Last updated 4 years ago
"This year I will definitely be more organized!" So many of us start the New Year with a promise like this one. Whether the disorganized target is a closet, a desk, or just daily life, learning to become more organized is challenging. For children and adults with ADHD and other learning disabilities, organization can seem almost impossible. With a few new strategies and routines in place, that old view can be overcome!
Get started right now with these ideas:
Create a calendar
Write down what needs to happen every day or every week. The act of writing the words down is a memory booster in its own right. For younger children, using a weekly calendar helps to keep track of the days of the week. For older kids and adults a monthly calendar is more helpful to see the "big picture."
Keep a detailed checklist
Begin by breaking tasks down into parts. Not only does this help us to plan each step, but it also gives us more things to cross off the list! For example, if "Clean room" is on your child's daily checklist, what would it look like broken down into small tasks?
- First, put dirty clothes into the clothes hamper.
- Second, make the bed.
- Third, put toys and games back on the shelves where they belong (This can be broken down into even smaller tasks if needed).
Using the numerical cues, first, second, third, helps us to visualize the sequences than can eventually lead to a routine. Using mini tasks is very helpful at any age. Imagine how many individual tasks we can find in "Do Taxes."
Breaking a task into parts allows us to estimate how long the entire task will take. Ask your kids, "How long does it take to put the dirty clothes away?" Work together to time each mini task on your list; then you'll have a good estimate of how long it will take your child to clean his or her room. Once this is established, turn it into a game! Can you beat your own best time?
You are probably familiar with the idea of assigning priority to tasks, naming them A, B, and C or High, Medium, and Low priority. Whatever names you use, the idea of prioritizing is the same – do the most important things first. Once you have determined how long a task might take, you will have a much better idea of what can be done in the time you have.
Let us know at The Literacy & Language Center what works for you!