Susan C. Pinsky;
is a professional
in ADHD. The mother
of a child with ADHD,
on TV, on the radio,
and in print. She is the
author of Organizing
Solutions for People
and The Fast and
Furious 5 Step
QI am a single, working woman, and although I earn a decent living, the rents in my city are so high that I share an apartment. Although we have established chore charts, my ADHD
makes it difficult for me to get to my share of the work. My housemates get upset and I feel terrible.
Begin by forgiving yourself. Every housemate
has quirks. Yours happens to be time management. Solutions to the problem might be:
> A “chore hour” once a week,; when you
all do chores at the same time. Working with
the others will keep you on task. If schedules
don’t mesh, perhaps you can find a housemate to “body double” with you.
> Hire a housekeeper to do your share of
the chores.; Perhaps your housemates would
also like to change the paradigm. Everyone
might prefer to pitch in a few bucks once
a week for housekeeping rather than spend
time on chores. Or maybe one housemate
would pick up your chores if you put in a few
bucks toward his or her share of the rent.
> Routine—schedule your chores.; Write your
chore day on your calendar, creating “Chore
Wednesday.” Use routine to reduce other
irritants. Make it a nightly routine to stroll the
apartment picking up your stuff—it should
take a minute or two. Occasional clutter will
aggravate your housemates less than a teacup
that has been left out for a month.
Finally, contribute in other ways: replace
the old toaster as a gift to all, or pitch in when
you see others cleaning.
MY LATENESS IS THREATENING MY JOB SECURITY
QI am hardworking and successful in my job,; but my boss is getting more irritated by my tardiness.; I have tried to be punctual,; but I always seem to
oversleep or get behind in the morning.;
purchase a mechanical version
for home. Invest in a loud alarm
and place it across the room, so
you have to get up to turn it off.
As it turns out, staying ahead
in the morning begins at night.
In fact, the first steps of your
p.m. routine should be about
getting everything ready for
the next day: your clothes
picked out and put aside, your
purse, keys, and phone at the
door. Keep a list of steps either
taped to the wall or on your
phone. Finally, reverse-engi-
neer your morning, adding
time to every step, and set your a.m. alarm
accordingly. If it takes you 20 minutes to dress,
schedule 25. Ten minutes to eat? Schedule 15.
If you arrive early, you can play on your
phone until the workday starts, take a long walk
at lunch, or maybe even leave early! All of this
sounds exhausting, but is it more exhausting than
worrying about your job security?
The easiest way to solve this is
to have a talk with the boss:
Will she let you work late on
the days you come in late? Can
you establish a flex schedule?
If not, you have to do this the
Let’s begin by figuring out
the oversleeping. Try adopting
sleep enhancement methods,
such as daily physical activity
and a consistently timed
bedtime routine that allows for
eight hours of sleep—dim
lights in the evening, avoiding
LED screens for the last hour before bed, and a
white noise machine to mask disturbances in the
night. Now add some ADHD-friendly technical
support. Set an alarm on your phone to indicate
“bedtime routine begins.” If you must read before
bed, get a Kindle Paperwhite (it’s LED-free and
makes less clutter than books or magazines).
Download a white noise app (for travel), and
Ask the Organizer
Organizer-in-chief Susan Pinsky helps you get your house (and workspace) in order.