16 Tips for ADD/ADHD Procrastinators

By Bob Seay - ADD Professional

  1. Understand why you are Procrastinating!
    Are you a perfectionist? Are you of raid of success? Are you just simply overwhelmed and don't know where to begin?
  2. Overcome Inertia
    The law of Inertia - a body at rest will remain at rest until a force acts upon it - applies to actions too. Getting started is the hardest part. Once you get involved in the project you're half way there. Inertia can work in your favour as well: A body in motion will remain in motion until something acts against it.
  3. Establish Clear Goals
    Think about what you want and what needs to be done. Be specific and realistic. How much do you went to accomplish today.
  4. Plan a time table for each step of the Process
    ADD/ADHD people have an inaccurate sense of time. We tend to not notice how much time has passed during something we are involved in, and we tend to think time has completely stopped when we are stuck in a situation where we have no alternatives. Before you start a project, estimate how much time should be spent on each step. Set an alarm to check your progress against time and to remind you that it is time to shift gears to the next task.
  5. Allow Plenty of Time
    Estimate the amount of time you think it will take to complete a task, then double it.
  6. Divide larger tasks into smaller chunks
    A project that is estimated to take ten (10) hours can easily seem overwhelming. Also, the tendency with a large project like that is to put it off, until you have enough time to do the entire thing in one shot. Waiting for a ten (10) hour stretch that is totally free is probably not very realistic. However, finding time for ten (10) one (1) hour sessions is probably not that hard, work only one (1) particular step of the project, complete it, and put it aside until you have more time.
  7. The Five Minute Method
    Say "I am going to work on this for 5 minutes" then do it. At the end of five (5) minutes, decide whether you want to continue or if you want to stop. If you want to continue then say "I am going to work on this for five (5) minutes". It's surprising how quickly those five (5) minutes can add up.
  8. Make a Molehill out of a Mountain
    As soon as you receive a big assignment, set aside a little time each day to work on it. By dividing the task and stretching it out over time, you automatically make it less overwhelming.
  9. Use the Time you have
    Remember - even a few minutes is enough time to accomplish some things - returning phone calls, answering a couple of emails, etc.
  10. Develop Productive Avoidance Mechanisms
    If you're going to put something off, you might as well do it in a way that helps you. Rather then dragging yourself into the most pressing task facing you, skip it and go to the second most important task. At least something gets done that way.
  11. Start at a point that makes sense to you
    You don't have to start every project at the beginning. Start in the middle, start at the end - start anywhere you have to - but get started! If the first step is the hardest and if the other steps don't rely on the first step then start with another step instead.
  12. Keep a Bare Work area
    Cut out on distractions. Remember - out of sight - out of mind.
  13. Post Deadlines in Prominent Place
    Hang dry erase boards on the well across from your desk. Write projects and deadlines in big red letters.
  14. Eliminate unnecessary Steps
    Don't make the task more difficult than it really is. Often, eliminating extra works that is not required, or deciding what is essential to a project will cut an overwhelming task down to a more manageable size.
  15. Live the OHIO Principal
    When mail or other paper work comes into your life, Only Handle It Once. File it, trash it or respond to it, but only do it once. It is a little known fact, but if they are left unattended, papers have a way of breeding and multiplying. No one has ever witnessed this, but we have all seen the results.
  16. Use Positive Self Talk
    Use your words to encourage your work, and not to justify your actions or to defeat yourself. Try things like, "The sooner I am finished, the sooner I am free".