Get Your Priorities Straight
Creating a priority list is a great way to stay focused on your most important goals. Learn how to schedule tasks, set reminders, and get organized with four easy tips.
Reviewed on April 29, 2019
Do you have a priority list? I certainly do. Think of your priority list as the compass that keeps you focused on your most important goals. When you have this guide, living successfully with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) becomes easier.
Most adults with ADHD bash their way through life with no thought to what’s important. And when some of them write down their priorities, they wind up ignoring the list or put it somewhere clever, never to be seen again.
If you want to stop living at the whim of your ADHD, take your priorities seriously. But how do you use the list each day as you’re bombarded with tasks, requests, and distractions? How can your list help you stay the course? Here are some tips.
Priority List How-To’s
1. When new requests, ideas, and tasks come your way, use the list to do a quick mental check of where they fall in your priorities. If a task isn’t a high-priority item, schedule it for a later time. That doesn’t mean that you will never do it. It means you shouldn’t get the task done before your more important items. And that means you need to get good at scheduling your tasks.
2. For your priority list to work, look at it often. I suggest you set a reminder to look through your list first thing in the morning — before you open your e-mail, before you start responding to the priorities of other people.
3. Set a reminder to review your list of priorities at least once a week to make sure it still rings true. Scheduling a weekly planning session is essential to making sure your priorities are aligned with your goals. This planning session doesn’t have to be long and tedious. Make it ADHD-friendly, a quick cruise through your goals and priorities.
4. Make sure that the ADHD self-care habits that give your brain fuel and ability to focus are high on your list. Ignoring them is easy and risky. You must take care of your brain for it to take care of you.
Accept that using your priority list won’t be easy to do, especially if you’re just learning to manage your ADHD. You will probably forget to look at the list. You will probably continue to misplace it. You will get distracted. But the more you work at strengthening your priority muscles, the easier it will become to meet your most important goals.