People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience time and time management differently than people without ADHD.
Rather than a series of discrete moments following one another in predictable fashion, people with ADHD sense time as one long NOW. That’s great when it comes to solving problems and handling crises — and it certainly makes the day go faster. But the ADHD way of experiencing and managing time complicates things if you’re trying to complete the items on your to-do list.
My client Julia explained her time-sense this way: “Each day goes along like a rudderless boat, lurching through rapids, bashing up against rocks, and then finally landing on shore. I wind up completing only one or two to-dos from my list. It’s very frustrating.”
To accomplish everything you need to do each day with maximum efficiency and minimum hassle, you need more than a calendar or a to-do list. I’ve had clients who were meticulous about maintaining their calendars — and yet were habitually late to meetings and events, if they showed up at all. And I’ve had clients with to-do lists so long it would take them two lifetimes to get everything done.
What you need is my simple, three-step “system with a rhythm.” Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Create your master to-do list.
A master to-do list should capture everything that’s currently on your plate. I’m talking about big things, like planning a wedding or moving, all the way down to simple tasks, like hanging a picture.
To create the master list, gather all the reminders you’ve written yourself in recent days — the scraps of paper, sticky notes, napkins, envelopes, and so on — and compile them into a single list. Transcribe the list into a single word-processing document; a computerized master list is much easier to update than a master list on paper.
Each task added to your master list should be a simple one. By that, I mean something that takes only a single step — making a phone call, buying a hammer, or sending an R.S.V.P. This means you’ll have to break large-scale projects into smaller units. Instead of “buy new car,” for instance, create separate entries, such as “research options,” “calculate how much to spend,” “determine trade-in value of old car,” and so on.
Your master list might contain scores of tasks and events. Obviously, you won’t be able to do everything; you’ll have to set priorities. I recommend the “A-B-C” system: Mark high-priority items (things you absolutely must attend to) with an “A.” Lower-priority items get marked with a “B” (if I have the time) or “C” (fat chance).
Of course, you can use numbers (1-2-3), symbols (3 stars, 2 stars, 1 star), or colors (red-yellow-blue). One of my clients prioritizes her master list using the terms “Now,” “Later,” and “Parking Lot.”
Step 2: Prep your planner.
What you’re able to accomplish depends on how much time is available to you. Sounds simple, right? Yet many adults with ADHD overestimate the amount of time they have — because they fail to recognize how many hours of each day are already “booked” with regular obligations, appointments, events, and tasks.
Sit down with your calendar, smartphone, or daily planner, and enter all the time- and date-specific items, such as events, birthdays, anniversaries, due dates, meetings, or appointments, one week at a time. Schedule in all the daily and weekly chores you routinely do, as well — shopping for groceries, exercising, balancing your checkbook, and so on.
Once you’ve entered all your time-sensitive and everyday tasks in your calendar, you’ll be able to see, at a glance, how much time you really have to work with.
Step 3: Put it all together.
Now you have two things: a master list of everything you need to do AND a calendar that tells you how much time is available to you each day.
People with ADHD often have unrealistic expectations of what they can accomplish in a single day. But biting off more than you can chew sets you up for failure. To figure out your daily action plan, look at today’s page in your calendar or planner and then review the A- and B-priorities on your master list.
Estimate how many high-priority master-list items you can fit around your scheduled tasks. Ask yourself, “Given the things I already have scheduled today, is my plan practical?” Consider these points:
Plan to do less than you think you might be able to accomplish. That way, you’ll have a “cushion” in case you’re waylaid by heavy traffic, a sick child, or some other unforeseeable problem.
Remember to leave enough time for meals, as well as travel to and from appointments and errands.
Be sure that each day includes a mix of “high-brain” and “low-brain” tasks; if your day is taken up solely by things that are hard to do or that require lots of decision-making, you’ll be exhausted.
Each day should include time outdoors; “green time” has been shown to improve focus and mood.
Once the high-priority items and your scheduled activities are put together, you have that day’s action plan. You can write this list right onto your calendar or planner, enter it into your smartphone, or write your list on a separate piece of paper.
As you go about your day, keep your day-planner or smartphone handy so you can “capture” new to-do items as they occur to you. When you get home, transfer these to your computerized master list. Once a week or so, re-prioritize the items on your updated master list, and start the entire process anew.
With this system, you’ll be able to accomplish all of your A-priorities, and quite a few of your Bs. What about your Cs? Every once in a while, review your master list. You’ll probably decide that many of the Cs aren’t worth bothering with. That’s a good thing. After all, life isn’t entirely reducible to to-do lists.
Quality multipurpose furniture is versatile in its ability to adapt to many situations. Modular, reconfigurable elements provide freedom in arranging your home’s decor. The current surge in downsizing is the driving force behind a palette of creative and elegant furniture solutions. Many of which are not only ingenious in their functionality but very stylish as well.
To give you an idea of what’s out there, here are 29 multifunctional ideas for small apartments. An overview of the best pieces available today as a means of inspiration to optimally furnish your space-limited place.
1. PLAYFUL SEAT / SOFA BED COMBO
Pause, a convertible seat and sofa bed by Meike Langer, is a wooden chair frame with five large pillows which when folded up forms a wonderful chair and a comfortable sofa bed when folded out.
Meike Langer presented this piece at the IMM Cologne furniture fair in 2012. Pause Daybed deserves to be taken into production soon. Check it out at Stilsucht.
2. VEGETALE COFFEE TABLE – DOUBLE TABLET
How much functionality can you cram in one small sized piece of furniture while still making it look elegant? A lot with this Vegetale Coffee Table.
The design piece makes for a perfect item in cramped spaces since it acts like a coffee table, desk and book shelf. It may not be officially intended as such but we think of it as a handy little dinner table too.
Making use of all of Vegetale’s possible functions may require some rearranging of stored items but who cares? Making optimal use of the limited space you’ve got is a gratifying challenge and the table lets you master this challenge. Vegetale has a hint of Scandinavian design but is actually from Belgium.
3. THE COFFEE TABLE THAT HOUSES AN ARMCHAIR AND SIDE TABLE
Looks can be deceiving. At first Coffee table by Daniel Pearlmanseems like a robust coffee table with storage space. When the side table and arm chair are removed from under the mantle of the large table the setup makes for an almost complete small condo interior. The small side table element functions as a chest of drawer too.
Whether it’s organizing your collection of shoes or storing essential bathroom supplies, the Duty Box Wardrobe is a hidden treasure trove of chic functionality. An ordinary (but fashionable) full-length mirror opens up to reveal nine spacious shelves for all of your clutter.
Perfect for small space living, where bathroom closets might not be included, this mirror provides all the organization you need to keep your home looking clean.
5. MAG TABLE
Another piece in the category “simplicity kills it every time”. Mag Table by Offi can be flipped over to function as a laptop stand. With its smooth, flowing forms this minimalist space saver is a pleasure to look at. It makes us think of as the minimal niece of the Tre Table we’ve written about before.
The file folder, as the name, Mag Table hints at, designed to house magazines, can be used as the perfect laptop or tablet storage too. After all, even while watching a movie with some snacks on the table, we want to keep our beloved devices close. Hit up Amazon to find out more about this versatile table.
6. THE TABLE THAT DOUBLES AS MIRROR (AND CAN BE HUNG FLAT ON THE WALL)
Dining tables are often bulky occupying a lot of your precious space. On the other hand, the comfort they provide by allowing you to dine with company, to do some office work, to practice a hobby, or just to read the paper make them indispensable for most dwellers.
Retractable tables offer a solution by letting you make your table smaller but how about a table you can hang flat on the wall? One you can use as a mirror too? When on the wall the Tip Over Table Mirrorappears to be just a stylish wall mirror. Thanks to its mirror frame it can be easily transformed into a just as chic table. Have a closer look at Houzz.
7. HUK TABLE
The HUK Table is practically a superhero. You can use it for just about anything, whether that’s as a cozy side table to set your coffee on, or a plucky perch for your laptop or papers.
Do you need a magazine rack? A bookshelf? A stool? The HUK Table can be those things too. Its design is such that you can hook it onto tables to transform it into a cubby or file holder.
8. THE COUCH ARMREST TABLE AND TABLET STAND
A couch arm rest wrap or tray as they are called as well is one of those simple yet highly functional small living innovations. As with the paperclip and the clothespin, the beauty of the idea lies in its simplicity and functionality.
In this particular case there’s more than transforming a regular couch arm rest into a side table. Embrace interaction platform features a tablet stand and charging dock too. Not to forget its use as a well-executed cable organizer. Visit Spell to find out more.
9. DROP LEAF CONSOLE TABLE
A twist on the classic drop-leaf style, this table folds down laterally to make a narrow console table when not in use. When fully extended, the table can comfortably seat six; when folded down, it makes a foot-wide shelf to stand against a wall and use for everyday storage.
The weathered grey finish and white legs give this Drop Leaf Table a sleek modern look.
This is one of those items that makes you wonder, why wasn’t this invented before? Maybe it was as a DIY project by some MacGyverish type of person but never as goodlooking as the Folding Iron Board and Mirror designed by Aissa Logerot. Ironing clothes and dressing up are two practices that are often combined anyway so this piece of furniture couldn’t make more sense. More photos at GOdownsize.
13. TRICK, TABLE AND TWO CHAIRS NESTING BOOKCASE
At first glance just a simple bookcase, Trick is easily transformed into atable with two chairs. Just slide the sides aside and you are set to have dinner. Or do some work. We think Trick would fit a small kitchen nicely too. It reminds us somewhat of the Convertible Shelf Table we featured earlier.
More about this spacesaving item at Italian furniture design company Campeggi. (the creators of more wall situated storage pieces that double as table and seats such as Home-Work sideboard desk combo.)
Simply unfold the chair to transform it into a spot to sleep for overnight visitors. Color options make it a bright, stylish addition to your living room.
15. THE STORAGE STEPLADDER AND SEAT IN ONE
There isn’t a room in which this storage stepladder doesn’t come in handy. It would be great in our bedroom to reach those boxes on top of the wardrobe. It wouldn’t misfit in the hallway either to store some shoes and sit on while putting them on when going out.
Sit on Indoor stoop, as its name implies is an indoor stoop, storage solution, seat and stepladder in one. It has three soft-close drawers and makes for a fashionable display unit for showcasing items too. Find it at ThingIndustries.
16. FLATFRAME, WALL MOUNTED, FOLDABLE DESK
When not in use as a desk the work surface can be folded rendering Flatframe only 4,5 cm thick making it a minimally invasive mobile equipment terminal.
Use it as a standing desk for tablets, to write a postcard, open your mail or hang it lower on the wall and grab a chair. Visit Müller Möbelwerkstätten to learn more.
At full height, the Transforming X Table is a dining table which seats four comfortably (six if they’re very good friends.)Hold the lever and give the tabletop a firm push from above: the legs slide over each other to lower the height, and it’s now a coffee table.
Another firm push folds the table entirely flat, so you can slide it away for easy storage. Its heavy weight (75lbs) means that it doesn’t wobble or feel flimsy when in use.
18. CUBISTA OTTOMAN TURNS INTO FIVE SEATS
The Cubista can be converted into five separate seats. Each side the ottoman can be attached to one of four bases that nest inside the structure. The stools are equipped with a comfortable padded seat and have a perfect dinner and table height.
A multifunctional outstanding piece of furniture for small living rooms and limited spaces. More about this spacesaving item at Resource Furniture.
19. THE LIFT TOP COFFEE TABLE THAT MAKES A CONVENIENT COUCH DESK
This lift-top coffee table which lets you easily and quickly adjust its height. So you can use it as a traditional coffee table or as a laptop workstation. Apart from creating your little home office from the comfort of your couch the Mainstays Lift-top Table also makes a great table to have dinner from.
No more reaching for that cheese oozing pizza slice because its top layer pivots and swivels 360-degrees. Of course its interior hides storage space too. Can’t get enough of cleverly designed coffee tables? Here are some more space saving coffee tables.
20. THE MULTIPLE USE WALL SHELF
Coat racks are so 1990’s. Who needs a one-purpose item in the modern modestly sized home anyway? Maybe if you live in a MacMansion there’s plenty unused space to indulge in such eccentricities but most modern day dwellers want get more out of their space. A wall shelf that also functions as a coat and bicycle rack is one of those emblems of contemporary use of space maximalization.
Fusillo Bookshelf with its modular elements allows optimal adaptation to your specific needs. Hang your bike or just your car keys. Place your books or your hat. It could be a highly useful addition to the kitchen too providing room for cooking literature and hanging bunches of herbs. Go check it out at AndViceVersa.
21. THE LIBRARY CHAIR
Have you always looked in awe at those lush, in-home libraries? Having one isn’t exclusively restricted to mansions anymore. With the OpenBook Chair you can create your own cosy miniature home library. The ingenious piece of furniture combines all you need to snug up with a book and a hot cup of tea. It omits the need for a side table to put your beverage on, your books are within reach and it sports a lap desk too.
Its upholstered wall has featuring racks for hanging magazine and newspapers and magazines on the outside. It reminds somewhat of a cubicle allowing you to close yourself off of your environment truly emerging in the imaginitive world of your literature. Hit the link for more about OpenBook Chair by London-based design studio TILT.
22. THE CHAIR THAT HOUSES A SHELVING SYSTEM
On a related note, meet Domus chair, a reading chair that harbors a modular bookcase. When making the most out of your micro apartment, convertible furnishings are your best friend.
Rearranging and stacking modules lets you create the furniture you need at that specific moment with the elements you have available. Domus Chair is the pinnacle of various functions and modular elements merged into one designer item.
23. THE FUTURISTIC MODULAR, MULTIFUNCTIONAL SOFA
A modular sofa with loose cushions, which can be arranged in many different ways and can accommodate up to 7 people. The cushions can serve as a seat, but also as armrest, footstool, side table or ottoman.
Concentré de Vie can be used as a sofa or single bed. Therefore very suitable for a small living. Designed by Matali Crasset for Campeggi.
24. FLÄPPS 2 SHELVES
It’s easy to scoot tables and chairs out of the way, but what if your wall shelf isn’t movable? The Fläpps 2 Shelves piece takes care of this problem with surprising grace. Rather than move the shelf, you simply have to fold it up against the wall.
You won’t even know it’s there! Its white slats blend into its surroundings and only reappear when you fold the shelves down again. With a sturdy set of two shelves and easy mounting, it’s no wonder the Flapp 2 Shelves system is so popular.
Fläpps 2 Shelves can be combined with other modules to create a bigger wall shelving system.
25. THE WALL BED & FOLD-DOWN DESK COMBO
Wall beds are great space savers but as if that wasn’t enough Resource Furniture came with space saving tilting bed that features a fold down desk. Don’t need a desk? It’s optional. Learn more about Poppi Desk at Resource Furniture.
Another useful space saving sleeping solution is the sofa that transforms to bunk bed. Con: cuddling is harder, pro: you don’t have to rearrange the complete room by moving the coffee table and other items to the sides.
26. THE MODULAR FURNITURE SYSTEM
Modos is a customizable modular shelving system of which the elements can be used to create a tabouret or standing desk too. Larger sized elements allow you to create life size desks, tables, chairs and other items all without the use of tools.
Its anodized aluminum connectors you simply clamp your furnishings together. Great for on-the-go occasions too. Head to Modos.io to start making your own furniture.
27. THE BOOKCASE THAT HIDES A WHOLE DINING SET
As If From Nowhere is a bookcase that houses two tables (together 1 dining table) andfour dining chairs. The ingenious creation is intended for small living spaces. The chairs and tables are just as easily stored as they are taken out to accomodate current needs. Visit Orla Reynolds’ website to find out more.
28. THE SIDE TABLE THAT’S EXTENDABLE TO DINING TABLE
Extendable tables are the golden oldies when it comes to adjustable space saving furniture. A large surface offers so much convenience but you do not always need it. Being able to temporarily get rid of the space hogger is a blessing.
Whether you need room to practice yoga, play twister with friends or just don’t need a large surface at the moment, the generous Minuetto extendable table is transformed to a humble side table in a cinch. More about Minuetto here. Looking for the same principle but then in a bookcase? Check this.
29. LUDOVICO OFFICE
The Ludovico Office is the ultimate space-saving desk.
Not much bigger than a filing cabinet, this piece folds out to reveal ample desk space, and it has a chair carefully hidden in between the desk’s drawers. It’s an office all-in-one! Available at Expand Furniture.
Besides the eye-pleasing aspects some other benefits of convertible furniture for small spaces
By being able to transform your furniture meeting your current needs flexibility of living is increased.
The potential to provide storage for unused objects or elements is another aspect of well-designed furniture.
And finally, multipurpose furniture has to be pleasing to the eye too.
Command hooks truly are the answer when it comes to decluttering your home in an effective and inexpensive manner. These hanging solutions can be stuck anywhere, and can be removed without causing any damage to the surface, thus making them perfect for those of you who are renting and want to bypass the drill. And with all the varying sizes and weight capabilities, the possibilities feel endless.
A quick tip before you start…
Before using these, though, make sure that you get good quality hooks, and make sure to follow the instructions carefully so that they adhere well and won’t harm the surface when finally removed.
As much as I love using command hooks, sometimes, the white plastic makes my fantastic organizational solution look a little… tacky. A great way to fix this problem is just to paint the hook. You can choose a color that blends into the surface, go for something bright and bold, glitter it up, or even go for a faux metal look.
It seems that it’s rather commonplace for us to have that one chaotic drawer in the kitchen that’s full of utensils – doesn’t it just take forever to find what you need? Use command hooks on the inside of cabinet doors to hang all your baking and cooking utensils, neatly.
If the inside of a cabinet door just doesn’t offer you enough space, take a page out of this innovative DIYer’s book and go command hook crazy on an old door (or piece of wood)! With such a practical and gorgeous setup, you’ll never want to leave the kitchen!
Kitchen Art Display
Display your little tot’s proud artworks on the fridge with some cleverly spaced out hooks and rods. You can actually implement this concept practically anywhere in the home if you want to hang your photos, pictures, invitations etc.
Since your little one will only need his or her bib when eating in the highchair, it makes sense that you keep them close by. What’s the closest you can get? Right on the back of the chair, hanging from a hook.
I’ll definitely be using this little trick in my kitchen to free up some counter space; it’s such a quick and simple solution. You can also use the same method to store your plastic wrap and tin foil.
How many times have you “lost” your rings, only to find them hours later (while in a panic) next to the kitchen sink? Most of us use command hooks by the sink to hang our hand towels and dishcloths, so now you can just add one more for your rings.
I keep all my plastic bags, but I’m not very tidy about it. I just shove them into my bottom kitchen drawer, but the problem with that is that I lose an entire drawer! A great way to free up some room and use previously-unused space is through the attachment of some hooks to the inside of my cabinet door.
If you place a hook on the outside of your porridge/rice/sugar/flour etc. container, then you can hang your measuring cup and ensure that you always scoop out the perfect measurement of what you need.DIY Instructions and Project Credit – AThousandWords
If your counter space is limited then you probably won’t want to clutter it up with your non-refrigerated fruit and veggies. Make clever use of your space by hanging a shower caddy or spice rack from a command hook somewhere in the kitchen so that you can store your produce without compromising your space.
If you need to get your collection of ribbons and/or Washi tape in order, then these hooks will come to the rescue. This simple solution makes it easy to see exactly what you have on offer, and it’s very easy to just grab what you need.Wall Mount
Tablets may not always come with wall mounts, so you can make your own with a couple of well-placed (and sturdy) hooks. You can even use this technique to mount your router to the wall if you need to improve your Wi-Fi range.