ADHD and Time Management: Talk Yourself to Better Productivity

Ditching personal put-downs in favor of positive conversations with themselves will help attention deficit adults build confidence -- and accomplish more tasks.

Put-Downs Get You Down

ADDitude Magazine

We ADHD adults loathe deadlines. And as if meeting a deadline isn’t stressful enough, we up the “stress ante” by lambasting ourselves for past screw-ups. Part of what happens is that we are bombarded with competing thoughts ricocheting around in our conscious and unconscious minds. With all that yak-yak-yak going on, it's no wonder we can’t get anything done.

Consider the following examples of self-talk about deadlines and think about the conversations you have with yourself. Are they positive, or do you put yourself down?

  • “I promise myself that I won’t get out of this chair until I have written three pages -- even if it kills me!”
  • “God, I feel antsy. I’d love to go outside, but since I waited too long to get started -- as usual -- I can’t take a break.”
  • “Don’t even think about it, you lazy bum -- you better learn to discipline yourself!”
  • “I just can’t focus -- my mind is wandering all over the place. I will never get this done!”
  • “Everybody was right -- I never plan anything. Why can’t I just apply myself?”

Next: Go Easy on Yourself

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