ADHD and Procrastination

If you have ADHD, procrastination can be a big problem. It's often hard to get started on tasks, and once you start, it's easy to get sidetracked and push things off until later. This can make it difficult to get things done in a timely manner, which can lead to frustration and feelings of overwhelm. To add to the emotional conflict, you know you can get things done. Sometimes things just get stuck for you.

There are a few things you can do to combat procrastination if you have ADHD. First, try time blocking. This means setting aside specific periods of time to work on certain tasks. For example, you might block off an hour in the morning to work on email, and then two hours in the afternoon to work on a project. This can help you focus and stay on track. It is very hard for the ADHD brain to initiate something if it is not clear exactly what it is and when it is to be done. When you do your time blocking, make sure to break down tasks with multiple components but don't get bogged down in the detail when you do your time blocking. Just get the chunks of time in the immediate future planned out ahead of time. If you can plan the chunks of time at the same time every week or even better, every day, the routine will help cue your brain to do the associated task. 

Second, try to get your body moving. Exercise can help increase dopamine levels in the brain, which can help with focus and concentration. Even a 10-minute walk can make a difference.

Third, try using a body double. Plan with a friend or use an online matching service to work on the thing in question at the same time as they work on their thing.

Fourth, try breaking the task into smaller pieces. If the thought of completing the whole task is overwhelming, break it down into smaller steps that you can complete. For example, if you're procrastinating on cleaning your house, start with one room or one small area. Completing small tasks can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and make the larger task seem more manageable.

Finally, try setting a time limit for yourself. Tell yourself that you only have to work on the task for 10 minutes, and then see how you feel after that. Often, once you get started, you'll find that you can keep going for longer than 10 minutes. Setting a conservative time limit can help you get over the initial hurdle of starting.

Procrastination can be a difficult thing to overcome, but it's possible with some effort and planning. Your ADHD coach can be a great help here, particularly in getting that time blocking sorted out initially. Try these tips and see what works for you.