ADHD's Admin Avoidance
(phone calls and emails - paperwork avoidance which can lead to unnecessary financial issues)
| by Thuy Truong, M.A. Ed., TPT Teaching and Coaching, 3/29/2023|
Let's read Sam's scenario! Sam was supposed to sign up for an online training at his work, but he forgot and he also doesn't know which form he should use. He tried so hard to do it on time, but he missed the deadline and now he feels terrible. He is great at complex projects; he can keep that running smoothly. However, the little administrative things in between he just cannot get his grip on it. Perhaps, Sam can relate to a few strategies below to keep his sanity and deadlines at work better in the future.
Phone Calls: Implement color-coded notebooks
Use color-coded notebooks to separate between different types of phone calls (i.e if you work with different populations in your industry like clients, business partners, Board members etc.)
Write out bulleted keywords about what you want to say for each phone conversation to keep it short and sweet. That way, you can get it out of the way efficiently and quickly.
Limit your phone call time, use a timer, and block it in your calendar. It forces you to get it done, but you must enforce efficiency.
Emails: Use templates
List out the different categories of emails you frequently have to write weekly.
Create a template for each email type.
Save it in a designated, digital folder.
When you need to send a specific email, open the designated template and edit it accordingly. Always proofread!
Then simply hit send! Done!
Paperwork: Make it highly visible
If it is under 10 minutes to complete, take care of it immediately and get it out of your way. If it takes longer, then schedule it in your calendar immediately.
If it must be turned in with a hard copy, print it out immediately and complete it ASAP.
Use wooden/paper figurines on your desk to remind you which task is due.
Implement stackable, color-coded paper trays with labels. Choose sleek styles that you actually would like to use often. A little aesthetic motivation goes a long way!
Maximize automation (Look into free resources that you already have at your fingertips in your private and professional life, i.e Google calendar, Google Tasks etc.)
The catch all BONUS: Keep it simple
Keep an extensive to-do list, add everything you need to do there in ONE PLACE. Keep your eyes on it throughout the day, add things, check things off. No apps, no Google Doc, no nothing and you have everything in control with zero distractions. Write it on fancy paper or use your favorite red, velvet notebook-the portable, pocket version, or use the Notes App on your phone for on-the-go folks (also perfectly okay). Why not make it fun? It has to get done anyway. Slay it every day with a checklist!
Thuy Truong, M.A. Ed.
I am a licensed professional educator, executive function expert, former tenured high school teacher and college instructor with certified expertise in pedagogy, cognitive psychology, and ADHD neuroanatomy with 17 years experience. I am also a student success designer who believes in supporting the whole student. I enjoy recognizing the missing puzzle in the student's learning and personalizing that solution in a language that is unique to that student. I love the creative challenge of inventing a new language for every child. Learn more here.