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Messy Messy Messy-Why?

Messy Messy Messy-Why?2014-04-21T23:06:41+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community Messy Messy Messy-Why?

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    Hi , I was recently diagnosed with ADHD. I was treated for anxiety for many years and now realize the anxiety was a result of many issues I struggle with because of ADHD. I feel I am doing pretty well, learning and adjusting. The light has come on in many instances when reading about extreme sensitivity, being highly empathetic, loosing things 2 seconds after setting them down etc…One question I do have is How can I be so “messy” but am discussed by dirtiness/germs?  When I clean my kitchen, it will be spotless-won’t stop till it’s right, but then I can let clothes pile up in my room, leave mail on the counter and desk, and dishes in the sink etc..  When I do laundry every week, I will put all the clean clothes onto a chair or in a basket where they will stay for weeks/months. I think I have at least 6 baskets of clothes in my room right now along with a huge pile on a chair. It seems the older I get, the messier I become.  I would die if someone stopped over and saw my mail piled up, makeup all over my bathroom, or my piles of clothes, yet it happens all the time. Even being on medication has not helped in this area.  I would also say I’m a perfectionist (when I do something  I will do it ’till its 100% right) which totally confuses me with this “mess” issue.  Any suggestions/thoughts/books/ideas are welcome. Thank you in advance.


    Post count: 845

    In my case I think that I let things pile up because I’m thinking that I have too much to do to take the three of four minutes to put away the tools, clothes, wash the dish, etc.  It’s the misconception that the task is not that important and it will prevent me from accomplishing other things.  (Like wasting hours surfing the internet.)

    When I realized that it doesn’t take long to do these small tasks and that any time saved by not doing them will only be wasted, truly wasted, that I have gotten better.  Now I take one or two minutes putting away tools instead of twenty to thirty minutes looking for them the next time I need them.

    For me, it’s simply a change in the way I think of time management.


    Post count: 906


    Your title says it all.

    It’s like kc said. You figure it’s not that important, you’ll get to it later. Or you think you just don’t have the time to do it right now, even though it’s actually only a 5 min. job.

    Another reason is the one you already mentioned- being a perfectionist. You are trying too hard to make everything just right and spending too long on one job, leaving no time for the rest. Another is that if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. You just simply forget to do it.

    The medication will not actually help you to do it. It only enhances your ability to do it. You have to force yourself to focus on it and develop a routine that will work for getting it done. It may take several tries to figure out what works best for you.

    Try making a list and using a timer. For example, my list would look something like this:

    1- Wash dishes and clean sink (10 mins.), 2- Clean counters and stove top (10 mins.), 3- Sweep floor (5 mins.), 4- Take out garbage and compost (5 mins.) Total: 30 minutes

    Then I set my timer for 10 minutes and start on the dishes. I don’t let myself spend more than 10 minutes on them, whether they are done or not. When the timer goes off, move to the next job. You can go back later and finish if necessary, but keep moving. This way you don’t get stuck on one thing and run out of time and you get at least some of each job done, reducing the overall amount of stuff you have to deal with. And it makes it kind of like a game, a challenge to see how far you can get before that timer runs out.

    This technique helps to prevent hyperfocus for most people. For me it’s more to prevent daydreaming. My mind wanders and I start to slow down and it takes an hour to do the dishes that could have been done in 10 minutes. Or sometimes I physically wander. I just stop doing what I was doing and wander off and forget all about it. I also lose track of time very easily. I may set out to just spend 15 minutes online, just to check my email/forums and suddenly it’s two hours later. Which is what I just did now.

    So, just one last tip and then I’m leaving. Don’t stress about it too much. The more stressful and emotional something is, the more likely it is that you will avoid doing it. It becomes this big overwhelming, embarrassing thing that makes you feel anxious just looking at it and you just don’t know what to do or where to start.

    If people come to your house and see it, so what? They should be there to see you, not your house. Believe me, if all you have to worry about is a few piles of mail and laundry, you’re doing fine.


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