The Benefits of Structure for ADHD

When I was a professional organizer, I had four work shirts. Two of them were black and two of them were white. I had a short-sleeve and a long-sleeve shirt in each color. I wore them with either jeans or capri pants. This made getting ready in the morning simple and easy. 

Recently, I worked with a client around developing a menu for his healthy eating plan. We started first with breakfast because that was the easiest. He came up with three different breakfast options, so every week, he would make sure to have what he needed for those three meals. 

Can structure get boring, yes, it can. I like fashion, so wearing the same shirt all the time was not exciting, but the benefit of simplifying my routine certainly outweighed the negatives. Did my client get bored with his limited menu? Yes, and in this case, he had the flexibility to change it from time to time. 

There are a few benefits of having structure in your life: 

First of all, it eliminates having to make a decision. The decision has been made, you are just following through with it. This in itself can make your mornings much less stressful. And the less decision making involved, the more time you have. 

Yes, it’s true, with more time, you have more space to focus on other areas in your life that matter more to you. So instead of spending 15 minutes picking your outfit, you can have breakfast with your family or have a few moments for meditation. 

Structure also keeps you on track, especially when it comes to healthy eating. You have already done the planning and the calculating. You are just following through and it still allows you flexibility so if you do get bored, you can change up the menu. 

Structures and routines give us a sense of accomplishment, so even if you got nothing done on your to-do list today, at least you know you ate a healthy breakfast or made your bed - whatever it is, you did it. 

When managing ADHD, we want to keep structures and routines simple and easy to follow. If you are just starting with a new routine, keep it simple. Just like the example above, we didn’t plan out a menu for every meal, we started with breakfast first. 

How has structure benefited you? Do you have a particular routine that you swear by? We would love to hear about it, please comment below or give us a call at 503-664-4ADD. 

Until Next Time, 

Nikki