Working with adults with challenges with executive functioning skills such as ADD and ADHD

The article The DESIRE to Manage Your ADHD on says, “Lack of structure is a major problem for people who have ADHD. For most people with ADHD, there seems to be no internal system of organization”. 

I have a number of clients with challenges with their executive functioning skills which present themselves in ADD, ADHD and ASD. These challenges include poor working memory and inattention.

Please note this blog is general advice only. Please seek the help of an expert for further information. 

Challenges with executive functioning skills present themselves in a number of ways

The clients I’ve worked with, these challenges present themselves in a number of ways around the home. Examples include unorganised paperwork, lots of tasks on-the-go due to lack of focus and a tendency to loose things as they find it difficult to return things to their permanent homes.

The article above also says: “Research shows that a structured environment is very beneficial for children and adults who have ADHD. So, whether you use a coach or simply try to do it on your own, it is important that you find some way to bring order to your chaotic universe”.

Getting things done with ADD & ADHD

These are the 5 tactics I use when working with people with a ADD, ADHD:

Simple step-by-step ideas and instructions.

We work together to write down instructions for deciding what to keep and what to let go and create checklists to improve focus.

Short one -on-one sessions.

My clients with challenges in these areas greatly benefit from my one-on-one assistance. We work together with clear intention on the task at hand. We keep one-on-one sessions between 1.5 and 2 hours (depending on the client) because I have found my clients lose focus and get tired when creating new systems and processes.

Image thanks to

Creation of reasonable, daily routine

The clients I have worked with have enjoyed creating a daily routine to keep them focused and on track.

Check-in with the client between sessions

Outer accountability has been particularly beneficial for my clients with ADD. I let them know I will check with them mid-week to see how they are going and assist if they have reached a road-block.

Set manageable homework

My clients with ADD and ADHA have found it helpful to commit to manageable homework to be completed before the next session. This outer accountability increases the likelihood of the task being completed.

What’s next

Try break things down into small manageable parts yourself if you have challenges with your executive function skills.

Need help?

I’d love to hear from you if you or someone in your family has challenges with executive function skills . See details of working with me here or reach out to me at

Who is Julie Cliff, Professional Organiser

Challenges with executive functioning skills can make managing tasks around the home difficult. Space and Time is a professional organising consultancy which helps people with these challenges live easier, far less stressful lives through simple, easy to implement organising systems. Call Julie on 0413 447 562 to chat about your organising challenges at home.