Add Structure The Easy Way

by | Feb 25, 2016 | ADHD Symptom Control | 2 comments

Copy of Effortless Living - Quote graphic

We’ve talked about it before. You must add structure if you want an ADHD-friendly life.

I find, deep down, ADHD adults crave structure. We resist it, but little reduces chaos like well-designed systems to accomplishing everyday tasks.

Until you add structure you’ll continue flitting through life. Forgetting this, neglecting that, and procrastinating on everything else.

There are right and wrong ways of building ADHD-friendly structure.

I’m pretty sure you’ve tried to build structure a time or two only to have your system go down in flames.

No surprise. I see it all the time.  Adding structure to your chaotic, disorganized life in the wrong way doesn’t work.

You see, ADHD adults tend to make things too complicated. Designing fancy systems with lots of bells and whistles is exciting, stimulating.

The problem is we often can’t use what we’ve created. Systems must be sustainable, not exciting.

Now, even if you add structure the easy way don’t expect to get it 100% right every time. You’ll be better off than you were before, though. And, you’ll have a starting place to build upon.

Today let’s focus on the gritty details of how to add realistic structure that makes ADHD easier to live with.

ADD Structure The Easy Way

Select: Pick one small task that would reduce ADHD chaos if you did it often. Something like making the bed or opening the mail.

Design: Next, think through the steps. How can you reduce steps? Make it easier? How will you know when it’s done? Avoid the ADHD trap of making things too complicated. Change your outlook – aim for simpler instead of exciting. Beware ADHD perfectionism!

Schedule: Decide how often you’ll do it and when you’ll do it.

Remember: Create reminders to keep you on track. This step is important. Avoid it at your own risk.

Practice: If you have a hard time following your small system don’t give up. Try a different approach. Often small adjustments are all you need. Use your creativity.

Practice More: When you can stick to your system for two weeks you’re ready to add another small thing.

Need ideas of where to start adding structure?

Simple routines are a good place to begin. Try:

  • Planning your day
  • Clearing your desk
  • Paying the bills
  • Sorting the mail
  • Making the bed

Doing these tasks isn’t exciting. The results you’ll see are. You’ll have less stress and chaos as well as more confidence and energy. You can’t argue with that!

Structure is the foundation of ADHD Success. Step-by-step, slowly and thoughtfully, add structure to keep your ADHD world organized, on track, and at peace.


  1. Evelyn Mitchell

    I found another way to make a habit of something. One of the members of another ADD website/forum suggested a guy by the name of B. J. Fogg, I don’t know if you allow links but I did this exercise and was successful.

    My tiny habits were, After I get up in the morning, I will turn on the shower. After I pour my coffee, I will take out my notebook. , And the last one was, After the 11:00 pm news, I will turn off the TV. I needed help with this one so I set an alarm for 11:30 in case I fell asleep during the sports segment.

    I couldn’t believe it. I had so very little in the way of daily habits that I had a hard time finding something to tack my new habits on to.

    Check it out, it’s free, and I haven’t received any spam as a result.

    • danarayburn

      Thanks for the idea. I hadn’t heard of B J Fogg before. Creating new habits is a vital ADHD skill set and I’m always on the lookout for new ideas to help my ADHD coaching clients. I just signed up for the next tiny habits session.



  1. Dana Rayburn | ADHD Structures Matter: Confessions of an ADHD Coach | Confessions of an Adult ADD Coach | Adult ADHD / ADD Coaching Strategies - [...] of my ADHD structures it’s usually a peek into a pretty well-managed, mostly organized [...]
  2. Fight ADHD Disorganization with Structure - ADHD Coach Dana Rayburn - […] Check out last week’s ADHD Success if you want to know how to add structure.  […]
  3. Let’s Revolt Against the ADHD Tax - Dana Rayburn ADHD Coach - […] the ADHD tax is an ugly reality for ADHD adults. Especially when support structures and awareness are […]
  4. ADHD Structures - Dana Rayburn ADHD Coach - […] At this point, the key to living successfully with ADHD involves troubleshooting my teetering structures, shifting my mindset when…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome to ADHD Success

Tired of struggling with ADHD? You’re in the right place. ADHD Success is loaded with free, practical tips to help you get organized, manage your time, and live more easily with Adult ADHD. Like what you read? Sign up for the newsletter now! No Spam. I promise!

Like Dana on Facebook: