Make the Most of Every Day for those with ADHD
Organizing and productivity tips are everywhere online, on our devices, and in articles. Having a productive, meaningful and balanced day can be difficult to accomplish. Choosing strategies and executing actions can be frustrating because of interruptions. Here are ways you can break through to feel accomplished at the end of the day.
Move from overwhelmed to in charge
- It is easy to over plan and be overly optimistic about what can be accomplished in a day. Overplanning by packing every time block can be a cycle with no rewards. Start your planning with time blocks and allow for overflow options and time for last-minute changes. Overflow options include an end-of-day wrap-up section or designating Friday as a catch-up day.
- Plan self-care every day. That time gives you the energy to be your most productive the rest of the day. That might be setting a boundary on starting and ending your day. A lunchtime walk or lunch with a friend can energize you.
- Align your plan with your colleagues and boss through collaboration. When priorities are not aligned, or when others plan poorly, you have more interruptions to your day. A weekly project meeting and collaboration tools help you stay in charge of your day.
- Know that your task list relates to the big picture and the meaning of your work. Reframing and destressing your task list, connecting to the reason behind each step, helps you feel like a contributor instead of a worker bee.
Use your calendar as your road map
- Set up time blocks that work best for you. A time block can be 90 minutes or longer depending on how long you allocate and how you work best.
- Keep your calendar where you can see it to be your guide daily. Set up a hybrid system with your calendar and your devices if an auditory reminder will keep you on track. Check your calendar routinely throughout the day to know what is next and what is planned for tomorrow.
- Use transition time wisely. You may decide that you want fewer transitions in your day and assign themes to the day. That is when you assign specific related tasks to a specific day.
- Meetings can be a valuable time to collaborate with productive strategies. Include time blocks to prepare, capture and complete tasks from meetings. Transition between meetings with a prep time to be prepared to contribute. Takes notes and add information to your collaboration tools during your meeting. End the meeting with a wrap-up of actions and assignments.
Minimize distractions that take time away from being productive
- Be aware of your devices and the impact they have. Use airplane mode for your devices during time blocks. A five-minute scroll can turn into extended time away from work.
- Be intentional about your use of social media. Determine when and how you will be online during the day.
- Internet blockers help you stay on track. RescueTime assesses how much time you are being productive and on task.
- For internal distractions, think about online body double help. For a virtual focused time, join Focusmate for virtual coworking.
- Keep a specific task list, prioritized in the morning or night before, on your desk to remind you of your priorities for the day.
Get more done in less time
- We all have a chronotype, where we are at our peak productivity time. Get more done by matching your best work time to the task requirements.
- Batching your work helps you ramp up your productivity. Group similar activities together, such as bill paying, phone calls, email responses, or errands, to be more efficient.
- Single task to get more done. Focus on one thing at a time to completion.
- Use checklists to know all the steps in a process. This removes decision-making, giving you more time and taking less energy to complete a task or project.
- Add routines to your week. Routines can be for both home and work, giving you the time pre-set and automated to get stuff done. Routines keep us happy and healthy.
Use lists wisely
- Post-it notes, notebooks, and other writing devices are great to capture thoughts. Take this to the next step by consolidating your list on paper or in an easy-to-use app. The magic of a brain dump is that it clears your mind. The magic of consolidating is that you have a spot for all the tasks in one place.
- Process and prioritize your list each day. You can be very optimistic about what you can accomplish. Specify the three Most Important Tasks (MITs) each day. Add three bonus MITs just in case you can accomplish more. Focus on these to feel accomplished at the end of the day. Make your MITs visual with a list on your desk.
- Hold your own Weekly Planning meeting each with your list and your planner. Slot in tasks into time blocks that work with your energy and the task requirements.
There are many steps to have a productive day. Take away one of these strategies and work toward integration into your day.
I love all of these terrific ideas! I have had great luck with body doubling… it can be amazing how helpful it is to have someone else sitting there (or standing there) working too. It does help keep you on task!
That strategy has proven itself so many times! I am glad you are finding that useful!