How to Be Productive When You Have ADHD

Everyone that knows me knows I have ADHD. It’s not something I have to tell people. They just know. Anyone with ADHD struggles with the “squirrel” and the uh squirrel jokes. I recently talked about this on my Facebook page. For whatever reason, it’s socially acceptable to pick on people with ADHD. Anyway, the struggle is real.

For one we have a million great ideas. And to be honest, we are smart people. A lot of our ideas are great! But, when you try to complete a million great ideas, well, none of them get accomplished. I struggle with my focus on the regular. Coffee helps, but it doesn’t take away the million distractions that get in my way including wanting to write a blog post about ADHD instead of what I’m “supposed to be doing.”

My tips for being productive when you have ADHD

Start your day with meditation and the right mindset

I try to meditate every day. When I don’t do it, my day doesn’t go as well. Meditation helps me clear my head and get in the right space. When I meditate I often think about what I need to do that day. Sometimes I get some sort of enlightenment and sometimes I just get a few minutes of a mental break. I try to start my day with a good attitude. If I don’t have a good attitude I meditate again.

Use Mantras and Affirmations

I try to be a positive person. Instead of saying I am so disorganized or I suck at sticking with habits, I say I am focused. I am organized. I am smart. Just saying these words out loud or writing them down helps your energy and focus. Write it down! Write it down every day. Say it every day. When you are losing focus write it again. Write on your arm or your forehead if you have to. Just kidding. Don’t be a freak. . Sticky notes are fine.

Journal

I keep quite a few journals. I have gotten out of the habit with that so I am working that back in. I wrote a blog post about this recently. I have my Big Ass Journal of Boring things. It’s essentially an accomplishment journal, but I only write the boring things in there. I don’t have a problem doing the things I want to do — like writing this blog post.

Take breaks

People with ADHD tend to hyperfocus. We are either doing absolutely nothing or work work work work working. We don’t take breaks because we are always behind on something and trying to catch up. Take a break. An actual break to do something you actually enjoy.

Work on your habits

I highly recommend you start small with this. For example, start making your bed every day. Every single day. No matter what you do make your bed, even if you get nothing else accomplished. Make your bed. I started with three small habits. And I remember getting depressed because I couldn’t even stick with three little bitty habits. But, I promise you if you start small, and keep getting back at it, eventually you will have three good habits. Don’t add new habits until you’ve stuck with one for at least a month. Don’t even bother. Start small.

Do something fun in between the sucky stuff

If you don’t do some of the stuff you want to do, ya know like the craft you keep saying you are going to do or the new recipe you keep saying you’re going to try, you’re always going to be struggling with burnout. Mix it up. Today I did two projects I actually enjoyed and wanted to get accomplished and one thing I totally hate doing. This blog is one of them!

Use the Dave Ramsey approach

Have you heard of his approach to debt? My mentor talked to me about this and it has been incredibly helpful. I always have a list a million miles long. And I have always tackled the big stuff first. I felt like I needed to get the big projects out of the way to make time for the smaller stuff. Guess what? I never got to the smaller stuff. So I am doing things differently now. I am tackling all the easy stuff first and then doing the hard project. I have found I am getting so much more accomplished this way.

Keep committed to working on it

We make progress and change slowly. Don’t expect to change life-long bad habits overnight. Start small. If you screw and go back to your old routines, brush it off and start over.

So if you have ADHD tell me what are your best tips for staying productive?