If you're finding yourself procrastinating today, then I've got a great tip that can help you ease into your tasks and manage your time more efficiently. Time management is one of the biggest challenges that adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) face. A lack of time management skills causes significant stress, frustration, and overwhelm.
While different combinations of tools and strategies work for different people, one time management tool that I insist on for all my clients is a to-do list. When used properly, your to-do list is one of the most powerful tools in your ADD management toolbox.
Some adults with ADD resist using a to-do list because they view it as an enemy, rather than as a tool. The goal becomes to cross everything off the list and be done with it. But that’s not the best way to use a to-do list.
Think of your to-do list as your friend. Your list helps you keep track of what you need and want to get done, as well as what you have done.
Your to-do list as a living, breathing thing. You'll add things to it almost every day. And hopefully you'll cross things off it every day, too! Your to-do list will change constantly, and it will always be necessary.
To create your to-do list, use a pad of paper, an online program or document, or whatever feels comfortable for you. Then, at least once every day:
1. Cross off, highlight, or in some way acknowledge everything that you accomplished on your list.
2. Update your list with new projects and tasks.
3. Rewrite your list as necessary to clean it up and make it easy to read.
4. Use your to-do list in conjunction with any other time management tools that you use to help you plan for and schedule in your tasks.
Bonus Tip: You may want to keep a separate list for all those "great ideas" that pop into your head that you want to accomplish, but don't have the time for right now.
To-do lists are the ultimate time management tool for adults with ADD. Many of us will need additional tools to effectively manage our time, but using a to-do list is a great place to start!