Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that some people experience which manifests itself through numerous symptoms which may include one or more of the following: hyperactivity, impulsiveness, distractibility, lack of organisation, forgetfulness and procrastination.
One of the most problematic symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is disorganisation. Susan, one of the individuals I have helped, had this to say: "I feel overwhelmed and I panic at the thought of even trying to get my office organised. The more I try, the worse it gets. I can never finish what I start!"
I started coaching Susan by using a number of NLP strategies for overcoming disorganisation. The NLP strategies provides clients with very basic, common-sense activities that will enable them to clean up their environment and prioritise, as well as manage their time and stay focused on the task at hand.
To assist people like Susan with this process, I teach some simple visualisation exercises using NLP principles. As a result, people report feeling less anxious and less overwhelmed at the thought of doing what they need to do to get organised and stay organised.
The first step is to demonstrate to someone is that they can control what they visualise, and how they visualise it. I have them choose an object that is easy for them to visualise, such as their favourite food. I ask them to notice everything they can about it, such as what colour it is, how bright is it, how big it is, and how close it is; whether or not it is in focus, or if it is flat or 3-D. I then ask them to make the picture grey, and out of focus, and have them shrink it down in size and move it far away into a very dark corner. I ask if the same food appeals to them as much as it did a minute ago. With this question comes the realisation that we can change how we think and feel about something by controlling how we create visual images of it in our mind. I ask my clients to practice this exercise over and over again, until it is really easy to do.
Being able to control the way they visually represent images in their mind becomes a skill they now have at their disposal. Once someone has learned this skill and can do it easily, we choose a task to use it on. For Susan it was helping her organise her filing system.
File systems, instead of pile systems, make life easier and keep us much more organised., but let’s face it, they take more effort to set up and maintain than just dumping stuff in stacks. Creating motivation to start using a file system, and to continue using it, is where this visualisation skill can be of use. Creating a visual representation of the clean and neat filing system we would like to have is the first step. The next step is to make that picture as desirable as we can by adjusting various aspects of the picture, as we did in the food exercise. We may, for example, make the filing system more desirable by bringing the image closer, yet if we bring it too close, the project may "loom too large", this was expressed by Tony who I was working with, until Tony moved it to a distance that felt comfortable for him. I encourage people to experiment with their own changes until they get the visual representation as desirable as possible.
With someone with AD/HD symptoms, it is often very important to create just one image at a time and practice keeping that image still, as the natural tendency may be to have several images that move rapidly, creating a sense of confusion. Controlling and stabilising the internal visual representation of a task often allows them to become more focused and stay calm and relaxed. To gain control of this, they simply practice moving an object around in their visual field, slowing it down and speeding it up until they are confident they have complete control of this function. If the representation of the task is in movie form, then there should be just one movie on the screen, and it should stay in one place, and not move as if someone jiggled the projector. Gaining control of this takes practice also. They pretend to project the movie on the wall, then the floor, then all around the theatre. They move the projection camera in slow, even movements and then fast, jerky movements, continuing to practice until they easily have complete control. Learning how to control our internal images to motivate us can be a very powerful tool to get organised. and stay organised.
As one satisfied client, Susan, said, "Look at my beautiful office. It’s just as I pictured it! No more piles of papers stacked on top of empty file cabinets. I love the way it looks and I’m keeping it this way. Thanks for helping me see how easy getting organised. can be!"
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