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How to Overcome Procrastination with ADHD

I was reading an article on How To Overcome Procrastination by Tai Goodwin of The Examiner.

She mentions the biggest sources of procrastination as fear of success, fear of failure and fear of work. For ADHD adults and entrepreneurs I would also add a very important source of procrastination: Boredom!!!

The expectation of boredom causes you to avoid the task as your brain cannot energize when faced with a boring task. Despite your “turbo brain” when faced with a boring task, you turn the key but the motor won’t start.

Of course there are many other causes of procrastination, such as overwhelm, holding limiting beliefs, and problems focusing on one task at a time but we won’t get into those right now.

Tai offers solutions that I often use with my clients:

  • Stop using the excuse that you have too much to do
  • Keep your eyes on the benefits once it’s done
  • Use accountability to ensure you keep your word
  • Use the power of three tasks. Most people can’t get much more than 3 to 5 tasks done each day. Identify the 3 tasks you’ll focus on and don’t derail
  • Celebrate!

Solutions to procrastination problems require that you look at the source of the procrastination and you address that. If you have fears, face your fears. Consider how likely is it that what I fear will take place? How can I minimize the likelihood? If boredom is what’s keeping you from getting going, inject interest, novelty, competition, anything to make it fun or interesting.

Enjoy what you accomplish! Celebrate!

What tasks do you procrastinate?

5 Comments
  1. Hi Linda – you are so right about this! I am an adult w/ADHD or as I like to say I have a brain that multi-tasks 24/7 and I just the thought of being bored strikes a cord with me. I cope with the ‘boring’ things that must get done by giving them a time limit: I’ll work at it for 2 hrs or 30 minutes. Having a limit helps me get through it.

    • Hi Tai,

      You’re so intuitive. Facing 30 minutes to get something done is not such a stretch. This is a strategy I use with many of my ADHD adult and creative genius clients alike. Keep sharing your ideas.

      Warmly, Linda

  2. “If boredom is what’s keeping you from getting going, inject interest, novelty, competition, anything to make it fun or interesting.”

    Well… Wouldn’t that make it easy!
    Easier said that done. I’ve tried all the novel “tricks” over the past 40 years. No dice!

  3. Hey Boatbizz,

    I’m sorry you’re struggling with making boring tasks more “palatable”. Certainly, injecting interest and all that jazz does not provide as much relief as does 1) choosing a career or business that you are passionate about, and 2) delegating the things that are more difficult for you to others or to systems.

    However, when you use your imagination to make writing a boring report more interesting by doing it in a coffee shop, or on the beach, or creating competition as Tai mentions in the comments, by setting a timer for 30 minutes, etc,, these can provide relief.

    Changing your perspective about the task can also help. Instead of viewing as a negative experience, find a different angle to look at it that will awaken your curiosity.

  4. Hi Linda,

    I’ve found energising myself before Taki g on boring but must do tasks really helps. Try going for a jog or swim before tackling soothing you don’t want to do. It’s helped me.

    Andrew

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