Getting a Grip on Mind Clutter and ADHD

by | Oct 22, 2015 | Organizing ADHD | 0 comments

acting adhdADHD mind clutter can feel a lot like the boogie man did when you were a kid. It’s always there, lurking in dark corners to jump out and get you.

Waiting for an opportunity to brew a storm of negative thoughts to bury your creative mojo. Swirling your emotions so you forget your next appointment or what you were picking up at the store.

Of all the ways clutter can creep into our lives mind clutter is the most insidious.

Mind clutter and ADHD are a challenging pair.

After all, we can’t just stop thinking. We must have thoughts. And since us ADHD folks are often pretty creative we generate a lot of them.

And when we start ruminating and those thoughts start swirling they distract us, worry us and generally confuse and frustrate us.

The good news is that there are things we can do to reduce mind clutter. Just like paper clutter, we can take it out, look at it, sort it, and file it away.

How To Manage Your ADHD Mind Clutter

  1. Write it Down. A simple step toward clearing mind clutter is to write it out. If you’re thinking about the dozen things you need to do this week, make a to-do list. If you’re worrying about an upcoming event, write about it. The simple act of writing down your thoughts can clear your mind clutter. Freeing your mind from the strain of repeatedly thinking about those things. Have you noticed how once something is on paper it doesn’t seem as daunting?
  1. There’s an App for That. I’ve said before how helpful a smart phone can be to those with adult ADHD. When it comes to mind clutter, I consider a smart phone a necessity.  

    You can set alarms to remind yourself of appointments throughout the day. You can set up a grocery list so you know what to buy when you stop at the store. You can detail your errands so you know what to do on the way home. And you can set timers to remind you to move from one task to the next. I’m a huge advocate of ADHD time-management apps and highly recommend you give them a try.
  2. Decompress. All the things happening your life like to hang around in your mind. Your challenges, work issues, concerns about friends and family. And you need to let them go.

    You need to allow those thoughts to be free to wander off and go someplace else. If you’ve found a way to meditate then do that. Realize, however, that meditating with ADHD is hard to do. Otherwise,
    try a relaxing warm bath, intense exercise, or mindfulness breathing.

Whatever works to help you stop ruminating on the frustrations and difficulties in your life. Reducing ADHD mind clutter is a process, just like reducing paper clutter. There’s also some trial and error. You need to try different things to see what works best for you.

Don’t over think this. You’ll just create more mind clutter as you explore the possibilities.

Simply act. Choose something and try it today, right now.

Take one step toward reducing your mind clutter and then take another.

Repeat the ones that work and discard the ones that don’t. Before you know it you’ll have simple routines in place that keep your ADHD mind clutter free.

Dana Rayburn is an ADHD Coach in Oregon, but don’t worry… She works by telephone helping ADHD adults all over the world live more effortlessly and successfully with ADHD. Learn more at


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