My Secret Sauce to Getting Things Done with Adult ADHD

by | Apr 26, 2018 | ADHD Productivity | 2 comments

getting things done with adult adhdGetting things done with adult ADHD gets easier when you’re enthusiastic and have a sparkle in your eye. When life is inspiring and fun.

But, how do you love life when you’re behind, distracted, and overwhelmed? Looking for keys and misplaced papers takes a lot of time. Pushing deadlines and running late causes lots of stress.

You’ve gotta keep your nose to the grindstone.

I often see this thinking with new ADHD coaching clients. Back in the day, when I wasn’t so good at managing my ADHD, I lived like this myself.

This Made Getting Things Done with Adult ADHD Impossible

Swamped with unfinished tasks and wasted time, I decided I didn’t have time to enjoy life.

So, I proceeded to cut the fun and interesting things out of life.

You’ll be surprised to know what happened as I pushed my nose closer and closer to the grindstone. It wasn’t at all what I expected, that’s for sure!

I assumed that the more I focused on work the more work I’d get done. Seems logical, right? Turns out, ADD/ADHD doesn’t work that way at all.

The reality? I got less done. It was harder to focus. I spent even more hours blankly staring at my computer trying to avoid distractions.

Who’d a thought!

More time to focus on getting things done with adult ADHD didn’t equal getting things  done with ADHD.

Getting Things Done with ADHD Means Making Time for Fun

I learned a valuable lesson. To get stuff done, ADHD adults need more than time. We need inspiration and fun. Life needs to be interesting.

Yet, I’m willing to wager that you’re doing the exact opposite. When I ask my ADHD Success Club members and private clients what they do for fun, most say they don’t have time for fun. They have a long list of abandoned hobbies.

(The ADHD Success Club is my comprehensive group coaching program for adults. It’s awesome. We’re changing lives.)

What’s even sadder than thinking they don’t have time for fun is they think they don’t deserve to have fun.

95% of every ADHD adult I’ve spoken to over the years takes the “eat your Brussel sprouts first” approach to life. Work before play. Where does that leave you if you never finish your work?

Sure they may binge watch Netflix or spend hours scrolling through Facebook. But it’s mindless. Energy draining. Definitely not inspiring or fun.

Here’s what I want you to learn from me today. Living a Totally Cool ADHD Life demands inspiration. Requires fun.

A death march of chores and mind-numbing distractions won’t do the trick. Without cool ideas to think about and things to look forward to you’ll be less motivated to get stuff done. ADHD works like that.

I challenge you to bring fun and inspiration back into your life. This doesn’t have to be grand or expensive.

Learn something new. Volunteer somewhere cool. Expose yourself to inspiring ideas. Focusing on fun is the secret sauce to getting more things done with adult ADHD.


  1. Lisa

    Great reminder! I canceled art class and choir this week because I had too much work….but i bet I would have got more done in less time if I had taken time for the things I love. The best book I have found about putting fun in your schedule first is The Now Habit by Dr. Neil Fiore. He talks about something called The Unschedule that worked great when I first tried it. I’m going to revisit it!

    • Dana Rayburn

      Lisa, thank you for the book recommendation! And, get yourself back to choir and your art class. Your brain demands it. Warmly, Dana


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