Self-Help
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
100 Things Guys Need to Know1001 Solution-Focused Questions101 Ways to Meditate17 Lies That Are Holding You Back29 Gifts8 Keys to Stress ManagementA Layman's Guide to Managing FearA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeAddiction and ChangeAddiction Recovery ToolsADHD Grown UpAdolescent DepressionAdvanced Sexual TechniquesAfter SuicideAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAnswers for AristotleAnxiety, Phobias, and PanicAre You Fully Charged?Authentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeating the BluesBecoming OrgasmicBeen There, Done That? DO THIS!Better Sex Through YogaBetter Than EverBeyond AddictionBibliotherapyBinge No MoreBipolar DisorderBlinkBoomers Really Can Put Old On HoldBrain LongevityBrainstormBread Upon the WatersBreak Through PainBreathingBringing Up ParentsBuddhist Boot CampBullyBut I Love HimCalm EnergyCalm Focus JoyCan't Eat, Won't EatCancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included)Caring in Remembered WaysChained to the DeskChange Your AgeChange Your Brain, Change Your LifeChange Your ThinkingChildren of the Aging Self-AbsorbedChildren of the Self-AbsorbedConceptual BlockbustingConquer Your Critical Inner VoiceConquering Postpartum DepressionConquering Shame and CodependencyCoping With Difficult PeopleCoping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical PeopleCoping With TraumaCreative Writing In Health And Social CareCrossing the Unknown SeaDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDaydreamingDe-Stress Your Life in 7 Easy StepsDealing with a NarcissistDefying DementiaDelivered from DistractionDematerializingDepression FalloutDepression-Free for LifeDivorce PoisonDoing ItDone With The CryingDown and Dirty Sex SecretsDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Weisinger's Anger Work-Out BookDying to Be ThinEasy YogaEmbarrassing Medical ProblemsEmbracing UncertaintyEmotional Chaos to ClarityEmotional ClaustrophobiaEmotional Fitness for IntimacyEmotional IntelligenceEnjoying Guilty PleasuresEssays on Philosophical CounselingEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensExercise for Mood and AnxietyFailureFamily Desk Reference to Psychology Family FirstFast Food for the SoulFat and FuriousFatal FlawsFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFeeding Your ChildFinding Meaning in the Second Half of LifeFlow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperienceFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFlying ColorsForgive Your Parents, Heal YourselfFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFrom Sabotage to SuccessFull Steam Ahead!Getting a Good Night's SleepGetting ControlGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGetting Your Life BackGirl StuffGirlWiseGod Never BlinksGoddess WorshipGoing DownGoing Home without Going CrazyGood MedicineGoodbye, ThingsGrieving Mental IllnessGuilt, Shame, and AnxietyHalf Empty, Half FullHe's Just Not That Into YouHeal & Forgive IIHealing ADDHealing through ExerciseHealthy AgingHonoring GriefHooking UpHot ButtonsHow Full Is Your Bucket?How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill MeHow Philosophy Can Save Your LifeHow Proust Can Change Your LifeHow Successful People ThinkHow to Change Someone You LoveHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow to Have Magnificent SexHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHow to Live Well Without Owning a CarHow to Make Great Love to a ManHow to Make Great Love to a WomanHow to Stay SaneHypnography for MenHypnography for WomenI AMI am PotentialI Saw It HappenI Wasn't Ready to Say GoodbyeI'd Rather LaughI'm OK, You're My ParentsIllness and the Art of Creative Self-ExpressionIn the Mood, AgainIntroduction to Qi YogaIt's Called a Breakup Because It's BrokenIt's Not as Bad as It SeemsJudo with WordsKripalu YogaKripalu Yoga Dynamic DVDKripalu Yoga Gentle DVDKundalini Yoga MeditationKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDLearn to RelaxLearned OptimismLearning Outside the Lines Letting Go of AngerLies! Lies! Lies!Life MakeoversLife StrategiesLife's WorkLifting DepressionLiving the TruthLiving Well with Pain and IllnessLiving with AnxietyLiving Your Best LifeLiving Your DreamLost in the MirrorLove & SurvivalLove Your Body, Love Your LifeLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderLunar Flow YogaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMake It CountMaking a Good Brain GreatMaking ADD WorkMaking Your Mind MatterManaging Your MindManic DepressionMastering Anger and AggressionMastering the Power of Self-hypnosisMaui PilatesMeditation for Optimum HealthMeditation in a New York MinuteMind MappingMind-Body Workbook for AnxietyMindfulness for BeginnersMindfulness for Urban Depression: Tools for Relief from Stressful City LivingModerate DrinkingMotherstylesMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotNapkin NotesNatural Healing for DepressionNew Hope for People with DepressionNo Enemies WithinNo More AnxietyNot Your Mother's LifeObsessive-Compulsive Disorder DemystifiedOne Last Hug Before I GoOrgasmOrgasmsOutsmarting DepressionOutsmarting OvereatingOver 100 Truly Astonishing Sex TipsOvercoming Compulsive CheckingOvercoming Compulsive HoardingOvercoming DepressionOvercoming Obsessive ThoughtsOvercoming the Fear of FearPain Free for LifePain Free for WomenParanoia of Everyday LifeParenting Children With ADHDPassionate VegetarianPlan BPlanning for UncertaintyPlato, Not Prozac!Position Of The Day PlaybookPositivityPotatoes Not ProzacPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPowerfully Recovered!PredatorsPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProcrastinationProcrastinationProtecting the GiftPsychology Moment by MomentQiGong IllustratedQuantum Memory PowerRaising a Self-StarterRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Resilient ChildrenReady for AnythingReal Solutions for Overcoming Internet AddictionsRecovery from AddictionRelationship RescueRespect-Me RulesRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRomantic IntelligenceSabbathSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf MattersSelf-CoachingSelf-CompassionSelf-Help NationSelf-Help Stuff That WorksSelf-Help Without the HypeSelf-NurtureSeven Life Lessons from Noah's ArkSex and SpiritSex DetoxSex PositionsSex Q & ASextasySexual PleasureSleep BetterSolar Flow Yoga DVDSoulmatesSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Spontaneous HealingStanding at Water's EdgeStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop Caretaking the Borderline or NarcissistStop Me Because I Can't Stop Myself Stop OverreactingStop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for Life ChangesStop Walking on EggshellsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStress ReliefStrong, Smart, & BoldSun SalutationsSunbathing in the RainSurviving a Borderline ParentSurviving Manic DepressionSurviving Sexual ViolenceTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaking Charge of AngerTaking Charge of Anger: Six Steps to Asserting Yourself without Losing ControlTaming Your Inner BratTeen Angst? NaaahTen Minutes to RelaxThank You for Being Such a PainThe 10 Best Anxiety BustersThe 5 Reasons Why We OvereatThe 7 Secrets of the ProlificThe Anger WorkbookThe Antidepressant Survival ProgramThe Art of Becoming HumanThe Art of Exceptional LivingThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Better Sex Guide to the Kama SutraThe Betty Ford Center Book of AnswersThe Bipolar Disorder Survival GuideThe Breakout PrincipleThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Chronic Pain SolutionThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Consolations of PhilosophyThe Core Question: Who Am I?The Crowdsourced Performance ReviewThe Emotional Eater's Repair ManualThe Emotional RevolutionThe End-of-Life HandbookThe Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2005The Essential KamasutraThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Game of TruthThe Gift of FearThe Gift of ShynessThe Good Vibrations Guide to SexThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Happy Hook-UpThe Healing JourneyThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Healing Journey Through GriefThe Healing Power of PetsThe Identity CodeThe Illustrated Guide to Extended Massive OrgasmThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Intuitive WriterThe Irritable Male SyndromeThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever NeedThe Light of DiscoveryThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Yoga BookThe Magic of Thinking BigThe Making of Dr. PhilThe Male Stress Survival GuideThe Money WorkbookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Self-EsteemThe New Cancer SurvivorsThe New Rational TherapyThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe OCD WorkbookThe Passion PlanThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Pill Book Guide to Natural MedicinesThe Places That Scare YouThe Pocket Life CoachThe Porn TrapThe Power of FocusThe Power of Full EngagementThe Power of Negative ThinkingThe Power of PlayThe Power of Self-CoachingThe Pursuit of PerfectThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Secret of LifeThe Secret Strength of DepressionThe Self ImprovedThe Self-Compassion Skills WorkbookThe Self-Help SourcebookThe Sex Addiction WorkbookThe Spa DeckThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Stress CureThe Stress Less WorkbookThe Stress Owner's ManualThe Stress Reduction Workbook for TeensThe SuperStress SolutionThe Ten Minute Sexual SolutionThe Therapy for the SaneThe Truth About Chronic PainThe Ultimate Guide to Sex and DisabilityThe Van Gogh BluesThe Way of StretchingThe Way of the JournalThe Way of TransitionThe Weblog HandbookThe Why CaféThe Worst-Case Scenario Survival HandbookThere's a Spiritual Solution to Every ProblemThings Might Go Terribly, Horribly WrongThink Confident, Be ConfidentThink NakedThink SmartThinking for a ChangeThis Is HowTotal PilatesTrain Your Brain to Get HappyTrain Your Brain to Get RichTransformation Trauma in the Lives of ChildrenUltimate SexUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUndoing DepressionUnhappy TeenagersUnlock the Genius WithinUntangling the WebVirtual AddictionWaking Up to What You DoWay to Be!What We Say MattersWhat Women WantWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Holding You Back? When a Family Member Has DementiaWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen in Doubt, Make BeliefWhen Perfect Isn't Good EnoughWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhen Things Fall ApartWhen Words Are Not EnoughWhen Your Body Gets the BluesWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWherever You Go, There You AreWhy Can't I Change?Why Is It Always About You?Why Smart Executives FailWorried All the TimeWoulda, Coulda, ShouldaWriting as a Sacred PathWriting in FlowWriting to HealYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!Yoga 4 TeensYoga as MedicineYoga for EveryoneYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Regular Guys DVDYoga for the Young at HeartYoga on DemandYoga Weight Loss for DummiesYou Are Not AloneYou Are Not Your IllnessYou Can Think Yourself ThinYou'll See It When You Believe ItYour Body Speaks Your MindYour Brain on FoodYour Child, Bully or Victim?Zen Sex

Related Topics
ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeReview - ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life
by Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau
Brunner-Routledge, 2002
Review by Jack R. Anderson, M.D.
Aug 8th 2004 (Volume 8, Issue 32)

     If you're going to write a book on organization, the first thing you should do is be sure the book itself is well organized. In this respect the authors have outdone themselves. To begin with, the book is divided into 7 parts which are arranged in accordance with the time-honored tripartite model of written and oral presentations: "First you tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em; then you tell 'em; then you tell 'em what you told 'em." In Part one, "Getting Started" and Part two, "Taking Charge of ADD," they tell their readers what they are going to tell them about organizing their lives; in Part three, "Thing Organizing," Part four, "Time Organizing," and Part five, "Paper Organizing," they tell their readers about organizing their lives; and in Part six, "Conclusion," they tell them what they told them about organizing their lives. Part seven deals with resources that can help with organizing and ADD.

     Each chapter itself is easy to read and follow, with short sentences and paragraphs. Headings and sub-headings are in bold type, and numbered lists are double spaced.

     In the body of the book, Chapters Three, Four and Five, mnemonic devices are used frequently. For example, "EAST" stands for "trying to do everything at the same time," "Chaos" for "can't have anyone over syndrome," and "OOSOM" for "out of sight out of mind."

     All of the chapters in Parts Three, Four and Five present solutions to organizational problems in three categories: "Level One Solutions: Ways to Help Yourself;" "Level Two Solutions: Help from Friends and Family;" and "Level Three Solutions: Help from Professionals."

     In this reviewer's opinion, the authors' methodically following the same general outline in chapter after chapter is one of the greatest—if not the greatest—strength of the book. The organizationally challenged reader almost certainly will be influenced, either consciously or unconsciously, by this outstanding example of effective and successful processing of experience.

 

     The authors don't expect adults with ADD-related organizational problems to solve them by themselves. To the contrary, they urge them to "give themselves permission to obtain the help they need," in order to counteract the ubiquitous social pressure on adults to grow up and handle their own problems.

     For one who feels overwhelmed by the disorder in his house, it is recommended that he find a friend who can work with him as a "clutter companion." The clutter companion stays with him as he goes through the disorderly piles of objects in dresser drawers, closets, kitchen sinks, garages, etc., and helps him maintain focus and avoid the procrastination and avoidance that usually interfere with his attempts at organization.

     Another recommended helper is a "paper partner," a "friend or family member who is good at organizing documents, files and papers." The paper partner serves much the same purpose as the clutter companion in helping the ADD adult to stay on the job until the papers are properly sorted and filed in such a way that they can be easily recovered. It is noted that the authors recommend that filing cabinets be discarded except for long-term storage, because it is too easy to just hide papers in them and never take appropriate action.

     A "time tutor" is "someone who gets to places on time, seems to have a reasonable schedule, and accomplishes pretty much what they (sic) need to in the course of a day." The time tutor—also a friend or family member rather than a professional—can help the ADD adult become more aware of time and avoid distractions. One recommended method is the development of a "time log." This is a list of errands and tasks that routinely occur in the ADD adult's week with columns to record the start-time, finish-time and time-to-complete for each item. The time tutor helps in the development of the time log and calls or e-mails daily to remind his friend or relative to keep the log current. After a week or so the time log provides information for more accurate scheduling.

     A "body double" is someone who doesn't necessarily do anything. The double's just being with you gives you support and is a constant reminder that you are supposed to stay in focus on your organizing task.

     "Sometimes," the authors recommend, "adults with ADD need a level of support more intensive than family, friends, or coworkers can provide." A professional organizer is an independent contractor who helps develop custom-designed solutions and provides hands-on support for their implementation. The authors warn that not all professional organizers are good at working with ADD adults and recommend care in their selection.

     Another source of professional help is an ADD coach. The authors explain that an ADD coach can take over where the professional organizer (PO) leaves off. The PO may work on-site, providing hands-on help to reduce the disorder in your house and your life, and the ADD coach typically works by telephone to help you maintain order by building and maintaining effective habits.

     The final source of professional help recommended by the authors is a psychotherapist or counselor. This mental health professional has the necessary skills to recognize and treat depression, anxiety or other emotional or psychological conditions that may interfere with attempts to become better organized.

 

     A lot of lines, paragraphs and pages are devoted to the discussion of  "Level One Solutions," ways the ADD adult can help her- or himself. For simple organizing challenges, self-help may be sufficient, and when professional help is needed at the start of a program, self-help may be all that is needed to maintain organizational habits and patterns once they are established.

     Some specific recommendations for "creating your own structure and support" are: creating schedules for yourself—for example doing your laundry weekly rather than waiting until you have no more clean clothes; breaking down huge tasks into smaller components—organizing a messy closet a shelf or two at a time instead of trying to do the whole job at once; and developing habits and routines for accomplishing recurrent tasks at certain times and places.

     The authors spend more than a page explaining ways to change bedtime habits.  They have found sleep habits to be exceptionally resistant to change for most adults with ADD. They advise against trying to adjust sleeping patterns by simply going to bed earlier than usual and turning off the lights. This, they say is an "ADD-unfriendly" way to try to change a habit. Instead, they recommend a five-step approach:

     First, they advise changing your evening routine so that you have at least an hour to relax before turning off the light;

     Second, you should move your bedtime earlier by twenty-minute increments rather than by an hour or more. This gives your body a chance to adjust to the new bedtime more gradually;

     Third, you have to quit staying up late weekends, which gives your body confusing messages as to what you want your sleep schedule to be;

     Fourth, you may have to use other devices to help change your sleep habits. For example, a meditation tape to help you relax and go to sleep, or an automatic alarm system that slowly illuminates your bedroom at the same time every morning;

     Fifth, you may have to enlist your time tutor's help. He could call you every evening to remind you that it's your bedtime.

    

     The authors follow their detailed discussion of how to change your sleep habits with a 10-step model of ADD-friendly habit building:

1.      Tie a new habit to an old one; 2. Make the habit as easy to do as possible; 3. Make it hard to ignore, for example tie your car keys to it; 4. Put reminders, like sticky notes, everywhere; 5. Visualize yourself doing the new behavior; 6. Practice "instant corrections." If you forget to do it on time, go and do it the minute you remember, no matter how inconvenient; 7. Get back on the horse and ride. Don't give up on developing a new habit just because you forget to do it a few times; 8. Problem-solve if it's not working. Change details until you get it right; 9. Practice the habit for at least thirty days in a row, using a calendar to keep track; 10. Reward yourself. Do some positive reinforcement by celebrating when you reach your thirty-day goal successfully.

 

     In this reviewer's opinion, ADD-friendly Ways to Organize Your Life is an exceptionally well-written book that could be of inestimable value to those adults who believe they could improve the quality of their lives by changing the habitual ways they do things—and that's probably ninety percent of us. However, I'm afraid that adults with ADD of any significant degree of severity, while wholeheartedly agreeing with all of the author's recommendations, will still find ways to procrastinate, ignore, forget and generally muck up their programs so that they remain disorganized and unproductive.

     Although there seems to be no doubt that adult ADD is a valid psychiatric diagnosis, it is not clearly identified by specific physical or laboratory findings. EEG's and neurological exams are usually normal. Hallucinations and delusions are usually absent. In fact, it is often difficult to differentiate the true adult ADD patient from social misfits who are often "diagnosed" as "lazy slobs," because of their messy habits and their avoidance of work.

     Since Dorothea Dix gave us a push during the Nineteenth Century, we have come a long ways in our care of the mentally disordered, and, to our credit, we devote an increasing share of our resources to their treatment and support. However, with the current proliferation of "diagnoses," and the consequent burgeoning of our mental health budgets, in the not-so-distant future something's gotta' give.

     Somehow, we're going to have to come up with some tests and procedures that will separate those patients who have an identifiable mental disorder that requires treatment and support at social expense, from those individuals who are not ill and should care for and support themselves. And we mental health professionals are going to have to quit encouraging individuals to believe that all of their behavior is ineluctably caused by antecedent events or "chemical imbalances." One way or the other, we should find a way to convince each other that most of us are in charge of our own lives and should be held responsible—given credit or blame—for what we do.

     Kohlberg and Nadeau's ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life is a step in the right direction. In "Level One Solutions: Ways to Help Yourself," which are scattered throughout their book, choice and self-determination are emphasized.

    

     If you haven't read this book yet, you should get right on it. It's a keeper.

 

© 2004 Jack R. Anderson

 

 

cover

  Jack R. Anderson, M.D. is a retired psychiatrist living in Lincoln, Nebraska


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7800 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716