas when possible. You’ll be astounded at the space you create just by installing a few shelves (you can use the money you make from your yard sale to purchase them). You may even want to consider putting the beds in your home on risers so that more things (like out of season clothing and blankets) can be stored underneath.

3. Create Multipurpose Rooms

Are you frustrated that your child does not have a play room of his own? Adding an extension to your home does not have to be the only solution. Instead, consider ways of giving existing rooms in your home multiple purposes. For example, perhaps you already have a family room in your home. Why not let that double as a children’s play room during the day? Get some totes and boxes for keeping your child’s favorite toys and stow them away when not needed. Or, consider using furniture that serves dual purposes.

4. Position Furniture Properly

The correct placement of furniture in your home can help you to maximize space as well. Rather than having your bed jutting out into the middle of the room, consider moving it so that it is flush along the wall to create more space. Placing some (or all) of your living room couches and chairs against the wall as well as using glass tables can help a small room seem much larger.

As you can see, there are a number of steps you can take to increase the amount of space in your home. Be sure to give some or all of these ideas a try today. You can also take a look at websites like Apartment Therapy and Real Simple for more inspiration.

About the Author
4 Ways to Make More Space in the HomeAndraea is a freelance writer from Kahuku, Hawaii. She writes for business, finance, women’s interests and the home niches, including Extra Space Storage. She loves surfing, being outdoors and enjoying the beauty of Hawaii.


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Fact Friday: Organizing and productivity facts Organize to Revitalize Blog“The mere circumstance of being poor can reduce a person’s cognitive abilities by consuming precious mental resources. ‘We’re not saying the poor are dumber,’ said study researcher Sendhil Mullainathan, an economist at Harvard University. ‘It’s as if being poor is like pulling an all-nighter, every night.’ Mullainathan compared doing mental tasks while being poor with surfing the Web while a movie is downloading in the background. ‘It’s going to be much slower.’”

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Poverty Saps the Brain’s Mental Reserves | LiveScience.com | 5.29.13



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E-mail Organization Tips That Improve Productivity

On September 11, 2013, in Productivity, by Stephanie Shalofsky
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E-mail Organization Tips That Improve ProductivityWhen your inbox feels like it’s out of control, it’s important to get it organized quickly. But, before applying basic e-mail organization tips that will help improve your productivity, it is a good idea to take a step back and look at the big picture.  E-mail is an essential component of daily life as it is the most common means of communication in the workplace as well as at home. As a result, huge chunks of time are typically devoted to e-mail each day.

Is e-mail really a task or does it deliver tasks?  While processing e-mail is a task, the real work happens as the messages are processed. In an effort to improve e-mail productivity, here are some thought provoking, bigger picture suggestions and a few e-mail organization tips for you to consider.

Assess Your E-mail Habits

Are your e-mail practices the most efficient one for you? This is a good time to assess how you are managing your e-mail.  If you have adopted procedures that are not maximizing your productivity and they have become habits, it may be time to make some changes and implement the above e-mail organization tips.  Try changing habits one at a time, recognizing that it will take at least three to four weeks for them to become ingrained in your daily routine.

Gather Data About Your E-mail

Do you know how many messages are sitting in your inbox?  At least 50% of the people that I ask this question either don’t know or don’t want to admit to the real number.  In order to improve your e-mail productivity and implement the rest of our e-mail organization tips, it is important to be able to answer this question — as well as to know how many e-mails you send and receive daily. As the average business person sends/receives 115 messages per day, you will probably find that your daily activity is somewhere in this range.

And, the last and probably most important bit of data to gather is the number of unread vs. read messages sitting in your inbox. If the number of unread e-mails is greater, you are very likely missing very important messages, requests, and time-sensitive information. In addition, this can impact your productivity since it will probably take a lot longer to process a large volume of messages.

Apply The Hawthorne Effect

If you apply the Hawthorne Effect when establishing an e-mail management strategy, increased productivity could be a reality in a much shorter time.  So, how do you apply this psychological phenomenon?  It is easier than you might think.  You just need to start paying more attention to how you manage your e-mail by tracking the amount of time spent on all e-mail related activities each day. Consider using a journal or Evernote to record your daily e-mail actions for a short time frame (try five to seven days). You will likely begin to notice your specific habits, and as a result, you may consciously or subconsciously start to adopt more efficient e-mail habits.

Turn Off Email Alerts

As it relates to e-mail usage, productivity loss occurs in small chunks of time.  However, in my work as a professional organizer in NYC, I have seen firsthand how these small bits of time can add up to significant chunks of lost productivity each day. It takes about four minutes to recover from each time the e-mail alert sounds on your computer.

It might not seem like a lot of time when you hear or see the alert, stop what you are doing, glance at your inbox to see who sent you the message, and then return to the current task at hand.  But, if this happened 10 times during one day, these 10 interruptions would have used up 40 minutes of your day.

If you’re struggling with an overflowing inbox and just don’t know how to begin managing it, try out the suggestions in this post to help you turn things around. Still have lingering questions? Leave a comment below and I’ll offer more specific advice about how you can create an easy to maintain e-mail organization system to improve your e-mail habits.

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Bluetooth Makes Life Easier and Gets Rid of Cable Clutter

On September 9, 2013, in Technology, by Nealey Stapleton
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I love Bluetooth! I think that it has a bright future in our ever-advancing technological world. Pretty soon, there will be no wires for anything. All electronics will wirelessly connect to each other and all those jumbles of cord clutter will disappear. Yes!

Hey, you never know, they might even figure out how to get rid of power cords altogether and make electrical outlets part of the Bluetooth realm as well…that would be so cool.

Bluetooth Makes Life Easier | Organize to Revitalize Blog


Back to reality though, Bluetooth currently rocks my world. Here are some great ways to incorporate it into yours. Do you have anything to add to this list? Comment below!

Bluetooth In The Car

My car is a newer model and came Bluetooth-enabled. It’s fabulous! Since I can wirelessly connect my phone to the car, I can call (affiliate link) people without using my hands. In addition, I can utilize the other features of my smart phone like play music, listen to audio books, and more. It’s so lovely and convenient!

Bluetooth In The House

I still have a traditional stereo system with speakers connected to a receiver, but that hasn’t stopped me from integrating Bluetooth technology. I bought a little Bluetooth device that plugs into the receiver, and I can connect my phone to it wirelessly. Voilà! I can play any song on my phone through my awesome stereo speakers in the house.

Even cooler, there are speakers that you can purchase that have the Bluetooth technology already built in. You don’t even need an audio receiver!

My mom just bought the Sonos System (affiliate link) and it’s so easy to use. You download the free Sonos Controller app (iOS | Android) your smart phone, connect with the system using the local WiFi connection, and play music through the speakers. You can buy as many individual speakers as you want and place them strategically in and out of the house — and can control all of them with your phone. Each speaker only needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet – no speaker wires or receiver necessary. Isn’t that awesome?

These are just a few ways in which Bluetooth makes my life easier, and I hope this technology is going to keep expanding. Imagine not having to look for an outlet to plug in your electronic devices so you can charge them. Oooooh! Aaaaaaah!


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