The Sunday Basket with Lisa Woodruff

Lisa Woodruff is a home organization expert, productivity specialist, and speaker. She has two books, The Mindset of Organization and How ADHD Affects Home Organization, which are Amazon best sellers in their categories, and as we continue our journey through ADHD and organizing, Lisa is the perfect guest to help us with a system to start the week right: The Sunday Basket.

Just what is The Sunday Basket? It’s a weekly appointment with your future self. It’s the promise you make to manage your home and support your responsibilities. Oh, and it’s a bucket… the most powerful bucket you’ll own.

Links & Notes


Episode Transcript

Brought to you by The ADHD Podcast Community on Patreon

Pete Wright:
Hello, everybody, and welcome to Taking Control, The ADHD Podcast on RashPixel FM. I’m Pete Wright, and I’m here with Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer:
Hello, everyone. Hello, Pete Wright.

Pete Wright:
Nikki, how are you feeling? Are you strong? Is your kung fu strong? [crosstalk 00:00:23]…

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, I don’t know about my kung fu, but I’m very zen.

Pete Wright:
That’s good.

Nikki Kinzer:
I’m doing a meditation challenge and I’m on day two, and it’s really good.

Pete Wright:
Day two. [crosstalk 00:00:36].

Nikki Kinzer:
I’m on day two. Now, I have been meditating before that, but yeah, every morning, I’ve been dedicated. In fact, I even told you, I had to put you on hold because you needed something.

Pete Wright:
I got flushed.

Nikki Kinzer:
And you got…

Pete Wright:
I did.

Nikki Kinzer:
I had to flush you and say, nope, I got to do this first and then I’m going to help Pete.

Pete Wright:
I’m proud of you. That’s good.

Nikki Kinzer:
Thank you.

Pete Wright:
That’s good. That’s strong.

Nikki Kinzer:
I’m proud of myself because that’s a big deal.

Pete Wright:
We’ve got a great topic today. We’re continuing our exploration of organizing as we dip our toes into our roots one more time. And we have a fantastic guest and it turns out, you can call her whatever you want. She’ll answer to anything. Before we do that, head over to takecontroladhd.com, get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website. You can subscribe to the mailing list and we’ll send you a new email each time a new episode is released. And of course, you can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook @takecontroladhd.

Pete Wright:
And if this show has ever touched you or helped you change your life for the better with your relationship with ADHD, we invite you to consider supporting the show directly through Patreon. Patreon is listener-supported podcasting. With a few dollars each month, you can help guarantee we continue to grow this show, add new features and invest more heavily in the ADHD community. Visit patreon.com/theadhdpodcast to learn more. And I don’t do this enough, but I want to thank Tom and Matt and Mindy and Diane and Christina and Joseph and Teresa and [inaudible 00:02:15] and Gary and Molly in the last week for their patronage to Patreon. Thank you so much for joining this community. I hope you’ve jumped over to the Discord Online community and that you have received the warm welcome that you deserve. Patreon.com/theadhdpodcast.

Pete Wright:
Lisa Woodruff is a home organization expert, productivity specialist and speaker. She has two books, The Mindset of Organization and How ADHD Affects Home Organization, which are Amazon bestsellers in their categories. And as we continue our journey through ADHD and organizing, Lisa is the perfect guest to help us with a system that’s going to help us start our weeks right. Lisa, welcome to the show.

Lisa Woodruff:
Thank you so much for having me. This is going to be fun.

Nikki Kinzer:
Thank you, Lisa. Welcome. Welcome. So I have to ask you right off the bat. If you wrote a book about how ADHD affects home organization, I’m curious what your experiences with ADHD and just what was the driver to write that book.

Lisa Woodruff:
Yes. So I have two adopted children. I live here in Cincinnati, Ohio, and they both attended a learning disability school called Springer School and Center. My son went there for six years and my daughter went there for three or four, I can’t remember. And it’s like college tuition, so it’s like the school that… when you make that kind of investment in elementary school, you pay attention. I’m a teacher by trade. I have a degree from Miami University, birth through eighth grade, so two degrees and a minor. So when my kids were enrolled in this small school, the classrooms just had 12 children per classroom, with a teacher and an aid in each classroom, one of the things that they had found with these language learning disabilities that the kids had was that over 50% of them would also end up with an ADHD.

Lisa Woodruff:
So the school did a lot of educating of the parents inside of the school but they’re also the resource in Cincinnati for all the school district send their teachers to this school for training for ADHD. And in partnership with Children’s Hospital, they would bring in world-renowned speakers on the topic of ADHD and have lectures and things like that. So being a lifelong learner, I would go to those. Both of my children were diagnosed with ADHD. They’ve since taken that diagnosis away from daughter at the age of 18 and given her a different diagnosis, but along the way, I learned about ADHD and the eight executive functions of the brain.

Lisa Woodruff:
And I remember sitting in one of my first lectures as a parent learning about these eight executive functions and going up to the head master after and saying, “Joey is deficient in seven of the eight.” And they said, “We know.” And I said, “There aren’t really very many. What are we going to glom on to, to make the other ones function better if of eight, you just told me the eight and we are deficient in seven of the eight?” There’s nothing to ladder on to. And they said, “We understand and we have a plan.” And so Joey went there through eighth grade, and he was on [inaudible 00:05:28] high school, and he’s now about to graduate a two-year degree, Audio Engineering. Sweet boy. Great boy.

Nikki Kinzer:
Oh, fantastic.

Lisa Woodruff:
Yeah. Hands-on learner. But I learned a lot of different terms, like Swiss cheese learning. He would know his shapes one day and then the next day, not know any of his shapes, and then the next day, know a third of them, and this was in kindergarten and first grade. And so being a parent of children with ADHD and an avid learner, I learned a lot. And then when I started my business in 2012, my first three years, were exclusively in home organizing with a blog on the side. And 50% of my clients were either diagnosed or self-diagnosed with ADHD, and again, being a questioner, I was like, why is what I’m teaching working? How have they learned the skill of organization when the thought is ADHD is… organization is actually one of the eight executive functions and it’s where you place things, it’s just harder for people with ADHD.

Lisa Woodruff:
They don’t naturally want to put things back where they go and they don’t like putting things behind closed doors. And so I just started to research as an educator how can people learn this skill of organization, and once I help them set up the systems, maintain them. And that’s what I found to be the hardest thing for people with ADHD is setting up the system in their home. It’s hard for them to see the organizational system but if someone can set it up for them, then they can maintain it for a certain amount of time. And then they usually need some help in cleaning it up and maintaining it and maybe having it pivot as they change through different life stages.

Lisa Woodruff:
And it’s one of the reasons, I know we’re going to talk about The Sunday Basket, it’s one of the reasons I started a certification right away so that we have certified organizers in all of the, we’re hoping, in all of the states, in the United States and Canada, so that while I can learn online, not everyone can learn online and my children especially do not learn well online. They need a tutor, one-on-one instruction that they need to learn things in person with their hands versus through an auditory or a visual modem.

Nikki Kinzer:
Then you’re going to have certified organizers that will be under the Organize 365 so they could find you, then you’ll have maybe some kind of directory, and then if they need somebody in-home, that’s great.

Lisa Woodruff:
Just for paper.

Pete Wright:
That’s wonderful.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah.

Lisa Woodruff:
Just for paper.

Nikki Kinzer:
Just for paper. Okay.

Lisa Woodruff:
We don’t certify in-home organizers because there’s already a lot of people who do that, but nobody is certifying how to organize paper. And so we’ve just taken that niche of just the paper portion.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah.

Pete Wright:
Oh, that’s wonderful.

Nikki Kinzer:
The Sunday Basket. Now, first of all, I want to say, before we even introduce this, you have wonderful products on your website.

Lisa Woodruff:
Oh, thank you.

Nikki Kinzer:
So I definitely encourage our listeners to check them out. I know you have a pretty, like a year-long program, right, that you’re sending emails and different projects and stuff. You want to talk a little bit about that?

Lisa Woodruff:
You know what I find in the organization industry is that we tend to either buy a professional organizer to set up the system or we buy cute containers. And basically, that’s all that’s on the market. So as an educator, when I looked at it, I realize that people really need to learn the skill. They don’t necessarily need stuff. You don’t need physical stuff. So I have two offerings. One is the 100 Day Home Organization Program that we cycle through three times a year. Whenever you buy in, it’s a lifetime membership. So you could just do it with us as many times as you want, 15 minutes a day, and we just keep cycling through the house over and over again. There will never be a perfect 100 days. Do not wait to sign up. If you miss a day, don’t worry about it. Move on to the next one. There’s no grading. You cannot fail. It’s impossible.

Lisa Woodruff:
So that is teaching you how to organize the living spaces, like everyone has [inaudible 00:09:02] drawer, everyone has a place that you keep your toilet paper, everyone has an underwear drawer. And so those things are easier to do online as a group. So that’s the 100 Day Program.

Pete Wright:
Let me just ask you, how’d you land on 100 days? What’s the secret 100 days? It’s just easy because you could fit three of them in a year or is there some secret sauce to that?

Lisa Woodruff:
I started with 40 weeks, like a school year, but it was too long, especially, you know, ADHD, I have to do this for a whole nine months? So it tends to be that we divide our year into thirds. I just intuitively realized this. We have the summer, we have the wall and we have the winter, which goes January to May. As I go, okay, in that timeframe, we’re not going to organize every single day. So it’s 120 days. I cut it down to 100. I made a list of every single space that any woman anywhere in the world would have, regardless of if she had children or not or how old she was or she was married. And there were 100 spaces, non-kid related, that I could break out into 15-minute a day chunks, because people kept saying they only had 15 minutes a day. I tried to [inaudible 00:09:58] they needed an hour. They said no. So I was like, fine, I’ll figure out 15 minutes a day, and I figured it out.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s great.

Pete Wright:
That’s amazing.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, that’s great.

Pete Wright:
Okay. All right. Sorry, I interrupted you. Please continue.

Lisa Woodruff:
No problem. So that’s teaching how to organize the physical spaces. And I would always say you have paper. And then people would say back to me, “I don’t have paper,” because you don’t think you have it. Then as you start going through the 100 days, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, there’s paper everywhere. There’s paper in everywhere.” And how do I do the paper? And so then the paper, The Sunday Basket organizes your weekly papers, your to-dos, your mail, your actionables and your ideas, and then we’ve created a couple of binders that replace your filing cabinet, because filing cabinets just don’t work anymore.

Nikki Kinzer:
So tell us more about The Sunday Basket then. How does it work? How do you help somebody set it up?

Pete Wright:
And particularly, how does your brain connect with it with ADHD?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, right.

Pete Wright:
I’m here for the ADHD connection.

Lisa Woodruff:
Yeah. So, so interesting, because I have a podcast as well, and I’ve had a psychologist come on and she explained, the psychology of The Sunday Basket, I think because that I’m a preschool teacher at heart, I’ve taught middle school math and preschool, which, FYI, are the same thing.

Nikki Kinzer:
I was going to say-

Lisa Woodruff:
Yeah. School [crosstalk 00:11:06].

Nikki Kinzer:
… God bless you being a middle school teacher. Wow.

Pete Wright:
Wow.

Lisa Woodruff:
But when you’re teaching preschoolers and you’re teaching middle school boys, especially math, which is usually not their favorite thing, you get all different kinds of learners, and The Sunday Basket, the reason why it works for ADHD and for everyone is because it doesn’t matter which [inaudible 00:11:26] test you are. Any of these tests, when they analyze The Sunday Basket, I have built all of the learning styles into it because I taught monastery middle school math. And when I say monastery middle school math, it meant that I had 22 children and I taught 22 different lesson plans. So some kids would skip ahead, some kids needed remediation, some kids had to use the monastery materials to learn the 3D replication of what I was teaching, some kids were very abstract and we could do it abstractly.

Lisa Woodruff:
And so I taught algebra in many, many different ways. So when I’m teaching The Sunday Basket, your learning style is built in to The Sunday Basket and how detailed you make it is just based on how detailed you need it. But it’s a box, fits on your kitchen, it’s open, it has colorful slash pockets in it that we use to divide out different things so that there’s novelty. You could see inside what’s going on. There are 25 different slash pockets but there are only four main colors and then one set of five, so when you see a pink slash pocket, you already know what that category is even though there are five in there.

Lisa Woodruff:
And the reason we always start with The Sunday Basket is most people are not getting organized, one, because they don’t know. They haven’t been taught the skill of organizing, but also because they don’t have enough time. And The Sunday Basket gives you time. So when you go through all of your mail and all of your to-dos and everything you have to order online on Sunday and plan out your week, your week goes smoother than it has in the past, and you start to save time. And what we found is over six weeks of doing The Sunday Basket, you start to save an average of five hours every single week. It’s like getting an extra day Monday… or an extra hour Monday through Friday, every week. And so then, you start to do The Sunday Basket. Nobody wants to do it except for me, I know that. You’re like, “But I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.”

Lisa Woodruff:
But then you start to realize that your week goes more smoothly, you’re able to start getting more done and you start to feel more proactive and more in control of your life. And once you get those tools, then you’re like, “Okay, I want to do binders next. I want to do my house next,” because you’re growing your organizing muscles.

Nikki Kinzer:
I feel like that with meal planning. I know this sounds silly but-

Lisa Woodruff:
No.

Nikki Kinzer:
… if I meal plan on Sunday and I have a clear plan of what we’re going to eat for dinner every night, even if I don’t have the ingredients but I just have an idea of what we’re going to do, it does make my life so much easier. And when I don’t do it, it’s just always a pain and I wish that we didn’t have to eat dinner and I wish that we could just have cereal, and sometimes, we do.

Pete Wright:
Food is for chumps.

Nikki Kinzer:
Sometimes, we have cereal. You know? So anyway, it just reminds me, you know when you do it, it’s great. And when you don’t do it, you also definitely feel the consequences as well.

Pete Wright:
Well, and that gets into my question, which is, as I think about it, if I think about the meal planning example, I know where the pain comes from in not planning for meals, right? I don’t have the food that’s ready when I finally do figure out whatever I want to eat, but it’s lucky if I figure out what we want to eat because it takes so long to get everybody to agree and it’s always last minute and we just are never ready. I can feel where the extra time is saved if I do my meal planning all at once and do that before we actually go shopping, that kind of a thing. Where does the time savings come from incorporating The Sunday Basket into your life? Is it just about making sure that you have all the paper? Is there a specific thing that, that one hour a day is allocated to?

Lisa Woodruff:
Yeah. Here’s how I found it to be true in my life. When you’re in school, you would go through your backpack, you would go through your notebook, so you made sure that you had all your homework done and you were ready for your test and then when one quarter ended, you would clear out your backpack and your notebooks and you would reorganize it and you’d order what books you needed for the next set of classes, and that’s how we did school. And after you’re done with school, then you graduate and you get a job and you do those same activities with your job, you go through what you’re supposed to. Go through your email and all those things. We have all all those routines at our job.

Lisa Woodruff:
In our house, we lived in our house with our parents and either our room was or wasn’t organized but we weren’t really responsible for the rest of the house. That was our parents’. And then we get our own apartment condo or house, and we resist taking the time to maintain it because we don’t really know what our parents did because they didn’t really tell us, and we don’t put that on our calendar because really, it can’t take that much time. I mean, how long could it possibly take? Well, the Pew Research Institute says it takes 26 hours per week to maintain a house, without children.

Pete Wright:
26 hours a week?

Lisa Woodruff:
I know. You think it’s not true. Greg and I did the math, it was 35 when we did it because we had children. So that is cooking, cleaning, meal prep, yeah, maintenance. You don’t realize how much time. Changing the laundry, sweeping the floor, making the bed, all these things take a lot of time. And so we just…

Nikki Kinzer:
I totally believe it though.

Lisa Woodruff:
Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
I totally believe that. I just think about what I did over the weekend and I couldn’t finish my house. I got the bottom half done and that was it, and that was all day. It took me all day.

Lisa Woodruff:
Right. Just what I’m saying. Number one, hire a housekeeper. Number two… and I do.

Nikki Kinzer:
I do, Lisa, but I can’t [crosstalk 00:16:34].

Lisa Woodruff:
Number two, my husband does everything meal-related. So, Pete, your face is still like, and this is because we don’t believe it.

Pete Wright:
That’s my agog face. Yeah.

Lisa Woodruff:
We don’t believe it. So when you say why in the world when I spend 90 minutes to two hours going through my mail and planning my week and making my Amazon orders, are you kidding me? That takes five minutes. No, it doesn’t. It takes you over an hour every single day. You just don’t realize. When your kids bring you a paper and you’re like, okay, I’ll fill out that form right now, you stopped whatever you were doing, and you guys know because of ADHD, the tasks switching, so you stop what you’re doing-

Pete Wright:
It’s a nightmare.

Lisa Woodruff:
… now you did this, it didn’t have to be done before next week. It could’ve just gone in the box, you can go in the box. So everything can wait until Sunday. You’re deferring it from interrupting you and your day. It’s not going to get forgotten. The reason why you do that paper immediately is because you’re going to forget to send it in. But when you-

Pete Wright:
100,000%. Is that a thing?

Lisa Woodruff:
… when you know you’re going to do it on Sunday, you’ll put it in there. This needs new batteries, great, goes in there. I just picked up the prescription, great, put those in The Sunday Basket. Everything that can wait until Sunday must wait until Sunday, then you deal with it all at once. You deal with all the mail at once, you deal with all the bills at once, you deal with all the forms at once, you get all that done, and it frees up your day so that you can live more productively and less reactively. And you start to move from this constant, reactive, I got to fill this out, I got to do it right away so I don’t forget, so I don’t forget, so I don’t forget, to I’m going to do that on Sunday and I’m going to plan, I’m going to do that on Sunday and I’m going to plan.

Lisa Woodruff:
And what happens over time, I found it to be true for me but I didn’t think it was happening to other people, is my brain doesn’t talk back to me anymore. And I have a lot of ideas.

Pete Wright:
[crosstalk 00:18:16], talk more about that.

Lisa Woodruff:
Oh, yeah. So right now, as you’re listening to this, you probably have thought of numerous things. I need to get a haircut, I need to get milk, I need to get whatever. I have none of those thoughts going on in my head anymore because I write everything down on an index card and if it can wait until Sunday, I put it in the basket, because a lot of my ideas aren’t great. I think they’re great in the moment, but they’re really not that great, and most of them can wait. And then when I look at them abstractly on paper on Sunday, most of them end up going in the circular file and then the ones that need to get acted on, act on.

Lisa Woodruff:
So if your state is still closed down and you can’t get a haircut, that can wait until Sunday. If you need milk, go out and do that right after this podcast, that’s something that can’t wait until Sunday, and start to look at everything that’s coming in, in mail, in person, in your brain, can it wait? And until you teach things to wait, you will never be living that proactive productive life that you want.

Nikki Kinzer:
It’s interesting because from an ADHD perspective, what I see the benefit with that is also it’s giving yourself some space to not impulsively do something either, right?

Lisa Woodruff:
Takes the emotion out.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. It takes the emotion out and you’re able to say, okay, this can wait, and then you can make the decision later. And usually, like you said, by that time, you can have a different perspective and know, is this really that important. I think that would be something that would be very beneficial.

Pete Wright:
The cold, harsh light of The Sunday Basket reality.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. How big is this basket though? I have to ask.

Lisa Woodruff:
Like the size of a watermelon. Here, I’ll show it.

Nikki Kinzer:
Okay.

Pete Wright:
Okay. All right.

Nikki Kinzer:
Now, do you need more… what if you need more than one basket? Or [crosstalk 00:19:49]…

Lisa Woodruff:
Oh, we sell more than one basket.

Nikki Kinzer:
But do you discourage that? Or do you say, no, it’s okay. If you need three, get three?

Lisa Woodruff:
So, you only have one Sunday basket, and your Sunday basket is to run your household, okay? But it’s not your work basket. We have different baskets for that. So I have a corporate…

Nikki Kinzer:
Oh, okay.

Lisa Woodruff:
I just showed you my corporate one. I have a Sunday basket, I have a separate one for home school. And there are different times during the year where I’ll have you grab a different box and take things out of your Sunday basket so you’ll have a holiday box and you’ll have a Sunday basket. So Sunday basket is for bills and maintaining the house and the holiday one is for everything related to the holidays. Right now, I have a graduation one for my daughter, so everything related to the graduation, but it won’t have all those slash pockets in it. It has graduation invitations in it right now, and just one slash pocket.

Nikki Kinzer:
But you see the opportunity that when something comes in that’s graduation related, you know exactly where to put it.

Lisa Woodruff:
It creates a physical bucket for things that are in your brain.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, I love that.

Pete Wright:
I may have been overwhelmed with the fireworks going on in my own brain about this topic, but when do you do each of the individual basket? Like if you do the Sunday basket on Sunday, you do it all on Sunday?

Lisa Woodruff:
So here’s the thing. So the Sunday basket, on Sunday. The corporate work boxes, those are on Friday at 2:00. So by Friday at 2:00, usually, you’re done with your week. I mean, you may not have clocked out yet, but you’ve clocked out yet, if you know what I mean.

Nikki Kinzer:
But you’re done, yeah.

Lisa Woodruff:
So that’s when you go through all your emails and say, “Hey, I’m meeting with you on Monday, so can I have the Zoom link?” Or things like that. And then you go through your box and you plan your week the next week. I do not suggest that you have more than one box in the beginning at all until you need that next box. You want to really get comfortable with The Sunday Basket because each one does have to be gone through and each one is going to take you like 90 minutes. So I had… this fall, I was homeschooling before everybody was homeschooling with the pandemic. And so I was doing The Sunday Basket for 90 minutes and then I was doing the homeschool work box for 90 minutes, and then I would do my corporate work box for two hours. And I would spend six hours doing all that on a Sunday. But remember, I’ve been doing this for 18 years. So my organizing muscles, they’re black belt strength.

Pete Wright:
Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So I have a question for you about paper and backlog because a lot of our ADHD listeners will tell you they have a lot of paper and they have a lot of paper everywhere and it’s really overwhelming. So what is your recommendation for folks who do have a lot of paper to either, like that backlog that they have to go through, how do you deal with that to get The Sunday Basket? Or maybe you do The Sunday Basket and you worry about the backlog later? I don’t know. What are your thoughts around that?

Pete Wright:
I have this image of Lisa now reaching off camera and pulling out a basket the size of… the giant thing, it’s this atlas globe, and it says, “Welcome to The May Basket.” And just everything goes, this is The May Basket.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, yeah.

Lisa Woodruff:
So we do paper organizing retreats.

Nikki Kinzer:
Oh, nice.

Lisa Woodruff:
This is where you’re like… so people would literally load up their minivans, they would rent minivans and load them full of paper. People have driven 18 hours to get to Cincinnati to do these paper organizing retreats.

Nikki Kinzer:
Wow. That’s awesome.

Lisa Woodruff:
We have shred it onsite. It was amazing. But, you know, the pandemic. So now, we do these virtually. And so there are certified organizers every weekend having these virtual paper organizing retreats. They are six hours long. You just turn on the Zoom and they tell you what to do and you just keep going through it. And I think it’s $97 for six hours to have a professional organizer coaching you through it in a really small group. That’s what I would do. I would sign up for those until you get through the backlog.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. Okay. So, another issue that we have with ADHD is habit forming. It is so hard. And it’s one of those things that this can sound like a really good idea, it can sound like a solution, I’m going to try it, I’m going to get on her website, I’m going to buy all this stuff. Maybe they get it sorted and situated, they do it for a couple of weeks, but then they miss a Sunday and then they miss another Sunday. And the problem with, well, not the problem, I guess the challenge, and Pete, you would attest to this, is that ADHDers then take that really personally and they feel shame like they did something wrong. And sometimes…

Pete Wright:
Like, I can’t even keep a commitment to myself.

Nikki Kinzer:
Right. With something that was already set up for me. I mean, I can just see the negative spiral going on. What do you say to that person that has gotten out of the habit? And we know, as experts and professionals, that we want you to get back on to it. So how do we encourage them, or what would you say about that?

Lisa Woodruff:
So first, I would say, it’s totally normal. I mean, there have been Sundays that I have not done my Sunday basket.

Nikki Kinzer:
Lisa hasn’t done…

Lisa Woodruff:
I know.

Nikki Kinzer:
Oh my gosh, she’s human.

Lisa Woodruff:
And that week does not go as smoothly when I did it. So first of all, that happens. Second of all, we have now in the last six months made it that we purchase The Sunday Basket for $97, you’re in this, again, I’m all about a onetime purchase a lifetime resource, so every single Sunday at 5:00 Eastern, I know it’s a weird time, but 5:00 to 6:30 Eastern, we have a live Zoom that you can join in to and then we’re all doing it virtually together and that’s run by professional organizers who can answer your questions. So you just put it on the calendar and you’ll really start to like the people in your Zoom class and it’ll be like we’re tricking you. We’re tricking you into come and have fun and your Sunday basket gets done. So, [crosstalk 00:25:30]-

Nikki Kinzer:
So, okay. I missed-

Lisa Woodruff:
… done it perfectly.

Nikki Kinzer:
… I missed something. Is this the part of… how did they get to be a part of this group?

Lisa Woodruff:
Just by buying the system.

Nikki Kinzer:
Just by buying the system, so it’s automatically already…

Lisa Woodruff:
It’s called The Sunday Basket Club.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s great. That’s really great.

Pete Wright:
That’s awesome.

Nikki Kinzer:
So it already gives them a built-in kind of staple that they can depend on, but… oh, I love that.

Lisa Woodruff:
And we have a whole Facebook group.

Nikki Kinzer:
You’re brilliant.

Lisa Woodruff:
Because I’m a teacher. [crosstalk 00:25:56]-

Nikki Kinzer:
I mean, you’re brilliant.

Lisa Woodruff:
… the only one excited about doing this. And the certified organizers, they’re all so excited. And we’re trying to get you to come play with us-

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s great.

Lisa Woodruff:
… in our organization [inaudible 00:26:06]. And so yeah, I mean, we have some people who’ve been on it every single week for the year that it’s been around. They come every single Sunday, and it’s what they need, and these are their friends and it’s just part of their routine. So, A, you can make it part of your routine. B, you’re never going to fail. You cannot fail organizing. You cannot be behind when you’re organizing. Everything we’re going to give you is grace and permission and success and help, and we are never going to shame you in what you’ve done. We’re just going to try to make the program even better. That’s why I… it used to be $99 a year for The Sunday Basket Club, and I was like, why? Then some people aren’t going to do it and they’re not going to be successful.

Lisa Woodruff:
So onetime purchase, lifetime access. And we’re just here to support you and keep you going. And when you fall off, which you will, and you come in the Facebook group or you come in there, everybody’s going to be like, “Oh, yeah. That was me last month. Glad you’re back. Okay. Blah-blah-blah.” And you just get going back.

Nikki Kinzer:
I love that. That’s a great idea. So there was a question that came through with our live feed. Is it possible to use The Sunday Basket system for digital paper?

Lisa Woodruff:
So, I am not a digital organization.

Nikki Kinzer:
Okay.

Lisa Woodruff:
I do have my email setup, my Gmail set up with same color-coded folders, but pretty much, I just do email inbox, zero. If it’s not in my inbox, I don’t know it exists. I’m extremely tactile, and I think most ADHD people are as well. Now my children, my son, who’s very ADHD, he does great with technology. He uses just a few things and he understands them. But he too, if he can write things on paper, he does better. You’re seven times more likely to remember something you write with your hand than something that you typed. And I find that the physicalness of The Sunday Basket helps me in many ways. I can see slash pockets that are projects that are in the future. It reminds me about these projects. I love to add little notes of what I want to do in these projects into the slash pockets so I know that my notes are being saved.

Lisa Woodruff:
If you’re digital and you have a solution, stick with it. Don’t use mine. If you don’t have a solution that works, this will work. I don’t have a digital component to this.

Pete Wright:
One of the other questions that came through was a GTD question, and there are elements of getting things done that I really love and most of it, I don’t.

Lisa Woodruff:
I know. I’m the same way. Yeah, right. Yeah, somebody [crosstalk 00:28:26]-

Pete Wright:
Yeah. So anyway, I am interrupting you, Lisa. I’m sorry.

Lisa Woodruff:
… because they said The Sunday Basket is getting things done. So then I read it, I was like, oh, yeah, it is similar. It is kind of.

Pete Wright:
Kind of.

Lisa Woodruff:
The thing about The Sunday Basket is that these are papers, like a prescription just came in, the mail came in, the form that needs to go back to school, the idea that I need to put this on my grocery list. And I will grab my app and add things under grocery list instead of writing it on a note card sometimes, but usually, I write it on an index card instead. These are things that are going in and out of your family so fast, they don’t need to be digitized. And the other thing is they whole family knows what The Sunday Basket is, so they could take things and drop them in there for you that you’re going to process on Sunday, or they can go retrieve things out of the Sunday basket if they need to. If you’re gone, you’ll say, “Oh, go in the Sunday basket, it’s in the slash pocket.”

Lisa Woodruff:
And then the binders, which you could digitize. After you get them created, you could totally digitize them. I find that the benefit of the binders and the things that you are going to file away is not for you but when you need them. So taking the IP binder into the meeting at school, walking in with a binder, I’m telling you, I’ve done this both ways. Walk in to an IP meeting with no binder, walk in to an IP meeting, which is actually a cookbook binder, and you will get more from the IP meeting when you walk in with your cookbook than you did when you don’t, because they don’t know what’s in that binder and it scares them and they don’t know what you know that they don’t know. And so that physical weight of walking in with it is really powerful.

Lisa Woodruff:
And then we have a medical one. So we have a medical binder, and as soon as the pandemic started, we took 11 pages out of that and made it a free resource. As soon as we put it up and people started filling out all of their medical history and all that, the next day, it was when all hospitals stopped letting anybody come in to the hospital with you. So it doesn’t matter if it’s digital. If you can come in with papers, you’re not going to come in to the ICU or into the ER with an iPad and hand it to the nurse, but you could come in with these 11 pieces of paper and they’re like, "Okay. We know that [inaudible 00:30:22], we know all these things. This get put right into your chart and it’s [inaudible 00:30:25] for you. So paper is extremely powerful when you need to be working with other people or when your family needs to access the documents.

Lisa Woodruff:
And I found that every time I, I don’t know if my husband even knows the password to get on my computer. And so if anything happens, it’s much easier to grab a binder and just start flipping through and looking at printed pieces of paper that are organized.

Pete Wright:
And I want to really support that, that it takes years of refining and chipping away at a system to make sure that it works, and works for everybody. And we still keep things that are on paper because it’s just better and smarter to keep them on paper, right? You have to be very judicious about the things that you keep digitally and the things that you keep, like you say, for the medical stuff and for birth certificate, passport stuff, all of those things, you’re not going to digitize everything. So.

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, and out-of-sight is out of mind for a lot of ADHDers, right? So it’s important, and on non-ADHDers. So it’s really important that somehow, that is in front of you. I simply will use just a bulletin board to put in important stuff so that we don’t forget. But that bulletin board is right in our kitchen, you can’t miss it. And so I think what I kind of come away with is that you can make this system however you need to make it and there isn’t, like you said at the beginning, there isn’t any right or wrong way to organize. So you can do even a little bit of both, have some things digitalized, have some things out. There’s a lot of different ways to do this that are beneficial.

Nikki Kinzer:
Because really, what are we looking for? We’re trying to make it easier for people to find what they need, be able to have a place for these things to go, make their lives easier, save that 26 hours, holy cow.

Pete Wright:
Holy cow.

Lisa Woodruff:
And when I started, I had a paper planner and I wrote checks for all of my bills, because I started 18 years ago, and now I do everything on my Google calendar and I pay all my bills automatically online, but I still have those slash pockets in my Sunday basket that remind me, okay, go make sure you pay all your bills, okay, go update your Google calendar. So just having that slash pocket there reminds me to do something digital as well. So it’s not like everything is analog and slowly over time. But it took me a year to automate all of my bills. I mean, for crying out loud, and then one [inaudible 00:32:50], and it’s amazing how much maintenance you need to do even for digital things as well.

Pete Wright:
That is, oh my gosh, yes. That is absolutely true and people don’t think about that when they try to make… it is amazing, you still have to maintain digital systems and I think even more so because the clutter, digital clutter piles up so fast because you’re never… it’s very easy to let go of the actual sort of declutter because you don’t see it, right? So your systems get mucked up very, very quickly. Yeah, and so…

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, and the search button isn’t always a solution. Because I’ve tried to look for documents and I’ll put something in there and nothing is coming up from what I need. So I know a lot of people will kind of depend on that, but that’s not always dependable either.

Pete Wright:
Well, and you get this too. Certain apps will come to you and say, “You can search for anything you want.” As long as you know these arcane Unix commands or Linux command that you can’t…

Nikki Kinzer:
Or remember what you filed, like what you named it.

Pete Wright:
Right. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Then it wouldn’t be a problem, huh, Pete?

Pete Wright:
I do want to go back to the GTD thing, and I know we’re sort of jamming questions in here, but I’m just kind of watching the chatroom a little bit and this question of the GTD technique of taking care of two-minute tasks right away that it’s actually a trap for ADHD brains.

Lisa Woodruff:
Yeah, I don’t do that.

Pete Wright:
What’s your thinking on that as an educator?

Lisa Woodruff:
I write it down, put it in the Sunday basket. That’s what saved me. And it could also be a woman thing more than a man thing. I don’t know. But I’ve worked from home for the last eight years, and my kids, and driving in the IPs, everything I do, there is so much more, I can’t make a to-do list. It’s never going to get done. So how many things can I get off of my to-do list? And I found that when I stopped changing batteries and things and I stopped answering questions when they’re asked of me, those two-minute activities cost you 30 minutes because to answer that, then you forget what you were doing and then, oh well, since I went in the laundry room to get that for you anyway, oh yeah, I need to do this. The next thing you know, I was cooking. It’s always I was cooking. And now, whatever it is I was cooking, is burned, because I’m terrible at cooking.

Lisa Woodruff:
So I can get a lot of things done in the kitchen when I’m coming around, but when somebody interrupts my thought process, it derails all these plates that I have spinning. And so I learned, just put it in the Sunday basket. And the kids learned within a week, oh, put that in the Sunday basket, mom will do it. Even if you run out of something when you’re cooking, I would take the box and I would put it in the Sunday basket. I wouldn’t put it on the grocery list. I just go, throw the box in there, and then I will keep going.

Pete Wright:
Put the whole box in there.

Lisa Woodruff:
Yes.

Nikki Kinzer:
Smart.

Lisa Woodruff:
Yes, just keep going. Keep going. Keep going.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, yeah.

Pete Wright:
That’s great.

Nikki Kinzer:
The two-minute thing I think is just, and this, like you, Pete, I like parts of GTD. I think David Allen is amazing in a lot of ways, but it’s not written for the ADHD mind, and that’s the bottom line. There’s nothing about ADHD in his work, right? And so when you say two minutes, do you know of anything that really takes you two minutes?

Lisa Woodruff:
No.

Nikki Kinzer:
I mean, it always takes longer.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Well, I mean, in a work context, and I’m one of those people that I really love the whole concept. In practice, I’m much more of a Sunday basket user of it. Because it usually applies, who are we kidding? It usually applies about email, right? When an email comes in, it took somebody 15 seconds to throw something over the [inaudible 00:36:27] into your inbox that’s going to take you work. And so for me, either that work gets scheduled for later or if it’s something I can answer yes or no to, I’ll do it now, right? That’s the whole concept. I find that works much better for me if I am more aggressive at scheduling the work related to that task for later than if I’m more lenient about saying I’ll just try to fit it in two minutes. Because if I can just try to fit it in two minutes, it’ll take me 20.

Pete Wright:
And so, I usually find that Command Shift E send that email to to-do list to schedule for later. Command Shift E, Command Shift E, Command Shift E. Schedule it for when I do my weekly review or my daily review at 4:00, and then I do my daily review of scheduling the work for later. And that is the thing that’s worked for me. The little two-minute tasks, I don’t have very many of them anymore because even things like replace the batteries in the smoke detector, right, that has been scheduled in my calendar for a year. That’s not going to sneak up on me. I see it coming. And it’s just from having put all of these tasks in my automated system. I just don’t have very many of them anymore.

Lisa Woodruff:
So, I love what you said there, because what the Sunday… I’m like, wow, I just need to start taking notes while Pete talks and maybe I should not be talking anymore. So now I feel like I’m a very novice organizer all of a sudden.

Nikki Kinzer:
No.

Lisa Woodruff:
So I’m thinking about the audience who’s listening also. If you’re thinking, wow, and I’m saying, when was the last time I changed my smoke detector batteries? But what he’s saying is what you start to do intuitively with The Sunday Basket. You group with The Sunday Basket. So if you find that you are putting the same note in there and every Sunday, you’re coming up with the same things, then those become part of your routine. So for us, we have a ridiculous amount of prescriptions. So on Sunday is when I fill all the pill containers for everyone, I go on the Walmart app, I reorder prescriptions, now they’re on auto reorder. I go in to the Amazon app, I would order all of the vitamins that we ran out of. Because I had a full seven days until I had to do that again.

Lisa Woodruff:
Now I’m to the point where I have three weeks worth. And so every three weeks, I fill up three weeks worth of medications for everyone and I replace those. So The Sunday Basket starts to teach you, I mean, we have one person takes 14 pills and prescriptions. I take 10 vitamins and one prescription. I mean, a lot, a lot of bottles are constantly being done. It takes us an hour to do it every three weeks, but it used to take me an hour a week, and before that, it used to take me an untold amount of time. I was constantly buying and ordering.

Lisa Woodruff:
So The Sunday Basket, if you would say a two-minute task, we’re out of melatonin, I need to reorder that on Amazon, that becomes a Sunday task and then you’re like, okay, on Sunday, it takes me 15 minutes because I’m reordering five vitamins and I need three prescriptions and I’m filling them, and now all of a sudden, it takes longer and longer. So my Sunday basket routine is the Sunday basket, bill pay takes me a long time, doing my computer and calendar takes me a long time, doing the prescriptions takes me a long time, I also clean my bedroom and do our laundry during that time. So I start laundry, then I do the pills, then the bills, then I change laundry, then I do the calendar and this, then I change laundry.

Lisa Woodruff:
And so you start to task it and stack it all together and pretty soon, in a two or three-hour time period on Sunday, you’re getting done what used to take you hours during the week because you’ve batched it all together and then you’re going to start to create efficiencies inside of that Sunday basket time with all these physical things. So yes, those two-minute activities get pushed to Sunday to see if you could do a five two-minute activities in five minutes or once a month, and you just start to batch them and collapse them more that way.

Pete Wright:
Well, and it’s interesting that, that’s the calculus, the time math that we were talking about earlier. Where does that time gets saved?

Nikki Kinzer:
Right there.

Pete Wright:
Well, it’s in actually not doing your ordering two minutes at a time for every prescription, but it’s in saying, you know what? I have all of these related tasks, I’m going to batch them, do them all at once and make them a routine. I’m going to invest in-

Lisa Woodruff:
Yeah, it creates a huge routine.

Pete Wright:
… huge routine, something that you invest in, that’s like interest that you’re earning on the task debt that you don’t have to deal with. And that’s the magic of I think this thing.

Lisa Woodruff:
And you save so much time because you save all that time that you’re not doing, but you save the lost time of task switching, and then you save the additional time of planning. Because now that you have this extra time, you can fill that with things you want to do, projects or fun, whatever you want to fill it with. And that prioritization and that planning moves you from constantly reacting to whatever is coming towards you and purposely planning. And then as you start to plan those hours that you’d found, then it just cascades into your other hours and you start to realize, you know what? If I’d got to work half an hour earlier, I miss rush hour and I do all these things, now you’ve gained more time and more time and more time.

Lisa Woodruff:
And so organization always, always, always gives you time. That’s what organization gives you. It always ends up giving you time.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s great. That’s a great way to end.

Pete Wright:
It’s a great way to end it. Yep, right there.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. I love it. Thank you so much-

Pete Wright:
Put it on a shirt.

Nikki Kinzer:
… for being here. I love it.

Lisa Woodruff:
Thank you.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, this was so helpful.

Pete Wright:
Absolutely.

Nikki Kinzer:
Where can people find more about your products, about you, The Sunday Basket, where should they go?

Lisa Woodruff:
Sure. If you just want to learn about The Sunday Basket, just go to sundaybasket.com, it’ll tell you everything about the system we talked about. You can also search your podcast player, there is a podcast called Sunday Basket. It’s one episode, it just teaches you about The Sunday Basket, and then everything else is Organize 365, the podcast, the blog, all my social media is all Organize 365.

Nikki Kinzer:
So tell us a little bit before we end what your podcast is about.

Lisa Woodruff:
So, my podcast is about organizing, but it’s not just about how to organize your silverware drawer, it’s more about these things that we talked about here, about organization gives you time, the mindset of organization. When we talked about what happens when you skip a week on a Sunday, we talk about in order to really get organized, you have to give yourself the grace of the fact that you weren’t organized before, and it’s not your fault. It’s not that you weren’t born organized, it’s that you didn’t learn the skill of organizing. And the skill of organizing is, yes, physical organization, but it’s also this mental organization, it’s time organization, it’s prioritization. It’s living a proactive, not a reactive life.

Lisa Woodruff:
And the goal of Organize 365 is to help teach you these skills so that you have more time. And then when you’re organized and you have this time, you get to go out and do what you were uniquely created to do so that you can bless the world in that way.

Nikki Kinzer:
I love it. Thank you.

Pete Wright:
That is so lovely.

Lisa Woodruff:
Thank you.

Nikki Kinzer:
Thank you so much.

Pete Wright:
Thank you so much, Lisa Woodruff, for joining us today. And we appreciate all of you for downloading and listening to this show. We appreciate your time and your attention. On behalf of Lisa Woodruff and Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright. We’ll catch you next week right here on Taking Control, The ADHD Podcast.