Sunday, September 8, 2013

ADD Issues: Getting Defensive about Organization

Sometimes I get a little defensive about my "need" to be very organized.

On occasion, I've even been told that my "systems" border on the OCD-ish. I'll be the first to admit that I probably spend more time "organizing" than the average person. But do I really need to "lighten up" and "stop keeping all those lists" and "just let things unfold... you know, like NORMAL people do?"

To be honest, I get a little defensive, when I hear things like that.

For one, I followed the strategy of "normal people" for years and years... and found my life to be an eternal state of chaos in which things that "needed to be done" never got done and "unimportant things" would get done. It really didn't serve me very well.

About the same time I started using the expression "my train of thought has left the station... but I am still standing here on the platform," I came to the conclusion that the only way for me to be at least marginally functional in life would be to always "write it down" as soon as "it" occurred to me. Back then, I always carried a dayplanner around, and I bought extra "blank paper" pages for my endless lists of "stuff."

Truth be know, I did get more functionally effective at dealing with life. It no longer mattered whether or no my train of thought had "left" because I always "took a picture" of it, before it could leave me.

And people in the business world got very impressed with my ability to "remember" birthdays, anniversaries and other stuff... and that served me well.

The point, here, is that I don't know how to be "functional" in life, if I don't keep notes and lists of everything... because I can't remember what i was thinking, three minutes after I thought it. Sure, I have tried "brain training" programs and software, but it hasn't really "helped" me... not in an "effective" sense, anyway. Even though I test in the 95th percentile in terms of cognitive skills/abilities, it doesn't really help me, in a practical sense. I can focus on a little "cognition test" for a minute, score better than 99% of the population... but then what? I move on. Doing the "brain exercises" hasn't even helped me stay "awake."

So... I NEED my "organizational systems."

If you want to call them a "crutch," I'll accept that. I'm not good with the OCD-ish thing, though. I'm not "obsessed," I'm just trying to function, in life. And I'm using whatever tools I can, to help me do that...

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