• Alana Stern

Organization - a Means to an End


I recently listened to a great talk by ADHD coaches Diane O Reilly and Lynne Edris, about the importance of having a creative outlet. Being creative is fulfilling, nourishing, inspiring and healing. It feeds the soul, and ADHD minds are often brimming with ingenious ideas. Creativity doesn't only mean artistic talent. It includes pursuits such as out-of-the-box thinking, problem-solving, cooking, gardening, writing, crafts and hobbies.​​

However, without the right productivity/effectiveness tools, these ideas and creative outlets never get to see the light of day. When we we spend our days ineffectively - putting out fires and scrambling to get everything done in a haphazard way, we can't build in time for that creativity that enriches our lives. Untapped creativity becomes toxic and we feel depleted. Without it, we feel a sadness and lack of meaning.

While listening to the talk I had an AHA moment and got my head around the paradoxical relationship between structure and creativity - Although many with ADHD desire to be more productive and effective; this goal is not to be an end in itself. As a goal on its own, things like sticking to a daily schedule, working through a to-do list and developing habits can be pretty dry and can feel stifling. They're like the OPPOSITE of the creativity, spontaneity and variety that the ADHD mind craves. The paradox is that these techniques and structures allow us to make time for creative outlets. So productivity and effectiveness become a MEANS to an END, rather than a goal that one feels one "should be" aiming for. The main goal is not to be organized. Organization is just a pathway to that elevated goal of pursuing creativity, passion and inspiration - that's the stuff a real fulfilling life is made of.

Ask yourself this - What is it that organization and effectiveness ALLOW for me?




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