“For people with ADD, to do piles might just as well be called never done piles.” – From Driven to Distraction

Finals are quickly approaching and you have a to-do list cluttered with a variety of to-do tasks to finish the term out strong. You might even have a variety of personal tasks mixed in including cleaning the house, doing laundry, and paying bills.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, disorganized, and unable to prioritize your time effectively try O.H.I.O. Only Handle it Once. O.H.I.O. is a concept taught by Dr. Edward Hallowell  to help his clients with ADD address the tendency to let things pile up, both figuratively and in reality. If you have found yourself creating stacks of mail, papers, even laundry that keeps getting larger and larger, and cluttering up your desk O.H.I.O. can help you get rid of that guilt, anxiety, and resentment surrounding tasks undone.

Here’s how it works…

When you receive a document try to only handle it once. Driven to Distraction, a national bestseller on ADD in adults makes the following three suggestions:

1.       Respond to the document/memo/e-mail/written material right away, or

2.       Throw the document away, or

3.       File it away permanently.

Obviously you wouldn’t want to throw your class syllabus or an important bill away, the key is setting aside a specific time to respond. For example, try setting aside time in the morning and evening to respond to e-mails. Schedule a specific time each week to pay bills. Create a system to organize your school paperwork, returned assignments, etc. so that documents aren’t piling up on your workspace.

If you have a task that is looming and you begin to feel guilt or anxiety about it do that task first. You will feel much better and over time you’ll notice that things are not piling up as much.

If you need help setting up a system of organization, consider Academic Coaching from DAS or the Academic Success Center at OSU. Academic coaches can help you find an organizational strategy that works for you!

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