How many different tools and strategies have you used to help you become more productive?
You did the research. Read about how other people used it successfully. And said to yourself, “this tool is the ticket.”
In my last post, ADHD and Getting Things Done: Is It a Match?, I shared with you that I thought most readymade systems, like David Allen’s GTD, are not made for “out of the box” use by Adults with ADHD.
I also explored how you can work with your ADHD and use GTD in the article, The First Step in Taking Control of Your Tasks.
The Second Step is to sort your tasks so you can decide what action to take with each one.
The best way to do this is to establish a habit of weekly reviewing and planning.
If you are like many adults with ADHD, taking the time to review and decide what to do with all of your potential tasks may seem superfluous. You may tell yourself that you do not have time for this. After all, you have too much to do, right?!
Incorporating preparing to work as part of the process of doing your tasks can actually save you time! A time of weekly review and planning:
- will serve you by offsetting the pull of immediate gratification that many Adults with ADHD experience.
- will help you to be more intentional, as well as more effective and efficient in taking action toward your goals.
- will give you the time to remind yourself of your priorities, intentions and next actions needed to move forward. It is also a time when you can see whether the way you are operating and the strategies you are using are really the best ones for you.
Seeking Out Support
Wait a minute… One caveat.
This process can be maddening, if you do not acknowledge your challenges and seek out the appropriate support.
You may find some of the steps necessary in reviewing and planning, like the ones below, are a challenge for you in part because of your ADHD symptoms.
- deciding the importance / priority of all of your tasks
- deciding in what order to do the tasks
- determining how much time each task will take
- sticking to a schedule
- feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff.
An ADD Coach can help you.
Reviewing and Deciding – The Four D’s
And you can also improve your ability to set priorities by practicing sorting your tasks into the 4 D’s.
First, those tasks on your To Do list should be ones that you decide must be done, and only you can do them.
To determine whether the task is one To Delegate ask yourself, “which of these are tasks require me to use skills that are not my strong suit or to my liking?” Can you delegate or ask a hired professional, colleague, family member or friend to do these tasks?
Limiting your focus to what is important to you will allow you to do more than you might have imagined. So, if you can see no importance or value in doing a task or you just do not have the capacity, you may decide To Drop it.
If you have gotten this far, you should have a list of only tasks that you can do. But since you cannot do them all now, you will need to decide whether it is a task To Defer to a later time.
To Do or To Defer? That is the Question.
Yes, I know. You may be feeling like you should do everything now. In fact, you may be feeling like you should have done it yesterday!
But, in reality, there are likely a few (or many) tasks that you either do not have the capacity or the intention to do immediately. The questions below can help you decide which to do now and which to put off to a later time.
- Is this task important?
- Is it urgent?
- Are there other tasks that take priority?
- Do I have the capacity to do this right now?
Depending on how you answer to these questions, some of your tasks will be candidates for your To Defer list. So you do not worry about forgetting these and also do not have to continue thinking about them, park them some place other than in your head.
As your priorities change you may decide later on to drop these deferred tasks, do them or delegate them. For now they are off your plate. Whew, how does that feel?
During each weekly review, you can make different decisions about what to do with your tasks.