Finish the Projects You Start, Without ADD/ADHD Distractions

Juggling too many projects and can't seem to complete them all (or any)? Avoid stress -- and clutter -- try our attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) guide to crossing off every task on your to-do list.

Tie the Bow © istockphoto/gaffera

Are you busy morning till night, and don’t have much to show for it? If so, make “tie the bow” your mantra. You are not finished wrapping a package until you tie the bow, and you aren’t done with a task until you’ve completed it, down to the last step. Mail the bill you just paid, don’t leave it on the kitchen counter. Fold and put away the laundry, don’t leave it in the basket.

Take note of each task you work on during the day and note your excuses for not tying the bow. Believe me, I know all of them. Here is how I dealt with five common ones:

Don’t have time to finish my project. If you can’t “tie the bow” because you ran out of time, add 15 minutes to your morning routine before leaving for work. To stay organized and keep track of time on the job, add in the same 15 minutes to finish up last-minute assignments and to gather items you will need to take home.

Too tired to finish my project. You just want to sit down (or lie down). Figure out ways to get to bed on time -- or to get a better night’s sleep. Go over your schedule: You may be overbooked, so you need to cut back to save energy for more important tasks.

Don’t feel like finishing my project. If you are short on motivation, schedule a task to be done when you have more energy. For example, I left my paper filing to do at the end of the day. The result? A roomful of clutter. When I switched the task to the morning, I filed my papers consistently, and my house was less messy.

Distractions keep me from finishing my project. Ignore interruptions until a task is completed. When your partner makes a non-urgent request, say, “I’m in the middle of something right now, maybe later.”

Need a better system to finish my project. If a system doesn’t work, try a new one. If you are late in paying bills, or forget them, designate two nights each month -- the 1st and 15th -- to tie the bow. Keep everything you need in a basket: the unpaid bills, checkbook, pen, return-address stickers, and a roll of stamps. Walk the bills to the mailbox. And look, you've finished a project!

Have you been late to one too many important dates? Download your free digital Better Time Management with Adult ADHD, and learn how to get things done before the deadline. Plus, receive more e-mail tips for ADHD adults.

We never share e-mail addresses.


This article appears in the Spring issue of ADDitude.
SUBSCRIBE TODAY to ensure you don't miss a single issue.


What strategies work to keep you on task? Share your tips in the ADHD Adults support group on ADDConnect.


 

What do you think of this article? Share your comments on www.ADDConnect.com, ADDitude's community site. Check out the new ADHD Medication User Reviews and the ADHD Adults Support Group. Your fellow ADDers want to hear from you!

Privacy
 
Copyright © 1998 - 2013 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 39 W. 37th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10018