Ridiculous yet effective ways to deal with Executive Dysfunction
Dealing with executive dysfunction and ADHD becomes so much easier when you stop trying to do things the way you feel like you should be able to do them (like everyone else) and start finding ways that actually work for you, no matter how “silly” or “unnecessary” they seem.
For years my floor was constantly covered in laundry. Clean laundry got mixed in with dirty and I had to wash things twice, just making more work for myself. Now I just have 3 laundry bins: dirty (wash it later), clean (put it away later), and mystery (figure it out later). Sure, theoretically I could sort my clothes into dirty or clean as soon as I take them off and put them away straight out of the dryer, but realistically that’s never going to be a sustainable strategy for me.
How many garbage bins do you need in a bedroom? One? WRONG! The correct answer is one within arms reach at all times. Which for me is three. Because am I really going to get up to blow my nose when I’m hyperfocusing? NO. In allergy season I even have an empty kleenex box for “used tissues I can use again.” Kinda gross? Yeah. But less gross than a snowy winter landscape of dusty germs on my desk.
I used to be late all the time because I couldn’t find my house key. But it costs $2.50 and 3 minutes to copy a key, so now there’s one in my backpack, my purse, my gym bag, my wallet, my desk, and hanging on my door. Problem solved.
I’m like a ninja for getting pout the door past reminder notes without noticing. If I really don’t want to forget something, I make a physical barrier in front of my door. A sticky note is a lot easier to walk past than a two foot high cardboard box with my wallet on top of it.
Executive dysfunction is always going to cause challenges, but often half the struggle is trying to cope by pretending not to have executive dysfunction, instead of finding actual solutions.