Do you feel overwhelmed and lost when it comes to productivity? You’re not alone. ADHD can make accomplishing tasks feel impossible. But don’t worry, there are ways to work with your ADHD instead of against it. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for productivity that can help you get started!
The differences between ADHD and laziness
There is a common misconception that ADHD and laziness are one and the same. However, ADHD is a very real disability that affects millions of people worldwide. Those with ADHD are not lazy; rather, they often have trouble focusing and may be easily distracted.
* For anyone here that isn’t quite familiar with the concept of ADHD, it’s not about a lack of attention; it’s about being unable to filter what requires attention NOW vs later. Since we can’t differentiate, we give attention to all the things.
ADHD can make it difficult to complete tasks, even if the individual is highly motivated. It is important to remember that ADHD is not simply an excuse for someone to be lazy.
How to start acting when you have ADHD
ADHD can be a difficult condition to live with, but there are things you can do to make your life easier. One of the most important things is to keep a minimum of organization in your life, in order to keep track of tasks and avoid feeling overwhelmed. ADHD can also make it hard to focus, so it’s important to find ways to help yourself stay on track.
While I don’t agree with that specific tip for myself (there will be a blog post about that soon), many people with ADHD like to set a timer for tasks or break up large projects into smaller goals.
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i saw it. i needed it. i got it.
Additionally, ADHD can sometimes lead to impulsive behavior. If this is a problem for you, it’s important to find ways to slow down and think through your choices before acting. You may have heard about “keeping items in your cart for a few days to see if you still care” and while it may not be a GREAT tip for ADHD, I still encourage you to do so (psst: many “abandoned carts” trigger an email with a promo code for a discount)
Did She Say “organized”??
I sure did!
Keeping track of everything (or even SOME THINGS) is extremely difficult for us (ask me how I know that!) but I have resorted to keeping everything in a central location (like a planner or bullet journal) to prevent ADHD-related forgetfulness. I’ll go more in details a little later in the article.
Exercise has been shown to be helpful for ADHD symptom management, so adding some regular physical activity to your routine could be a good idea. I hate exercising on principle, but eventually I’ll have to cave. Just not today.
Flow state and how to achieve it with ADHD
Meditation and mindfulness practices can also be helpful in managing ADHD symptoms
You might start a task with the best of intentions, only to find yourself easily distracted and struggling to focus. It can be frustrating and discouraging, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
In fact, there’s a lot you can do once you learn to work with your ADHD instead of against it.
Working With My ADHD? Sounds Fake.
I know that feel! It certainly sounds fake no matter how often I speak of it.
One key is to learn how to achieve what I call the “Flow State“. This is a state of intense focus and concentration in which you’re so engrossed in an activity that everything else fades away.
It’s the opposite of being distractible and scattered, and it’s something that everyone with ADHD is capable of achieving. In fact, you probably already have! The usual word for it is hyper-focus, but I like to think that the “Flow State” has some sort of guidance to it that hyper-focusing lacks.
When you’re in the “Flow State” , time seems to slow down and everything else falls away. Choosing an activity that is challenging but not overwhelming will increase your chances of success. Once you’re in the “Flow State” , you’ll be able to work more efficiently and effectively.
ADHD can be a powerful tool for creativity and innovation, so, instead of trying to fight your ADHD, what if you could embrace it and let it help you find new and better ways to get things done?
The “Flow State” is often compared to meditation, as it can help focus and calm the mind. For the ADHD brain, the focus achieved in the Flow State can be especially helpful in keeping them anchored.
However, it is important to remember that the Flow State is calm and peaceful.
For some people, it can be overwhelming and agitated. That would be a hyper-focus without the guidance. If this is the case, it may be helpful to try a guided meditation before beginning a task.
You could also listen to calming sounds, ambient sounds or background music that won’t intrude and take attention away from your workflow. This will help you center yourself and keep your breath slow and steady. With practice, you should be able to enter the Flow State with ease and maintain a sense of calm throughout.
The System that Finally Got My ADHD Brain In Gear
For this flow state to happen, I often need peace and quiet from the outside world, which is not always a given. For that, I use Noise-Cancelling headphones to make distractions fade away so I can look at the task in front of me.
Apart from meditation work, I also use a notebook and a planner. Now, I can already hear you go like “oh girl do you even have ADHD if you can keep a planner?” WELL !! It wasn’t easy.
First, I had to pick a planner that worked well for me. If you check it out, you’ll see that is has my signature pattern on it. That is because no planner ACTUALLY worked for me so I had to come up with one myself!
Yep, I went there. So while I’m here I’ll link you the smaller version of the ADHD-friendly planner too.
The highly contrasted pattern is for visibility (and yet I still lost it once or twice, but that’s way less than I used to!) and the inside of the planner starts with a few S.M.A.R.T. goal pages as well as project planners. It is undated, so you can start it anytime…
… And pick it back up 3 months later without wasting pages. There. I said it.
I can’t keep a planner to save my life!
Same. After many tries, I resorted to putting it at the exact same spot on my desk at all times, and I quite literally put some coloured tape in the shape of my planner so that I know that nothing else can go there.
Then, there’s the notebook I mentioned earlier. That one, as sad as it is, is my brain dump book.
Why sad? BECAUSE NOTEBOOKS ARE PRETTY AND I’M RUINING IT but it’s for a good cause. In that notebook, thoughts are not organized, words are rushed and artistic talent is in the negatives.
Say that again. USEFUL.
Apart from the fact that some pages are indecipherable, even to myself, the notebook is really helpful for jotting down any and all thoughts that come through my mind that I don’t want to forget but don’t know where to write.
And I’m out
That’s it! That’s what works for me so far. ADHD is a pain in the butt, but with the right tools, we can make it work FOR us instead of against us. Now go out there and find stuff that works for you! I believe in you!
Note: It’s always a work in progress, and so am I. I am always looking for new tricks, life hacks and other ADHD-helpers, so let me know how you ADHD-proof your productivity system in the comments below!