How to Stop Procrastinating Even with an ADHD Brain

Feb 05, 2024

Procrastination

We all do it.

Even I, the ADHD Productivity Coach, procrastinate.

Guilty as charged.

But I promise you doing stuff at the last minute is a stressful way to live.

It feels like a knot in the stomach or that pain in your shoulders.

And the shame and nasty inner voices that show up when we're skating right up to the deadline or after.

AGAIN.

Did you know that 25% of adults consider procrastination as one of their defining traits?

That’s a lot of people.

Why do You Procrastinate?

Sometimes, you procrastinate because it’s a low level task.

You just don’t think it’s worthy of your time.

You want to do the bright shiny new things.

I encourage you to delegate or eliminate the low level tasks, i.e. cross them off your list.

Unless it absolutely has to be done by you, like signing a legal document.

Not a good idea to delegate or eliminate that.

Sometimes, you procrastinate because you're still reflecting or thinking through your options.

This can be a good thing.

Fast brains can respond way too quickly.

Then you might say something you regret.

Me too.

Nowhere is this more apparent than email.

Often when I haven’t sent back an email yet, it’s because I’m taking time to craft a response that is in the best benefit of my client and me.

Maybe there are boundaries to be set or I owe a mea culpa.

Neither of those can be written in haste.

I’ve learned a quick 'got your email, I'm thinking' is helpful so the other person isn’t worried about a lack of response.

Sometimes you’re positive the task isn’t going to take any time at all so you just haven’t started it yet.

Remember ADHDers aren’t great at estimating time and starting tasks isn’t our superpower either.

Surprise, the deadline is here and you’re pulling an all-nighter.

Because it wasn’t an easy project after all.

Other times, you vastly overestimate the time the dreaded task is going to take (taxes for me) and so you just can’t get started.

No matter how many ‘deadlines’ you set for yourself, the only one that matters in our ADHD minds is April 15.

Because then there are consequences - BIG scary ones.

That's usually a good motivator for the ADHD brain.

As someone who started working on 2022 taxes in December and now it’s February 5, I can promise you that tax deadline is looming.

Because my accountant gave me a February 10 deadline.

At my request.

See what I did there?

I got external accountability to help me meet a deadline in advance so that the entire process is much less stressful.

You can do that too.

Let me know how it goes.

Not gonna lie doing my taxes has taken way too many hours the last two months and hasn't been a whit of fun.

But my part is almost done.

Last but not least, sometimes life gets lifey -

  • your child gets sick
  • your in laws show up happily but unexpectedly
  • your fridge breaks down and the water is everywhere

This is when you have to give yourself a heaping spoonful of grace.

Just remember that if life happens on April 14th, you're gonna wish you had done those taxes!

Far better to make a plan.

And yes I know planning is super hard for our ADHD brains.

But it's time for you to stop fighting fires.

To get out of making everything last minute and urgent.

And move on to the important.

To those big dreams that you've been meaning to get to, but never have the time.

It's time for you to work with your uniquely wired brain instead of trying to wrestle it to the ground.

​Where are you procrastinating?



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