10 Organizing Principles for the Organizationally Impaired


NOT Your Mama’s Organization

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
In support of the Challenges Inventory™ & ADD Coaching Series
my edited reposting of a five year old article

If at first you don’t succeed . . .

I know.  I’m right there with you.  You’ve read all the books and made a good stab at following their advice, and you still live in what might affectionately be called a pig stye if only it were that neat.

Give it up!

Those books were NOT written for you and me.  They were written for fundamentally organized people with relatively reliable follow-through skills and abilities.

They simply needed a little how-to help and advice.

I don’t work their way.
Do YOU work their way?

How DO you work?

If you don’t get real about how you work, you will never be able to determine what YOU need to do to to keep from spending half your life looking for things that were “right here a minute ago” — and the other half tripping over dirt and detritus.

As I began in an even earlier post (ADD & Organized?) . . .

Yea verily, even YOU can learn to be organized
just as soon as you understand
the reasons why you’ve been stopped in the past.  

Those of us who struggle with any of what are referred to as Executive Functions work a bit differently than those neurotypical folks.  We do not have vanilla-flavored brains.  We’re more like the ice cream with the mix-ins.  Our stoppers are not their stoppers.

HERE’S the KICKER: it’s a different mix of stoppers for every single one of us.  

So much for helpful hints and tidy lists!  

That said, I’m going to go w-a-a-y out on a limb by offering my top ten organizing principles that I now call, collectively, The Executive Functioning Organizing Manifesto — a summary of some basic concepts that need to be embraced and understood if you want to have a shot at working out what you need to do for YOU to be organized.

In future posts in this series, I will expand on some of the points below.
For NOW, print ’em out and hang ’em up and follow them!

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A lever for when you are REALLY stuck


Keeping on Keeping ON it

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An article in the Org&Task Series

ReadTree“Having come to the conclusion that there was
so much to do that she
didn’t know where to start,
Mrs Fowler decided not to start at all.

She went to the library,
took Diary of a Nobody from the shelves and,
returning to her wicker chair under the lime tree,
settled down to waste what precious hours
still remained of the day.”

~ Richmal Crompton, Family Roundabout

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
~ Mark Twain

Ay, there’s the rub!

Have you ever had a day – or a series of days – when you simply couldn’t seem to get started doing much of anything?

CLICK HERE for an article on Activation that will help you begin to understand that dynamic.

The article below will give you something to try that might actually get you going.

It works for me most of the time, anyway.  I call it The Backwards To-Do List. 

But first, let’s talk for a minute about the downside of goals and goal-setting.

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Organization & Task Completion


 Rememberlinks on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Investigating the link between
Organization and Task Completion

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An article in the Org&Task Series
In support of The Challenges Inventory ™ Series

It’s no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying,
‘Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer.’
By then, pigs will be your style.
 ~ Quentin Crisp

graphic thanks to Phillip Martin, artist/educator

Happy Brand New Year!

Hey – last January – did you make any Resolutions for the upcoming year?

Or are you someone who is more comfortable Setting Intentions, making a Vision Board, or coming up with a list of S.M.A.R.T. Goals to live into?

Maybe you’re a real go-getter who does all four!

So let me ask you the Dr. Phil question:
How’s that workin’ for you?

What’s your success ratio?

Did you lose the weight, get in shape, stop smoking, finish your degree, clean out the garage . . . or any of the other things you hoped to complete in the years that came before this one? (um . . . like “Get ADDCoach.com redesigned and up and running again,” Madelyn? And, oh yeah, those books you keep meaning to get published?)

Like me, is Déjà Vu all over again the best description of many of the items from your yearly resolution ritual?

Or are you one of the many who have given up and given in, convinced of the futility of making resolutions you never complete anyway?

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A Notebook as a System to Fulfill


Creating “A System to Fulfill”

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
In support of The ADD in the Spirit Coach Training Program Series

Setting it up so that you get to WIN!

The priciples of setting up a tracking system for a brand new coaching practice generalize — so don’t skip this article, simply because you won’t be setting up a notebook for coach training.

Beginning with the END in mind

There’s a lot to track when you’re setting up a brand new system for a brand new business!

If you are like most of us with ADD, that tracking part doesn’t land anywhere close to your centers of competency, so don’t make it harder than it needs to be.

Start out organized!

Don’t play games with this – do it right away!

  • You know what will happen to the notes taken in all those tattered legal pads and spiral notebooks – or on the little scraps of paper – or on anything else you grab to write on “for now,” don’t you?
  • Somewhere deep inside you KNOW that the “tomorrow” where you will finally get everything together and filed for easy retrieval-on-demand will NEVER turn into today — don’t you?
  • Yep! The task will loom larger and more daunting with every scratch of the pen and tick of the clock.

Class notes, handouts, contact sheets, practice management tips, tricks and brain-children, medication references, bridge numbers and access codes (and who knows what else?!) – OH MY!

Your best defense against overwhelm and Boggle

. . . is to make it “easy by default.”

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Ten ADD Organizing Principles


NOT Your Mama’s Organization

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
In support of the Challenges Inventory™ & ADD Coaching Series

As I began in an earlier post (ADD & Organized?) . . .

Yes, even YOU can learn to be organized —
JUST AS SOON AS YOU UNDERSTAND
the REASONS why you’ve been stopped in the past.  

HERE’S the KICKER: it’s a different mix of stoppers for every single one of us.  

If you don’t understand how YOU work, you’ll never be able to determine what YOU need to do to to keep from spending half your life looking for things that were “right here a minute ago” — and the other half tripping over dirt and detritus.

So much for helpful hints and tidy lists!  

That said, I’m going to go w-a-a-y out on a limb by offering ten ADD organizing principles that I call, collectively, The ADD Organizaing Manifesto — a summary of some basic concepts that need to be embraced and understood if you want to have a shot at working out what YOU need to do for YOU to be organized.

In future posts in this series, I’ll expand on some of the points below.
For NOW, print ’em out and hang ’em up!

Read more of this post

Why Tips and Tricks Fail


Many Sizes, Many Solutions
(and w-a-y too many books!)

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
In support of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

Cartoon graphic of a male presenter pointing to a chart with the heading, The Solution• Here’s a helpful hint!
• Hey, this will fix it!
• Read THIS particular book.
• Use THAT particular system 

It wouldn’t be a problem if you’d only DO IT . . .
• THIS way
• THAT way
• Some OTHER way
— and follow directions this time! —

Sheesh!  

AND THEN, when you still have your problem, it’s YOUR fault because you didn’t do it “right” —

  • You didn’t do it long enough . . .
  • You didn’t want to badly enough . . .
  • You didn’t align your thoughts with your actions . . .
  • You didn’t say “mother-may-I, pretty-please” before you started!!

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ADD & Organized?


Organization for ADDers is NOT Pipe Dream

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
In support of The Challenges Inventory ™ Series

Drawing of a man popping out of the top drawer of a file cabinet, holding a file, with a self-satisfied smile on his faceYes, even YOU can learn to be organized —
JUST AS SOON AS YOU UNDERSTAND

the REASONS why you’ve been stopped in the past.  

Here’s the kicker: it’s a different mix of stoppers for every single one of us.  

If you don’t understand how YOU work, you’ll never be able to determine what YOU need to do to to keep from spending half your life looking for things that were “right here a minute ago.”

So much for helpful hints and tidy lists!  

That said, what follows is an Organizing Overview summarizing concepts that need to be embraced and understood if you want to have a shot at working out what YOU need to do for YOU to be organized.

In a series of articles to follow, I will “unpack” the list and explain the concepts.  FOR NOW, reflect on the list itself, and stay tuned for articles to follow.

Read more of this post

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