I was recently coaching a guy who was an ADHD-type, all over the map, and he was trying to get organized. Giving him a big grocery list of organizational tasks to engage in would have buried him. Instead, I asked “What is one thing you can do that will maximize your results?”

Through our coaching conversation he decided on a built-in weekly planning time. At the beginning of his week, he goes to Starbucks, sits down, and has his weekly planning time. Getting out of his regular environment and turning off his phone allows him to focus so he can decide what needs to be done that week.

After engaging in his Monday planning time for a few weeks, here are some of his learnings:

  • “The most important time of my week is the Monday planning time. It’s a non-negotiable and I can’t reschedule it or put it off until later.”
  • “During my Monday planning time, one question I always ask myself is, ‘What can I hand off to my administrative assistant?’ I’ve begun making much better use of his time as a result of this question.”
  • “Since I am a verbal processor, I always ask myself during Monday planning time, ‘What meetings do I need this week to help me process effectively?’”
  • “I’ve also learned to pause at least once during each day, reflect on my priorities for the week, and ask ‘What’s one small thing I can do right now to make a big difference?’”

If you’re working with someone who is not a detail person or someone who is not naturally structured, you’re not going to change them into someone like that. Instead, aim for the fewest number of things that they can do that will get them 80% of the results they’re looking for. If the list is short enough—and if their pain level is high enough—they’ll be able to make those changes. Otherwise, it’s like David trying on Saul’s armor. It just doesn’t fit. They need something that will work for them.