FIRST, A STATUS REPORT: I’m proud to say my bathrobe is still hidden away in my closet behind a closed door. It is only allowed out at times when I can succumb to my ADHD Productivity Kryptonite.
And trust me, when I slip it on, I surrender to the comfort, warmth and ahhhhhh. Bliss. (Confused why I’m sharing about my bathrobe? – Click here to discover My ADHD’s Productivity Kryptonite.)
Many of you wrote in and shared your own objects of emotional support / ADHD Productivity Kryptonite – sweatpants, your recliner or sofa, and a big one – the smartphone and all its fancy, time-consuming apps!
Thank you! It’s fantastic to know I’m not the only one. And wonderful to hear how many of you recognized the things that were standing in your way of getting things done.
Now this week, we are going to flip it over and talk about how we can fine tune our productivity. Because let’s face it, if we can get more done, we just might have more time to indulge in the relaxation. The ahhhh. The bliss.
(Yes, I miss my bathrobe.)
One of the things I’ve discovered over the years is that how our days unfold can either strangle or boost our ability to get stuff done. If we pay attention to what we need and when we’re most productive, and then use that information to design our days, it can make a huge difference.
There are simple things we can do to help us have a productive day. We’re not looking for perfection. But we do want to be consistent…consistently building consistency!
5 Crucial Things to Fine Tune Your Productivity
- Notice what influences your ability to get stuff done. When is your energy and focus at its best to complete certain tasks? Are you better able to sit down and focus first thing in the morning or do you need to get out the jitters with movement and activity before you can settle down? What do you need for your brain to rise to certain challenges – music, absolute quiet, movement? What about deadlines – do they help you get motivated to start and complete that task?
- Be realistic about when you can and will do things. It’s important to know when you can and can’t do something. This includes not only the time of day, but what’s going on during that day and in your mind and body. What is an ‘I just can’t’ day versus an ‘oh yeah, I can!’ one? If you expect to do things when you can’t, you will have to force yourself. You may be able to do that for a bit, but it won’t be sustainable. Determine what is realistic for you.
- Start your day with a plan. Keep it small and realistic. Look at your calendar, get a sense of your mind and body, and determine what 2 or 3 things MUST get done that day. And commit to getting those things done. (See below for a great resource to help!)
- Find a productivity partner. Call it a Body Double or a ‘Get it Done Buddy’ or Accountability Partner. Whatever you call it, it’s intentionally joining with at least one other person to get stuff done. With ADHD, we often are more focused when we can take advantage of other people’s focus or energy. You can do this by working together with someone on a project or simply working near someone. Many clients go to coffee shops or workshare spaces to be near others. It’s like you’re in a productivity bubble, everyone focused on their own tasks and getting things done.
- Take care of your brain. Take your medication, eat healthy ADHD-friendly foods, sleep, hydrate, exercise. Take care of your brain and it will take care of you! ADHD is a brain-based condition. Pushing harder to be productive without taking action to help your brain work better doesn’t work. Full stop.
Remember: when we are more productive when we need to be, it allows us more time to sink into relaxation, play around, and wear our bathrobes!
Resources to help with your productivity:
- Many of my clients LOVE the Planner Pad to help them keep track of what they have to do each day. And you can even add in these fun markers or special sticky notes to keep things fresh, fun, and motivating.
- Kick Some ADHD podcast: Episode 109: Accountability: the ADHD Power Tool
- Kick Some ADHD podcast: Ep. 102: When Your Day Falls Off the Rails
- Kick Some ADHD podcast: Ep. 84: Designing a Productive Day
- Dana’s blog: ADHD’s Productivity Kryptonite
- Dana’s blog: Let’s Talk Multitasking with ADHD