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24 ADHD-Friendly Ways to Get Organized in 2024

Welcome to 2024, a year brimming with opportunities for personal growth and improved organization, especially for those of us with ADHD. Organizing with ADHD can be a unique challenge, but with the right tools and strategies, it's entirely achievable. This guide will delve into 24 ADHD-friendly ways to get organized, highlighting the innovative features of Insumo, a comprehensive tool that not only tracks habits but also integrates tasks, meetings, and your Google Calendar in one convenient platform.




1. Understanding ADHD and Organization


Grasping the unique relationship between ADHD and organization is pivotal in developing effective strategies for managing daily life. ADHD, characterized by symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, can often turn organizational tasks into daunting challenges. These symptoms can lead to difficulties in maintaining focus on singular tasks, organizing thoughts and physical items, and following through with plans. However, it's important to recognize that these challenges don't equate to an inability to organize. Instead, they signal a need for tailored organizational methods. Understanding this dynamic is crucial; it shifts the focus from a struggle with a perceived deficit to an exploration of personalized, creative strategies that align with the ADHD brain's unique wiring. This approach fosters a more compassionate and effective way of managing tasks and time, turning organization into a skill that can be developed and refined rather than an insurmountable obstacle.


2. Setting Realistic Goals


Setting realistic goals is a cornerstone of effective organization, especially for individuals with ADHD. This process involves acknowledging and working within one's own capacities, setting the stage for achievable successes rather than setting oneself up for frustration and disappointment. For someone with ADHD, this might mean breaking down larger objectives into smaller, more manageable tasks, thereby making goals feel more attainable and less overwhelming. It's about striking a balance between ambition and practicality, where goals are challenging enough to be motivating but not so daunting that they lead to procrastination or a sense of defeat.

Dr. Edward Hallowell, an ADHD expert, emphasizes the importance of this balance: "The key is not to aim too low and not to aim too high; to set goals that are stretchy but reachable."

By setting realistic goals, individuals with ADHD can create a positive feedback loop, where each small achievement fuels motivation and self-confidence, paving the way for future successes.


3. Breaking Tasks into Smaller Steps


Breaking tasks into smaller steps, or "chunking," is a transformative approach for individuals with ADHD to enhance focus and manage workload effectively. This method offers several key benefits:


  • Reduces Overwhelm: Dividing a larger task into smaller segments makes it less daunting. It's similar to solving a puzzle piece by piece, rather than attempting the whole picture at once.

  • Increases Manageability: Each smaller step is a mini-goal, making the overall task more manageable. This approach simplifies complex projects, making them more approachable.

  • Boosts Motivation: Completing each small segment provides a sense of accomplishment. These mini victories maintain motivation and encourage progress.

  • Enhances Focus: Concentrating on one small part at a time aligns with the ADHD brain's preference for short, achievable goals. This can lead to improved attention and better task completion.

  • Immediate Rewards: The ADHD brain often responds well to immediate feedback. Completing small steps offers quick rewards, reinforcing continued effort and focus.

  • Builds Confidence: Successfully completing each step builds self-esteem and confidence, creating a positive feedback loop that propels further achievement.


By breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, individuals with ADHD can navigate their responsibilities more effectively, turning overwhelming projects into a series of achievable, confidence-boosting tasks.


4. Centralizing Organization with Insumo


Insumo is a versatile tool that integrates your Google Calendar, tasks, and habits into one platform, making it easier to see your schedule, tasks, and habits all in one place.





5. Creating a Routine


Establishing a routine is a powerful tool for individuals with ADHD, providing structure and predictability in daily life.  Plan your day with Insumo, incorporating your tasks and appointments seamlessly.


A well-crafted routine can significantly reduce the cognitive load of decision-making and increase the efficiency of task completion. Here are the key benefits of creating a routine:

  • Enhances Predictability: A routine reduces the uncertainty and decision fatigue associated with ADHD. Knowing what to expect each day can lower anxiety and stress levels.

  • Improves Focus: With a set routine, the mind is less likely to wander. It's easier to focus when you have a clear idea of what task comes next.

  • Builds Good Habits: Consistent routines help in forming and maintaining good habits. Over time, these habits become second nature, reducing the effort needed to start a task.

  • Increases Efficiency: A routine streamlines daily activities, making it easier to start tasks and transition between them smoothly.

  • Provides Structure: For the ADHD brain, which often craves structure, a well-defined routine offers a framework that can guide daily actions and decisions.

  • Reduces Procrastination: By having a set plan for each day, there's less room for procrastination. A routine makes it clearer when to work and when to take breaks.

Creating a routine tailored to personal needs and preferences can transform the often chaotic experience of ADHD into a more orderly and productive one. It's about finding a rhythm that works for you, turning the day-to-day challenges into a series of manageable, predictable tasks.


6. Decluttering Your Space


Organize your physical space for a clearer mind. Marie Kondo's KonMari method offers excellent decluttering tips.


7. Time Management with the Pomodoro Technique


Use the Pomodoro Technique to improve focus. Download the Pomodoro Focus Timer for ADHD (Pomodoro App) to get started.


8. Prioritizing Tasks with Insumo


Insumo helps you prioritize tasks effectively, ensuring you focus on what's most important.


9. Using Visual Aids


Visual aids can simplify organization. Use color-coding and charts to make information more accessible.


10. Embracing Insumo for Task Management


Replace traditional task management tools with Insumo, which offers a more integrated and ADHD-friendly approach.


11. Establishing a Reward System


Motivate yourself with rewards for completing tasks. This positive reinforcement can be highly effective.


12. Seeking Support


Seeking support plays a crucial role in managing ADHD effectively. It's about recognizing that you don't have to navigate the challenges alone and that there's immense value in shared experiences and advice. Engaging with ADHD communities can provide emotional support, practical tips, and a sense of belonging. Here are some key points about seeking support:

  • Shared Experiences: Connecting with others who have ADHD can provide a sense of understanding and camaraderie that might be lacking in other areas of life.

  • Practical Advice: ADHD communities often share strategies and tools that have worked for them, offering new perspectives and solutions.

  • Emotional Support: Just knowing that others are facing similar challenges can be incredibly comforting and reduce feelings of isolation.

  • Increased Awareness: Engaging in these communities can also help in staying informed about the latest research, resources, and coping strategies.

  • Online Communities: There are numerous online platforms where individuals with ADHD can find support. Reddit's ADHD subreddit (r/ADHD) is a vibrant community where members share experiences, advice, and support.

  • Local Support Groups: Local ADHD support groups can provide a sense of community and an opportunity to connect with others face-to-face.

  • Professional Support: Besides peer support, seeking professional help from therapists or counselors who specialize in ADHD can be highly beneficial.


Engaging with ADHD communities, both online and offline, can be a game-changer in managing the condition. These communities offer a platform to learn, share, and connect, making the ADHD journey less daunting and more supported. Whether it's through online forums like Reddit's ADHD subreddit or local support groups, finding a community that resonates with your experiences can be a powerful step in managing ADHD effectively.


13. Staying Flexible


Flexibility is a key component in effectively managing ADHD. It involves adapting to changing circumstances and adjusting strategies as needed. For individuals with ADHD, rigid structures can often be counterproductive, leading to frustration and decreased productivity when unexpected changes occur. Embracing flexibility means allowing room for adjustments and being open to alternative methods of accomplishing tasks.


14. Mindfulness and Organization


Mindfulness practices can enhance focus and reduce impulsivity. Apps are great resources;

  1. Headspace (headspace.com): Known for its friendly, approachable style and a wide range of guided meditations, Headspace is great for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.

  2. Calm (calm.com): This app offers a variety of mindfulness exercises, including guided meditations, sleep stories, and breathing exercises, making it ideal for stress reduction and better sleep.

  3. Insight Timer (insighttimer.com): Boasting a large library of free meditations, Insight Timer caters to a diverse range of preferences, including mindfulness, sleep, and anxiety reduction.

  4. 10% Happier (tenpercent.com): Based on the book by Dan Harris, this app offers practical mindfulness techniques and guided meditations from world-renowned experts.

  5. Buddhify (buddhify.com): This app focuses on on-the-go meditation and offers sessions that you can do wherever you are, whether you're at work, commuting, or at home.


Each of these apps offers unique features and approaches to mindfulness, catering to a wide range of preferences and needs. Whether you're looking to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, or simply find a moment of peace in your busy day, there's likely an app here that can help.


15. Physical Exercise


Regular exercise can improve brain function and alleviate ADHD symptoms. A simple exercise routine can be a great way to stay fit and healthy, especially if you're short on time or new to regular exercise. Here's a straightforward routine that you can do at home or in a park, requiring no special equipment. Remember, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have any health concerns or conditions.


Simple Exercise Routine

Frequency: Aim for this routine 3-4 times a week.

Warm-Up (5-10 minutes)

  • Brisk Walking or Jogging in Place: 3 minutes

  • Dynamic Stretches: Such as leg swings, arm circles, and torso twists – 2-7 minutes

Core Exercises (10 minutes)

  • Plank: Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute

  • Side Planks: Hold each side for 30 seconds

  • Bicycle Crunches: 1 minute

Strength Training (15 minutes)

  • Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions

  • Squats: 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions

  • Lunges: 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg

  • Tricep Dips: 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions (using a sturdy chair or bench)

Cardio (10 minutes)

  • Jumping Jacks: 2 minutes

  • High Knees: 2 minutes

  • Butt Kicks: 2 minutes

  • Skaters: 2 minutes

  • Rest: 30 seconds between each exercise

Cool Down and Stretch (5-10 minutes)

  • Light Walking or Jogging in Place: 2-3 minutes to bring your heart rate down

  • Stretching: Focus on major muscle groups – hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, chest, back, and shoulders

Tips:

  • Hydration: Drink water before, during, and after your workout.

  • Progression: As you get stronger, gradually increase the intensity. Add more repetitions, hold positions for longer, or include light weights.

  • Listen to Your Body: If something hurts beyond normal muscle fatigue, stop and rest. Avoid pushing through pain.

  • Consistency: Try to stick to the routine regularly. Consistency is key to seeing improvements.


This routine balances cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility, making it well-rounded for general fitness. It's designed to be adaptable, so feel free to modify it to suit your fitness level and preferences. Remember, the best exercise routine is one that you enjoy and can stick to in the long run!


16. Nutrition and Organization


A balanced diet can positively impact focus and organizational abilities.


17. Sleep and Organization


Ensure you're getting enough restful sleep, as it's crucial for cognitive function and overall well-being.


Bryan Johnson, an entrepreneur and biohacker, has meticulously crafted a sleep routine that has garnered attention for its effectiveness, particularly in achieving a month of perfect sleep scores using the WHOOP wearable. His approach is a blend of technology, strict habits, and a deep understanding of his body's needs. Here's the video of his routine:



Understanding and improving sleep quality is crucial for overall health and well-being. Several apps are designed to help you track your sleep patterns and offer insights and tips for enhancement. Here are some recommended sleep apps:


  1. Sleep Cycle (sleepcycle.com): This app analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase, which can help you feel more rested. It provides detailed statistics and sleep graphs for insight.

  2. Slumber (slumber.fm): This app offers a variety of sleep-inducing stories, meditations, and soundscapes. The content is updated weekly to keep your bedtime routine fresh and engaging.

  3. Pzizz (pzizz.com): Pzizz uses psychoacoustic principles to create soothing sound sequences that aim to improve sleep quality. It's customizable to fit your personal sleep preferences.

  4. Relax Melodies (relaxmelodies.com): Users can mix and match different sounds and melodies to create a personalized sleep-aiding soundscape. It also includes guided meditations and bedtime stories.

  5. Sleep Time (azumio.com/s/sleeptime/index.html): This app analyzes your sleep cycles and provides detailed insights into your sleep patterns. It also includes an alarm that wakes you up at the optimal time.


These apps can help you understand your sleep patterns and provide practical tools to improve your sleep quality. However, it's important to remember that while technology can aid in improving sleep, maintaining good sleep hygiene and consulting healthcare professionals for persistent sleep issues is equally important.


18. Managing Distractions


Identify and minimize distractions to maintain focus on your tasks.


19. Using Checklists in Insumo


Insumo's tasks feature can help you keep track of tasks and ensure nothing gets missed.


20. Setting Up a Dedicated Workspace


The concept of setting up a dedicated workspace is grounded in several psychological and ergonomic principles, supported by scientific research. Here are some key findings that underscore the importance of a well-organized, dedicated workspace:

  1. Impact on Focus and Productivity: A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that workspace personalization and organization significantly impact focus and productivity. Cluttered or disorganized spaces can lead to cognitive overload, reducing the ability to concentrate and process information effectively.

  2. Ergonomics and Efficiency: Research in ergonomics has shown that a workspace tailored to an individual’s physical needs can reduce strain and fatigue, thereby increasing efficiency and comfort. Proper chair height, adequate desk space, and appropriate screen placement are crucial factors in creating an ergonomic workspace, as noted in a study from the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics.

  3. Psychological Boundaries Between Work and Personal Life: According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, having a distinct separation between work and personal spaces helps in establishing psychological boundaries, reducing stress, and improving work-life balance. This is particularly relevant in remote or home office settings.

  4. Environmental Psychology and Workspace Design: Environmental psychology research, including a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, indicates that the design of a workspace, including lighting, color, and layout, can significantly affect mood and mental health. A well-designed workspace can boost creativity, lower stress, and improve overall job satisfaction.

  5. The Role of Nature and Plants: Incorporating natural elements into a workspace, such as plants or natural light, can enhance cognitive function and reduce stress, as per a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. This concept, known as biophilic design, emphasizes the importance of connecting with nature in our living and working environments.


It is not just about physical organization; it's about creating an environment that is conducive to mental well-being, productivity, and physical comfort. The scientific research in this area highlights the profound impact that a well-designed workspace can have on an individual's professional and personal life.


21. Learning from Setbacks


Learning from setbacks is an essential part of personal and professional growth, especially for individuals with ADHD. Setbacks, while often perceived negatively, are invaluable opportunities for learning and self-improvement. They provide insights into what works and what doesn't, allowing for adjustments and refinements in strategies. This process of learning from mistakes is crucial in developing resilience and a growth mindset. In the context of ADHD, where inconsistency and fluctuating productivity can be more pronounced, understanding and analyzing these setbacks becomes even more critical. Utilizing tools like Insumo's insights tab can be particularly beneficial in this regard. Insumo not only helps in tracking habits and tasks but also offers an insights feature that allows users to identify patterns in their behavior. By examining where and when streaks are broken, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their triggers and challenges. This analysis can reveal underlying issues or external factors impacting their routine, providing a clearer path for making targeted improvements. Whether it's adjusting time management techniques, modifying environmental factors, or addressing stressors, learning from these insights empowers individuals to make more informed decisions, turning setbacks into stepping stones for future success.


22. Celebrating Successes


Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small.


23. Continuous Learning


Continuous learning is a vital aspect of personal and professional development, particularly in the context of managing ADHD. Engaging in lifelong learning has several benefits that extend beyond the acquisition of new knowledge.


Firstly, it keeps the brain active and engaged, which is crucial for individuals with ADHD. This ongoing mental stimulation can help improve cognitive functions like memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. Furthermore, continuous learning fosters adaptability and mental flexibility, allowing individuals to better cope with changes and challenges in their personal and professional lives. It also plays a significant role in self-esteem and self-efficacy; as individuals expand their knowledge and skills, they often experience a boost in confidence. This is especially beneficial for those with ADHD, who might struggle with self-doubt or feelings of inadequacy.


Additionally, the pursuit of lifelong learning often involves setting and achieving goals, which can provide a sense of purpose and direction. This process of setting and reaching objectives is particularly empowering for individuals with ADHD, as it helps in establishing a sense of control and accomplishment. In the context of ADHD management, continuous learning about the condition itself – staying updated with the latest research, strategies, and tools – can be incredibly valuable. It enables individuals to tailor their management strategies effectively, ensuring they are using the most current and effective methods. In summary, continuous learning is a multifaceted tool that not only enhances knowledge but also supports cognitive health, personal growth, and effective ADHD management.


24. Next Steps


Organizing with ADHD is a continuous journey. Embrace the process and celebrate each step forward. Remember, Insumo is there to help you integrate your tasks, habits, and schedule in one place, making organization more streamlined and less overwhelming.


While ADHD presents unique organizational challenges, the right strategies and tools like Insumo can make a significant difference. By setting realistic goals, breaking tasks into smaller steps, and using integrated tools, you can create a more organized, productive, and fulfilling life. Remember, every step towards better organization is a step towards a more controlled and satisfying life.

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