Coffee Shop Talk is a series where I talk to you about things in my life, like I would if we were out having coffee together!
I may have mentioned this before, but it’s partially relevant to today’s topic of discussion, so I figured I’d throw a reminder up here. I am both ADHD and on the autism spectrum.
If you know anything about these two spectrums, you know that focus is a major issue for many people who have each of them. Executive functions are hard, and that makes organization even more difficult than it usually is.
I have to be very careful with my time and energy, because if I’m not, I can’t get everything done that I need to. However, I also multitask like mad, because my ADHD kind of requires me to. It’s a very delicate (read: difficult) balance.
I’m very unorganized in my daily life. If something is paper, or can be put down – I lose it. It’s almost a guarantee. Thus, physical planners, bullet journals, etc, do not work for me or my brain.
My room is always a mess, my house is always a mess, but the one thing that I actually keep organized is my digital life.
I use a different Google Calendar for each “block” of my life – work, bills, the blog schedule, birthdays, and other things I have to do, so that I can tell at a glance what I need to do on a daily basis. I have an entirely separate calendar for work events on Outlook which is similarly scheduled.
This is for next month, and while it may look like a light month activity-wise, I also have to pack and move into a new rental house, and it’s not close to the actual time yet. That being said, all of this syncs to my phone, including my work calendar, so that I get reminders, because I forget things constantly.
I also don’t usually sit down and type up an entire post at once. Usually, when I start a book, I’ll create a draft here in WordPress and put in the basics of a post – the FCC label about where I got it, the summary, the goodreads link, etc.
Then, as I’m reading, I’ll usually type up some notes and throw them in the draft – things I liked, things I didn’t, thoughts on the writing style, etc. Then I have the bare bones of a post, and I can remember what I thought of the book when I finish and forget to write up the post for a few days, which happens regularly.
When it comes to getting down and focusing, lately I’ve been using an app/extension called Forest – it’s $1.99 for the mobile app but the browser extension for computers is free. You use a blacklist for sites that regularly distract you – for me, it’s twitter, facebook and goodreads – and you set a time limit for how long you want to stay off of them for, and if you stay off the sites, you grow a happy little tree! If you decide to give up, the tree dies, which is sad, but that’s the only thing that happens.
I like the mobile app because it more or less locks you out of your phone for a period of time, which is very useful for me since I fidget with my phone a lot and use it way more than I need to. You earn points for each tree you grow, and you can unlock new types of trees for a more biodiverse forest! It’s just really adorable.
(Also I realize this sounds like an ad, but it really isn’t, I swear. I just like it.)
Other things that I use to keep organized is the sticky note app that came on my Macbook. I have one sticky note for passwords because I cannot remember them to save my life, one for posts I need to write, and one for social media things I need to do.
This may sound like it’s redundant, but it forces me to look at something more than once, which helps me remember to do it.
I then schedule all my tweets on Tweetdeck, because its user interface is 8000 times more user-friendly than Hootsuite, and it shows you when something is scheduled. Facebook Pages also has a scheduled post feature, which I love. That way, I don’t have to worry about actually posting something on time. If I did have to worry about that… it wouldn’t happen.
So, that’s basically how I stay organized and on schedule, especially regarding blogging. I know a lot of people have had success with bullet journals and apps like Todoist. What works for you? Share your organization posts/methods with me in the comments!