Ask people with ADHD how to get stuff done and you will be excited to learn that there are many ways to be productive. These can be less traditional, more customized solutions to getting started and implementing project management. Here are a few possibilities that work for my clients.
Strategies for getting started
- Incorporate your time for getting started into your work time block. Set a timer for 15 minutes to get started. In 15 minutes you can find the materials you need and transition to the tasks required. It is best to allocate longer time blocks for work to be able to incorporate getting started and move into deep thinking.
- Body doubling is partnering with another person who is doing work in the same space but not necessarily on the same topic. You discuss what you want to accomplish, set a timer and get started working. You can find a body double in your office or on FocusMate.
- Set a meeting with your team to begin a task or project. Before the end of the meeting, start the first step. Beginning during the meeting is a lot like starting homework during class time in school.
- Match your energy to your project. Choose the right time to do the highest priority work. Use your time best with this strategy.
- Create a buffer time. Lower your stress with extra time. Allocate transition time in your schedule to transition. Schedule three times the amount of time blocks to complete a project. A buffer day is helpful for wrapping up loose ends.
Strategies for a task list
- Use a new surface for writing reminders, like a bathroom mirror or dry-erase board. This unique list keeps your list actionable and easy to see.
- No matter whether it is digital or paper, breaking your tasks into micro-steps makes it easier to get stuff done. That is when you take any task or project and write it out step by step. If it is a task or project that is repeated regularly, make a template to follow each time.
- Work in intervals to maximize your productivity on a task. Think of the Pomodoro Method with intervals of work and reset. You work for a duration you set (typical 45 minutes) and then reset (typically for 15 minutes). If you exercise, you are already skilled at this method from interval work like HIIT or running.
- Externalize your getting started with apps. Automation helps you start a task with knowing what is next. Give yourself a heads up by assigning a date and time block for that task. This removes make a decision. A project management app also integrates the materials you need with built-in organization.
Struggling? Try one of these strategies. Once you implement, track your progress and see how your productivity increases.