Yes, ADHD procrastination causes clutter and stress and conflict. It ruins your reputation. Trashes your self respect. Life is hard when you do anything and everything but what you’re supposed to do.
This week in the ADHD Success Club, we’re focusing on procrastination. The different types and my favorite tricks for busting through. That’s what got me thinking about today’s blog.
I want you to know how to use procrastination to your advantage.
I call it Strategic Procrastination.
Using Strategic ADHD Procrastination
Strategic procrastination is built on two things:
- Using the power of deadlines, and
- Taking tiny next steps.
Let’s start with harnessing the power of deadlines.
You know how you can procrastinate until the cows come home on something? No energy or excitement. Can’t get it done. Until the deadline looms. Then, suddenly, you leap into action.
Strategic ADHD procrastination wisely uses the power of deadlines.
You’ve known your mother-in law-is visiting for weeks but it’s not until the day she arrives that you clear out the guest room. The airplane is leaving in the morning but you can’t start packing until the night before.
There is an ADHD reason for this. Real deadlines are stimulating. They excite your brain chemistry. A real deadline is like taking a perfect dose of ADHD medication.
Here’s where our ADHD get’s us in trouble. We don’t plan to do the work at the last minute. We lie to ourselves that we’ll finish our projects and tasks ahead of time. But we never do. We need those deadlines for focus and energy. So, let’s plan to use them!
To harness the power of deadlines for Strategic ADHD Procrastination you need to:
- Leave a buffer of time in your schedule before the deadline. Plan for that last minute boost of energy you’ll get. Embrace that you’ll need space at the last minute.
- Guard your buffer. No going out with friends the night before a vacation. No attending a meeting the day before your project is due. If something happens to erase your deadline buffer – your extra time – you’re sunk.
Here’s the other important piece to Strategic ADHD Procrastination. Spending tiny bits of time to do tiny tasks on the project before the deadline.
Here’s how I use this in my world…
My deadline to deliver my written newsletter to Theresa, my assistant, is Wednesday morning. I’ve learned that spending a little bit of time on ADHD Success before Wednesday’s deadline makes everything easier. I have time to mull over ideas. Decide on the week’s topic and write a rough draft.
Doing a bit ahead of time means by Wednesday morning, during my buffer time, I’ve gotten a head start. I’m editing and refining instead of panicking. My life is more planned and peaceful. I think you get a better blog, too.
There is an ADHD trick to getting started ahead of time. You have to think in next tiny steps.
Tiny actions that don’t take time and aren’t worth procrastinating over. Do as many of those small steps as you can BEFORE your procrastination buffer time. No brainer steps. Open a document. Get out the suitcase. Make sure the guest room sheets are clean.
To use Strategic ADHD Procrastination get as many little steps done ahead of time as you can. Then use the time buffer you’ve cleared in your calendar for the final push.
I encourage you to give Strategic ADHD Procrastination a try. It’s made a world of difference for me. Less stress spent in last minute panics. More peace and calm. And that, my friend, is the meaning of ADHD Success.