I’m often asked what one can do to get un-stuck and to get motivated. There are hundreds of books out on motivation and procrastination and I’m sure there are hundreds of great tips and suggestions, as well. But I think we sometimes forget to dig a bit deeper and really ask ourselves what is holding us back, why and what we can do about it.
Obviously, having ADHD means the problems above are typically part of your every day struggles. Those symptoms are hallmarks of having ADHD. We can discuss the way our brain works to pick up some clues, but today, I’d like to take a different approach.
When something is stopping you dead in your tracks, whether it’s a pile of papers sitting on your desk needing to be filed, bills needing to be paid, laundry to be washed, yards needing to be weeded, ask yourself this:
- What is preventing me from jumping in and doing these things?
- Why am I avoiding these tasks/chores?
- What can I do to move forward?
Here are some common reasons why people with ADHD get stuck in Procrastinator’s Hell:
- Feeling overwhelmed: the piles look 20 feet high.
- Not knowing where to start.
- Not having the proper tools/equipment to get the job done.
- Fear of getting things done; fear of not getting things done.
- Lack of time (often, perceived time).
What can you do?
I’m a big proponent of using mind games. We all know the normal tricks for getting things done when you have ADHD:
– Using your planner and writing in your chores
– Using a timer to keep you on track
– Rewarding yourself for any and all successes
But what about mind games? Actually, they aren’t mind games; they’re simply a new way of looking at your problems and getting through them. Here’s a few:
Looking back at my list of WHAT, WHY and WHAT CAN BE DONE, analyze them all carefully:
- Identify what the problem is (no clean clothes)
- Ask yourself why that is a problem (avoided doing laundry because too tired, too busy, too boring and often, over-estimating the time needed to accomplish it)
- Decide what you can do about it (put clean clothes away to free up baskets for dirty laundry- yes, I know you keep clean clothes in those baskets!)
And here’s where the mind games come in:
You can choose not to do the laundry and wear dirty clothes. You can choose to not pay bills and pay finance fees. You can choose to leave dirty dishes out on the counter and feel disgusted with yourself every morning that you have to face the mess.
If you’ve read about ADHD, you have lots of tools in your toolbox on how to manage the problems above. But yet, there’s still something missing, and that’s the internal dialogue:
If I CHOOSE to leave the mess, the piles, the bills, HOW does that make me feel? What are the consequences of this?
If I CHOOSE to take action and get these things done, HOW will that make me feel?
You can choose how you wish to feel.
If you’ve made the choice to take action, you can then grab the tools you know you’ll need: make sure you set aside time for the chore, find ways to make it as pain free as possible, etc. Lots of these ideas and tips are in my book, “Survival Tips for Women with ADHD.”
Now that you’ve made the decision to feel GOOD instead of BAD, join me online at my ADD Action Team, where we work together as teammates to get things DONE. This month, we’re working on de-cluttering the yard, tool shed, basement and storage areas and your car. But you’re free to choose whatever project is making YOU unhappy about yourself.
Are you ready to move forward? Or not?
Join me today at the ADD Action Team and we will work together to get you out of your rut. And maybe your mood will begin to soar!