Procrastination can be a significant challenge for individuals with ADHD, but there are strategies and tips that can help you manage it more effectively. Keep in mind that what works best can vary from person to person, so it may take some trial and error to find the strategies that work best for you. Here are 5 tools to help you stop procrastinating.
How Seriously Do You Procrastinate?
Do you know what kind of a procrastinator you are? Have you thought about what specifically causes you to put things off? It’s helpful to know and understand what’s behind your procrastination. Check out this quiz from the ADDitude Magazine. You will be enlightened about yourself, your tendencies, your reasoning behind your procrastination, and will be better equipped to stop procrastinating.
Link: Procrastinate Quiz
Large tasks can be overwhelming and lead to procrastination. So break tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This makes the task feel less daunting and helps you focus on one thing at a time. This Goblin Tools is an amazing task manager that helps you break any task into smaller steps. Give it a try! We promise you will love it.
Link: Magic ToDo
Calendar or Planner
If you have a project that you need to get started on, block off time and schedule this as an event. However, it’s very important that you find the time of day when you are able to focus best and then schedule the tasks that need your most concentration at the times of the day when you are able to focus best. If you are able to focus best before 3:00pm, then aim to schedule all meetings in the morning or at least before early afternoon hours when you are able to focus best. If you know that you struggle with staying focused in the morning, then don’t try to work on a task that needs your focus in the morning or you may find yourself procrastinating. No sense in fighting the time you work best…instead embrace it! Here is a link to a blog post with some of our personal favorite tips for choosing your calendar or planner.
Set a timer for a specific amount of time (e.g., 25 minutes) and work on a task until the timer goes off. Take a short break, then repeat. This technique is called the Pomodoro Technique, and can help you stay focused and break tasks into manageable chunks. This also helps you to START…and not keep procrastinating beginning a task.
Link: Pomodoro Timer
Identify common distractions in your environment that keep you from starting or finishing a task. This may involve turning off notifications on your devices, creating a clutter-free workspace, or using website blockers to limit access to distracting websites. Website blockers can be a huge help in actually starting a project. It can be easy to get sidetracked when you get onto your computer to start a project. Check out the links below to help you procrastinate no more.
…A Note About the Importance of the Right Environment…
In addition to these 5 tools to help you stop procrastinating, the right environment is so important when it comes to beginning a project. Your environment, if it is “right”, will help you to take a stab at that task you are tempted to avoid. What helps you to focus? Think of your five senses and adjust your environment accordingly. Do you need to adjust your lighting or begin this project in a specific room with a specific view? What about the right drink or snack to get you going? Do you need to turn on your diffuser or light a candle? Are your slippers making you too relaxed? Should you put on real shoes? Okay…you must get it by now…here are some other ideas for checking-in with your environment.
Add in some background noise:
Do you hear every sound and is every noise a distraction? Channel that brain power to focus your energy by putting on some background noise. It may be music, TV, a podcast, audible, or just a fan. Try this the next time you need to get a task completed. Background noise will help you to focus and concentrate on the present task.
Body doubling for the win:
Ask a friend or family member to engage in a quiet activity, like reading, paperwork, or email, near you while you are starting and working on your task. This can be a real game changer! In organizing, we call this technique body doubling, and use it to help clients stay grounded and focused on tasks they might otherwise avoid. It’s really hard to avoid starting a project when you have someone sitting with you quietly to support you so that you can begin this project. You will be surprised at how much this helps. After all, no one likes to feel like they are all alone doing a dull task while everyone else is having fun.
Say “yes” to the need to move:
Why fight it? If you need to move, work with it! Have you tried silly putty or a fidget toy? Here are some great fidget toys you can check out. There are some really fun fidget toys out there that will help you to stay focused. Try playing with one the next time you need to sit, stay focused, and pay attention. They are the best thing ever!
Head over to our Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook to share which of is your favorite of these 5 tools to help you stop procrastinating. We love to hear from you!