Organization
July 3, 2020

Lisa's Story

Lisa's Story

Meet Lisa

Lisa is a college student with ADHD who struggles with Organization. As a child, Lisa was unable to afford ADHD treatment, instead relying on her mother’s help to stay organized. As a freshman in college, Lisa no longer has access to this support system. Her living environment quickly snowballs into a disorganized mess, which ends up jeopardizing her education. Lisa knows she needs help, but she isn’t sure where to start.

She Struggles With Organization

Mornings are hectic for Lisa. From the time she wakes up, to the moment she’s on campus, she’s in a rush to get ready. Sometimes she skips breakfast or puts on mismatched clothing, but despite the chaos, her book bag is always waiting for her at the foot of her bed – a habit that came from practicing nighttime routines with her mother while growing up.

Lisa was diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten. Her ADHD greatly affects her organization skills, making it harder for her to manage things like school and housework.

Her mother knew Lisa needed help, but she wanted to avoid medicating her young child. Lisa’s mother first weighed their local options, but the only treatment available in their rural town focused on medication. When she sought out an ADHD specialist beyond their local community, treatment was too expensive, and the nearest specialist was two hours away. Strained for feasible treatment options, Lisa’s mother ultimately decided that she needed to take matters into her own hands. So, she set forth to train her daughter to be organized by closely overseeing Lisa’s schoolwork.

Every night before bed, Lisa’s mother spent an hour reviewing that day’s homework, while Lisa meticulously prepared her backpack for the next day: pencils were sharpened to a fine point, binders and notebooks color-coded by class, and all of her homework was sorted by due date. Lisa relied on her mother’s support, and after years of repetition, she learned how to effectively organize her schoolwork. Sadly, Lisa was unable to evolve this skill on her own once she left for college.

Living alone for the first time, Lisa finds it hard to keep her apartment clean. She often misplaces important items, and she has problems tackling chores. Lisa wants to clean up her apartment, but it always feels like there is something more important to tackle, which leads to piles of dirty dishes and laundry scattered about. Lisa is disgusted by her living environment and refuses to have guests over. So long as no one else sees it, Lisa can try to ignore it. Unfortunately for her, she can no longer deny her mess once it sabotages her schooling. 

After sleeping through her alarm one morning, Lisa scrambles to get ready for school. Already pressed for time, she has to fumble through stacks of notebooks and dirty dishes in order to find her wallet. By the time she finds it, she has already missed the shuttle to campus. Lisa arrives late to an exam and is unable to complete it, which lands her a failing grade. Riddled with shame, she begrudgingly accepts that her messy apartment is no longer a self-contained issue.

Later that night, Lisa calls her mother right before bed – their daily routine since she has gone off to college. Lisa confesses to the failed exam, explaining how her messy apartment caused her to be late. Her mother is disappointed but reminds Lisa that her ADHD can be tackled with enough hard work, just like they did when she was a kid. Lisa appreciates the encouragement, but she’s also frustrated by her mother’s comment. In a way, it feels dismissive of her ADHD and her struggles with it while away from home. When the call ends, Lisa tosses and turns in bed. She knows she is capable of being organized, but she just can’t seem to translate this to her living environment.

As she scrolls aimlessly on her phone, Lisa comes across an advertisement for Eachday, an app that helps people address and manage their ADHD symptoms. Craving guidance, she downloads the app. In a few short minutes, Lisa learns more about the executive functions that ADHD affects and is relieved to find content specifically related to organization, her environment, and blocking out time to take care of chores. 

Soon enough, Eachday becomes part of Lisa’s nightly ritual. For just 15 minutes a day, she educates herself on how to respond to real-time executive function failures by using Eachday’s library of expert tips, tricks, and learning strategies. Lisa continuously builds the skills needed to manage her environment, falling into a routine and reducing the cognitive effort needed to stay organized.

After a few months of Eachday, Lisa’s apartment becomes as tidy as her schoolwork. Every night before bed, she sets aside an hour to tackle housework, then gathers all her important personal items beside her bookbag for the following morning. Lisa even invites over guests on occasion, a welcomed change in her otherwise hectic college schedule.

Sometimes Lisa may slack on the dishes or forget to do laundry, but this doesn’t bother her. Her Eachday app is a daily reminder that she is in control of her ADHD – and if she slips up, she can always step back and reorganize. 

“she educates herself on how to respond to real-time executive function failures by using Eachday’s library of expert tips, tricks, and learning strategies. Lisa continuously builds the skills needed to manage her environment, falling into a routine and reducing the cognitive effort needed to stay organized.”

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