Motivation Management with ADHD
Time management always makes me think of having to manage time to work, get things done, tackling my to-do list. Boring! And having an ADHD wired brain, if things are boring they are unlikely to get done. So managing time often does not happen. There is always something more fun that is on my list of things I “should” get done. Always something that takes my full attention and makes me unaware of time passing that I had planned to use to get something more mundane accomplished. Sometimes I get things done from my to-do list and I am really efficient about it. But when does this actually happen?
I decided to start tracking when I was actually working on my to-do list. What did I do before these moments of focus and productivity? What did I do after? Sleep was a big one. There are some days that I wake up after having slept really well and I have time to get stuff done. My mind is clear, my energy is good, I am wide awake, and everything in the house is quiet. I don’t even need coffee to get me going on these mornings! Exercise is another one (I hear you groaning!). It’s true if I have a good workout. I need to sweat, have fun, and feel rejuvenated (not wiped out), then I am ready to go. A good workout makes me feel happy, focused, and energetic. Sorry to my office mates – there are times I skip the shower and sit right down and get working on my list of “stuff.”
If you’re like me another great motivator to get stuff done is Play. If I have to get something done in order to have fun, I get to work. If I get to go on vacation after I send in a report that I have been putting off writing, that report gets finished so I can pack and leave. I admit that sometimes I wait until the last minute, but if I have a deadline that involves having fun, I will have ALL of my work done on time.
I actually have my clients build their own time management strategies once they figure out what motivates them to get the “stuff” on their lists done. They use alarms on their phones, watches, clocks, paper planners, phone a friend, diet, exercise, various forms of to-do lists, incentives, consequences (no one has used electric shock yet, thankfully), and other forms of accountability. One thing I notice is if the focus is only on the work, most of the time they get little done.
How do you use fun to motivate you to manage your time? This week notice each time you get “work” done. How did you do it? Did you make a deal with yourself? Was there a deadline? Did you eat well, get good sleep or go to the gym? Let us know what helps you “manage time.”