As you learn how you Autistic Spectrum Condition/ADHD affects you, you can bring that self-knowledge to your workplace or classroom to organise your environment to suit you.
Start by thinking about what you know your best working conditions are. Are you hypersensitive to noise, lights and movement and need to work or study where it’s quiet? Or can you concentrate better with background music or in an office buzzing with people and activity?
Do you need to focus on one thing at a time? Or are you at your best when you are multi-tasking?
When you have an ASC or ADHD it may also mean that you have a lot of clutter from things that you have felt unable to organise, have collected and have kept because your impulsive nature has meant you felt a need to keep everything and been unable to throw things away. The problem is, when you actually need something it may be impossible and time consuming to find.
This means that you need to find a system of organisation that works for you and, especially in the case of ASCs, this can actually been turned into one of your strengths.
• Keep your environment well organised. If you find things are starting to pile up then take time (plan it into your daily diary) to reorganise everything. Just don’t get so involved in organising in different ways that you forget to do other things!
• Invest in cabinets, organisers and files, shelves and other things that will help you to devise a system you can stick to and order things so that you can find them quickly.
• Use different labelled file folders and dividers to organise different types of documents, such as household bills, medical information, income and tax, car etc. so you can find what you need quickly. Organise books, CDs, DVDs etc. in a way that suits your needs. Just try not to get too carried away with sorting alphabetically within genre
• Open, sort and deal with your mail on a daily basis (ok I’m not great at this either ). But if you set aside a few mintes every day to either throw it away, file it or put it in a ‘to do’ folder, then the task becomes a whole lot easier to cope with and things don’t get missed.
• Then have a time dedicated in your diary to deal with that ‘to do’ file. It might be every day or you might just plan it in once a week, but you will find, when you don’t continually have to sort through everything, that it takes a lot less time than you might think.
• At the end of each day, prepare ahead for the next day. Sort out what you need with you if you are going out. Pack your bag with everything you know you must have. Make sure dishes are washed and ready and set the table for breakfast. Make your lunch to take with you if necessary. Sort out what you are going to wear so you are not scrabbling through drawers and finding nothing goes together, is washed or is right for the occasion. Make sure you know where your car keys are!