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ADHD and Tracking Tasks

 

ADHD and tasks

Is your mind is swirling with ideas? Are there so many projects you would like to do, but they are all running together? Perhaps there are also lots of small but very important unrelated tasks, which never seem to be at the top of your list. You’re not sure what to do or where to keep your tasks and ideas.  You need a task list or tracking tool to capture this.

According to ADDitude Magazine, “personal productivity is not a matter of coming up with ideas for what to do. The problem lies with poor sense of time and inability to gauge how long it will take to complete a given task. Then there’s trouble with setting priorities, and tendency to get distracted and forget what we were trying to do.”  If you are ADHD and struggle with getting tasks done, you may need some strategies that help you prioritize and focus. Here is a list of some ideas that can help you get more done in your week.

 

Capture your tasks and ideas

  • Be sure to list all your tasks in one place. This can be on paper or in technology.  The list starts with just a brain dump, getting everything out of your head.  This step makes the biggest difference in clarity!
  • Paper options are a post it notes, simple notebook or TUL notebook.  Date the top of each page as a reference for yourself later.
  • There’s tech tools too! Favorites include Evernote and Trello. Not only can you capture your ideas and tasks, you can track your progress with each.
  • Choose just 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) for you complete.  Prioritizing these 3 MITs can be difficult. However, any 3 completed are 3 less tasks to do.

Tips and tasks

  • Set a timer to get started on your tasks.  Initiation, that is just getting started, can be your biggest challenge.
  • Give yourself ample time to complete a task. If you think it will take 10 minutes, give yourself 30 minutes. It may take up to 3 times longer for completion.  Give yourself some “warm up” time too.  That is about 10 minutes to get oriented. Prioritize and get into the mindset of the work at hand.
  • Find someone to assist  you with verbal processing.  Verbal processing is talking the ideas that are swirling in your head.  “Talking”  through the work is a processing tools for you. It helps you be aware of what is most important and cull out the first action step.
  • Get started with a body double. Ths is a person who is with you, virtually or in person, to just be in the moment with you. The person is just there, not giving you advice or being an expert, just in the space with you.

Set a great foundation

  • Know how important self care is and practice it. We all work much better with a good night’s sleep and good lean protein in our diet. Be sure you are at your best to get your best work done.
  • Track your tasks either each evening before you head out, each morning before you start off and weekly with a weekly planning time.

What’s most important is to choose a tool that will work for you!  If it’s paper or digital, choose what’s easier to use reguarly.

 

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Tackle Tasks One At a Time

tasks and time management

 

 

All the experts agree, it takes time for change to happen.  It can be from 30 to 60 days to create a habit or develop a routine.   So take it in baby steps.  Start with awareness of what small change will make the biggest difference.  And remember, multi-tasking sets you back.  Tackle tasks one at a time.

  • Building in extra minutes to every task.
  • Staying mindful and being in the moment on whatever the task is.
  • Creating a checklist for step by step completion
  • Finding a partner for every task to help you with accountability.
  • Using a timer to get you started and get you finished on your task.
  • Setting out a sign that signals a productivity period to keep unwanted distractions away.
  • Establishing a power period twice a day to work undistracted on one very important task
  • Linking one new task to an established task

What do you do to tackle one task at a time?

Holiday time line

It here already! The holiday fun has started!  With a myriad of activities, events, and tasks, the best way to approach the holidays is with a holiday time line.  Start with a family meeting to talk about all the special parts of the holiday season.  What makes the holiday special for each family member? Make a list of the most important part of the the holidays for each person.  Now you know what your goals are for the season. 

Using a big month at a glance calendar, pencil in all the dates from your family meeting.  These are the items to work around as you create your holiday time line. 

Add the tasks and times to get the “other stuff” complete. 

Gift giving: dates for purchases completed,  wrapping, mailing.   With a list, this can be completed before December 15. 

Tree trimming: dates for setting up the tree, outdoor lights,  indoor decor.  With organization and help, this can be completed by December 8.

Holiday events: dates for cookie exchange, parties, family gatherings.  Review your calendar each day to be sure what you need for each event.  Work back two days to prepare for each event.

All of this together means a less stressed holiday!  You enjoy what is most important by pacing the actvities.    How does your holiday time line work?