Up until recently I’ve had a pretty difficult time managing and organizing my time and my things. I’ve always made attempts, but I could never make them stick. I blamed ADHD but knew that it was not an excuse. I’ve just always known that I would need a dedicated mentor to guide me (and prayed that I would someday meet that someone). Fortunately for me, the right teacher finally did come along.
I’m talking about one of my co-workers. She is REALLY good at organizing things, like—the MASTER. Everything she touches has a label, a container, or a plastic sheet cover. Everything she owns has a place where it belongs and it goes back there as soon as she has finished using it. Because she is so consistent, her life has a predictable and practical rhythm. I decided this year that I would study her behaviour and try to mimic it.
I’ve always admired her grounded, methodical approach to tasks. She never panics, she just does the layout work for any project upfront so that she knows what needs to be done and then she manages her time accordingly. I notice that she breaks things up into logical, manageable chunks and tackles them one at a time. I’m not sure I’ve actually ever seen her looking overwhelmed—which is super attractive. Since feeling overwhelmed is a feeling I know I really can’t afford, her approach has definite appeal to me.
So, following her example I set a few manageable goals for myself this year. They were:
-Always put it back where it belongs after you’ve finished using it
-If you make something new, give it a label, container, binder, plastic sheet etc.
-Never accumulate a pile of more than 5 random sheets without sorting or scrapping it asap
-Before leaving my office for the day, make myself a sticky note of things that need my attention the next day (to do list)
-Always tidy up before locking up (office)
I’m super proud to say that I was successful in keeping my commitments to myself. It has been a bit of a long overdue personal victory for me. I can’t say enough about how gratifying and satisfying it is to do this. From an ADHD perspective, having this structure has freed up some much needed space in my busy brain. Oh yeah—and I committed to not filling that space with anything either. I value this space for reflection and contemplation. It allows me to be more focused and grounded.
I feel blessed to have been able to learn from her example and happy that I’ve been given this opportunity to reflect on my experience.