ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg and Dr. Kathleen Nadeau, will be updated with new materials later this summer!The book is a big favorite of my clients who have ADHD, or think they do. My interview with Judith Kolberg, one of the book’s authors (the organizer half of the team) finishes up here in the second of two articles. The first you can find here in my latest newsletter. Judith partnered on the book with Dr. Kathleen Nadeau, of the Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland.
How Did You Create Time for the Book Project?
We all have struggles creating time for big projects, so I thought hearing Judith Kolberg’s approach would be very useful to us. In the book, and in person, I hear clearly that she understands ADHD and how it impacts “organizing,” meaning how we do things: from managing our days, to our papers/digital ‘stuff,’ our Things, Thoughts and Time. I had no idea whether she has ADHD or not.
Judith’s answers follow. As you read her answers, whether you have attention/executive function differences or not, think about her advice in your business life. What new ideas are you hearing that resonate? What might work for you, if you’re having difficulties in some area?
” First, I don’t have ADD. So that makes all of this easier than if I had ADD. What do I do to create the time?
- I clear the decks, minimizing the number of projects I have going during the same time period.
- I always have deadlines to the publishers.
- A book is partly a creative effort and partly about construction of the book. For example the sequence of the book’s chapters and main points, the balance and flow, getting the blurbs ready and so forth. It’s important to know which piece I’m working on. When and where I work can differ based on the kind of work it is.
- I create daily schedule time slots to work, but I also will write when the mood strikes me. So I have some play here, but I know I can depend on time during those regular, scheduled time slots. So I need both. I sometimes move the slots, too. When I have family visiting for example, I’ll work more during the time before they visit, so that I have more time with them when they are here.
- I have different places I’ll work, since I’m a solopreneur. Depending on the task, I might work better at it with a whole bunch of people around me, so I know all the local tea places well. Or if I need quiet, I could be at home or at the library.
- I create time, too, by knowing how I work best. Whether a book or a presentation, I’ll first research the topic, amassing anything related. I’ll drill down from there, and then I might return for different research. As I’m amassing and absorbing this, I’ll start figuring out the main points and ideas I want to hit. And then sitting and writing comes. So I do lots of prep work before sitting to write.”
Goals: Do You Focus on a Singular Goal for the Year, Several or Something Else?
Judith: “I have several parts to my business and always have, intentionally.
I have speaking engagements all over the world and virtually. I stay in touch with trend watching, partly through my volunteering on the NAPO information and research committee and also on the ICD trend spotting/visionary thinkers group.
My book coaching includes 2 award winning authors’ books (Linda Roggli’s Confessions of an ADDiva, and Everything In Its Own Time, by Rebecca Patton Falco). The digital estate planning is a current popular topic and I’d like to do more with organizing and estate planning professionals with that.
I’ve always had several pieces to my business, plus I’m embarking on a “creative nonfiction” as it’s called. This is a book about my grandfather’s murder by the mafia. It’s a true story, though we don’t have all the facts. Creative nonfiction means I’ll write the context and potentially add to the story in some ways, still holding to the facts we do know.”
What Keeps You Grounded Each Day?
What I had to learn was how to play. I found myself at a point where at dinner with friends, I couldn’t talk about much besides my work. I love the work but I needed to be, well, less boring! I had to allow myself to slow down, to stop working sometimes.
I “mildly hike” with a walking club sometimes. I have a Planet Fitness right across the street: no excuses ! So I’m there usually twice a week. I have an older friend I take strolls with. I have the creative nonfiction project I’d love to get paid to write ! And I get time with my mother, who is 94, living independently. We both love our time. And it’s great to be needed, to feel that way,for both of us.
What works for me is to sometimes be out of balance, but intentionally. When family arrives to visit next month, I want to play! So right now, I’ll work more than I typically might, so that I can create the time for family when they are here and not be focused on getting work done.
Choosing intentionally what you’re doing is the key.”
- Judith Kolberg: Author (“nearly half-a-million books sold and counting”), book coach (two award-winning client books), professional organizer to her clients, and industry thought leader in our field. Read more about Judith’s many accomplishments here. Access her books about ADHD, hoarding, digital organization and other products here.
- Adult ADHD Self-Rating Scale Symptom Checklist is here.