Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Organization meltdown

Help! Paperwork

One of my biggest downfalls is organization. I suck at it. Especially when it comes to paperwork.

I had a major meltdown at work today when I went into a meeting that I wasn’t prepared for. I lost some key notes and couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out where an entire folder filled with very important documents went. As I fumbled my way through my binder and a pile of papers that I had stacked on my desk, my boss just looked at me and said, “Umm, I feel like you’re not organized…you need to work on that.” She was so nice about it too because I should have gotten reamed.

Part of my problem is that I have ADD. Some people hate hearing that and say it shouldn’t be used as an excuse but you know what? It’s a real disorder and it has affected me my entire life. I was diagnosed with it my freshman year in college but never took any meds for it. I’ve learned how to deal with it for the most part, but there are some things I just can’t handle---like organization. My brain just doesn’t know how to process the concept. I look at things and I freak out. I don’t even know where to begin. It’s very stressful. So I finally decided to admit that I needed help and asked for it.

Does anyone out there have any tips on getting organized?

I’ve tried sticky notes, folders, binders with dividers, and even writing lists. Lists work to help keep me on task, but they don’t help me with organization. (Actually I’ve found that I absolutely have to write a list at the end of my day to remind me of all the things I have to do the next day or else I’ll completely forget.)

I have a friend with ADD much worse than me that asked how the hell I can be a runner. She said the thought of running long distances just makes her crazy. I smiled and said, “Honestly, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane.”

If only my job consisted of talking, writing and running…(hey, two out of three ain’t bad)


  1. Hmm that is a tough one. I find that having separate folders / trays etc for different things relly helps me. I like everything to have its own place - so I have a tray for filing, a tray 'for action' and a 'pending' tray. Coupled with lists and a diary, and my outlook calendar. hehe yes it seems I have the opposite problem - OCD for me perhaps?! :)

  2. Ugh, I feel overwhelmed too when I'm not organized. In one of my office drawers, I went through everything the other week & completely organized it by making a lot of folders. It doesn't work to be too anal about the folders. Then I organized them by importance. The folders that use the most, I put closer to the front of the drawer. Or you can put them by alphabetical order too. If you don't have an officer drawer, you can get one of the wire ones for the top of your desk.
    Oh, another thing may be to get all your papers organized before you leave work so that the next morning everything is ready.
    Hope that helps! :)