Monday, July 13, 2009

Deciding What to Keep and What to Throw Away

Many people with AD/HD have problems with clutter. There may be many reasons for this, among some is the false hope that one day you’ll actually bake that exotic cake you saw the recipe for in a pile of cooking magazines you’ve had for 10 years.

Another reason is the inability to prioritize and to decide what to keep and what to toss, causing the person to get overwhelmed, keep everything, and simply give up on ever sifting through the piles.

It doesn’t matter the cause--the end result is usually always the same- a sense of guilt, shame and frustration is felt by the person.

The general rule I use is this: be brutally honest with yourself and ask, “Am I really going to need this? Will I ever REALLY get around to making that cake? Will I actually ever make that scrapbook of mementoes for my kids? If your answer is NO! Throw the stuff out! 99.9% chance is, that if you’ve not read or acted on whatever it is by now, you never will!

Next, ask yourself, “Will this (magazine, paper, etc.) Impede my progress forward or will it propel it? If it will impede it, throw it out!

I have dozens of other strategies on how to get through the clutter and paperwork and can make that an entire section of the blog! But some quickie ones are:

-Always go through clutter while standing up- never sitting down

-Divide things into 3 piles “keep” “throw away” and “I don’t know yet”

-Use the 3-second rule—don’t keep anything in your hand for than 3 seconds- hurry put it in one of the 3 piles- quick! ;-)

-Designate a time to start and stop