Getting Things Done with ADHD
Adult ADHD means sometimes you can’t play by the rules. We aren’t people who fit into convenient categories…especially when it comes to getting things done with ADHD.
Here’s what I mean. Last week I was interviewed for an article on helpful tips for getting things done with ADHD. Sounded simple enough.
Except that I couldn’t answer the interviewer’s questions. I knew the answers, but I couldn’t answer the way she wanted me to.
Her first question was: What’s the biggest challenge you face in getting things done with ADHD?
My biggest challenge? I couldn’t answer the question because with ADD/ADHD, there isn’t one biggest challenge to getting things done. It depends on a whole bunch of variables, like…
- What I’m trying to do. If I’m trying to do something hard or boring I’ll have lots of challenges because My Toddler Brain will take control, and I’ll be more likely to procrastinate. Internal whining and avoiding. “Me no wanna do it” is not a trait I’m proud of. And, though I’m so much better about this than I used to be, it can still get in my way. Shiny, interesting distractions are the hardest to avoid.
- How well my brain is working that day (or hour or minute). If I’m tired, or hungry, or upset, or having an “ADHD Day,” I’ll have lots of challenges. However, if it’s a day where I’ve taken good care of my brain challenges will be fewer.
- What else is going on around me. If my phone is zinging text messages or the TV is on or I’m involved in a good book, it will be harder for me to control my ADHD to get things done. Therefore, I’ve got to corral those distractions to be the boss of my easily distracted brain.
The interviewer’s next question was: What’s your favorite tip for getting things done?
Again, I couldn’t play by the rules. You see, I can’t pick just one tip for getting things done with ADHD. It depends on my current challenge and how well I’m focusing at the moment.
I’ve learned to use different strategies and tricks to stay focused and productive. Like the one biggest challenge question, my favorite tip depends on how ADHD I’m feeling at the moment and what’s going on around me, as well as what I’m trying to do.
The Reality of Getting Things Done with ADHD
Don’t expect to have only one challenge or one solution. ADHD is wildly inconsistent. Just like you can’t build a house with just a hammer, you can’t outsmart ADHD with just one challenge or solution.
Expand your awareness of your variety of challenges. Fill up your toolbox with a variety of tools for different situations. Those are my best tips for getting things done with ADHD.