KonMari and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

My mom often wondered why simple tasks seemed so complicated for me.  

I would often walk into a room and forget why I went there.  I lost things all the time, and couldn't seem to keep my school work organized.

Yet, I wasn't struggling with the subject matter. In fact, if I was interested, I could sit down and read a book for 8 hours straight. What was up?

It took me 25 years to find out I had ADD.

After being diagnosed, I started to learn as much as possible about ways to cope and tools to be more efficient.  Because let's face it, while people with ADD or ADHD are known to be extremely creative, spontaneous and personable, we often face difficulties when it comes to self-discipline.  If there is an activity or chore that we don't find engaging, our inability to remain focused might hamper our productivity. 

In particular, I desperately wanted to address my challenge with organization.  The condition makes keeping organized challenging as it's hard to focus and the resulting disorder in my home was a constant reminder of my inability to finish yet another project. 

Perhaps you already see where this story is going.

It would take me a few years, but I eventually found the solution to my problem: You guessed it, KonMari to the rescue!

So if you are asking if you can KonMari with ADD, I say: Yes!  In fact, you should! The nature of the KonMari system, with its strict progression and detailed methods, actually suits people with ADD quite well.   As you go about tackling a category it is easy to get engrossed for hours and hours.

Here are a few tips for making KonMari work if you have ADD:

-          Stick to the KonMari categories. ADD is characterized by a sensitivity to stimuli. It’s not that we can’t pay attention, the issue is we pay attention to too many things at once. So once you decide to KonMari, be very strict about the rules. Found pens in your sock drawer? Try not to take a detour to organize your stationery. Set those pens aside for later and deal with them when that category comes along.

-          Be realistic and block the time. In order to set yourself up for success, give yourself reasonable goals. Only have 2 hours? That's fine, but devote yourself entirely during that time. If you're working on a big category, choose a sub-category that can be accomplished in that time. That way your confidence grows and you will be more motivated to keep going. 

-          Create simple systems. This is an area where I failed over and over again. In order to be more organized, I would create complicated storage systems, involving many steps. The system would inevitably be abandoned as I would soon forget about it. For anything to become a habit, it needs to be repeated. And for that to happen, you might need to simplify it as much as possible. 

From your calendar system, to your laundry collection process, make it simple. When it comes to storage, make sure items are easy to access and easy to put away.

-          Keep items where you use them. This will make it much more likely for you to actually use them and put them away when you’re finished. For example, keep your keys by the front door and spices and herbs by the stovetop. 

-         Get Support.  Enlist a trusted friend or family member to support you and keep you accountable.  They can be a sounding board for tough decisions and a comfort when you need a shoulder to cry on.  If you prefer professional help, there are consultants like me who can guide you through the journey. 

I hope these tips help! As always, if you need more support you just contact me!