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In this on-demand masterclass, Eric will guide you through:

1. How to pick a single, impactful goal

2. Create an actionable plan

3. Build the habits and skills you need to succeed

With real-life examples, practical tools, and guaranteed progress for committed individuals, this session is your first step towards a more organized life.

Digital Organization and ADHD: Why It Matters

For adults with ADHD, navigating daily life can feel like a continuous battle against clutter. And, this doesn't just mean a bedroom floor covered in dirty clothes.


Digital clutter negatively impacts our ability to manage time, monitor our emotions, and focus.


Does your computer desktop look like this?

adult adhd
Does your desktop look like this?

How many tabs do you have open on your web browser?


Whether it's physical or digital, clutter creates stress and often results in shame.


Your desktop and internet browser are extensions of your mind. They too deserve intentional organization strategies that enhance your executive functions and lead to:


  • Greater work satisfaction

  • Stronger relationships

  • Overall better quality of life


In this article, you learn how to organize your desktop while improving your executive function skills, even if you have ADHD.



Digital Organization, ADHD, and Executive Function

Imagine sitting at a desk piled high with papers, random objects, and dishes from yesterday. Would you feel focused and motivated? Probably not.


Now, think of your computer’s desktop. Is it cluttered with:


  • Unused icons?

  • Documents?

  • Photos?

  • Screenshots?


Both physical and digital clutter negatively impact our executive functions. When we are stressed, our brain releases a hormone, cortisol. The release of cortisol weakens our executive functions.


With our executive functions weakened, our performance at work, relationships, and self-esteem suffer. We might struggle to regulate emotions, focus, or process information.


For individuals with ADHD, digital clutter can amplify levels of cortisol, creating intense feelings of overwhelm.


However, a clean desktop and internet browser can have the opposite effect.


What if your desktop looked like this?


executive function coaching
What if your desktop looked like this?

How would you feel?


How to Organize Your Desktop for Better Focus

Decluttering your desktop requires letting go of what you don’t need and a system to organize what you do.


Here's how you can create a simple and organized desktop:


Step 1: The Archive Folder

Start by creating a new folder on your desktop titled "Archive".


  • Mac users: right click on your desktop and select "new folder"

  • Windows users: right click on your desktop, select "new", then select "folder".


Step 2: Trim the Excess

Next, review every icon on your desktop. If you haven’t used something in over 3 months, delete it or move it to the archive folder.


  • If reviewing every icon feels overwhelming, start with only 5 icons. Tomorrow, do 5 more. If you repeat this for a few weeks, you will get there.


Step 3: Choose a Calming Background

A simple, yet beautiful, desktop wallpaper can improve focus, promote a sense of calm, and reduce anxiety. This is very helpful for adults with ADHD.



Bonus Tip: Make It Enjoyable

Put on some light music while you organize. This can make the process more enjoyable and less of a chore.

digital clutter adhd

Success Story: ADHD and Digital Clean-Up

Eddie, a client with ADHD, was constantly overwhelmed by daily responsibilities and deadlines. His physical environment was a mess. So was his desktop.


After a few weeks of coaching, his sink was free of dirty dishes and he built a launch pad to easily find his keys and wallet. Not only was he more organized, his anxiety reduced significantly.


But, he was still struggling at work.


During a coaching session, while sharing his screen, I noticed the chaos of his computer — files were everywhere and countless browser tabs were open. That's when I realized a new sign of executive dysfunction: digital clutter.


Initially, Eddie was resistant to change. He feared losing tabs or deleting files. However, by connecting the dots between his emotional states before and after cleaning his physical space, Eddie's mindset shifted.


We devised a plan:


  • The Archive Folder: Instead of deleting everything from his desktop, Eddie moved old files and photos to a new folder titled "Archive". Now, he only has 8 icons on his desktop.



Recently, Eddie reported feeling less stressed and more in control. His productivity improved and he is able to manage his time more effectively at work.


The best part? It only took him 15 minutes to organize his digital space. Check out the before and after pictures:


Summary

If you're struggling with time management, emotional regulation, and digital organization, it's time to consider your desktop. By moving old icons to an "Archive" folder, you can easily access what is most important.


Small tweaks have big peaks and lead to significant changes in how you feel and function. An organized digital environment improves productivity and significantly impacts your emotional well-being, helping you manage ADHD more effectively.


Are you ready to improve your executive function skills?

We know adulting is HARD. It demands strong adult executive function skills. Luckily, we've made a LIVE course to cover the fundamentals so you can make the best of each day: Adult EF Skills 101. We are currently accepting applications!


In this course, you will:


  • Learn how to plan your priorities 🎯

  • Learn to get started (task initiate) 🔨

  • Learn how to keep things tidy 🧺

  • Learn how to find and keep a job 👩‍💻

  • Learn how to communicate effectively 🗣️

  • Learn how to budget 🤑



Stay Engaged


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About the Author

Eric Kaufmann, M.Ed is a Professional Educational Therapist and Certified Executive Function Coach. He is the Co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, an online adult executive function coaching company designed to guide adults in overcoming disorganization, procrastination, and productivity roadblocks so they can unlock their potential. Eric is also the founder of Elevate Learning Solutions, an Educational Therapy practice located in San Clemente, CA, that guides students with neurological differences toward becoming independent and confident students and self-leaders.

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Upskill Specialists was founded when two former special education teachers turned executive function coaches decided that adults need tools and coaching to improve their workplace skills and feel confident and empowered. Our mission is to ensure every adult with EF challenges has access to high-quality coaching services. 

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