I’m also a perfectionist with ADHD and some compulsive tendencies. Similar to others, if I can identify the smaller steps and just take one smaller step, I can usually get a lot done. However, I tend to overthink and get overwhelmed, and I do start building up how great the final result has to be, to the point where I’m paralyzed.
When I’m successful, I catch myself imagining the amazing final result, stop, and circle back to write out the smaller steps and just tackle the first one. If I’m not sure which step to start with, really I can just pick one and see how it goes.
If I can acknowledge that I’m avoiding working on something, I can also usually find a way to trick myself into starting on it. Also, it makes a big difference if someone else is holding me accountable, so I’ll try to see if I can get someone else to hold me accountable for getting it done, or I’ll try to find a compelling reason why I have to do it now, not later.
At 36 years old, I still procrastinate on a regular basis, but less and to a lesser degree than I used to. I try to remind myself that I need time to try things out, make mistakes, and get feedback from others, so I don’t have as much time as I think.
Ultimately, I procrastinate the most when I feel like I can’t possibly do the thing I need to do, or do it well. In those cases, if I can question why I don’t feel like I can do it or do a good job, I have a better chance of getting started. But, sometimes, it’s still just going to be me working on something at the last minute—at least I can still get it done, and do a good job!