Many busy entrepreneurs struggle with Procrastination. Despite their Uber-Creativity and Enthusiasm for their ideas, they sadly aren’t able to consistently action them.
Diane O’Reilly is a ADHD coach and says that 95% of her clients have this problem. But in reality, all of us procrastinate even if we aren’t ADHD. Here’s Diane’s blog on procrastination. It’s focused on people who have ADHD, but all of us can benefit from her tips.
People often tried multiple ways to fix this problem without success.These failures aren’t due to a lack ‘Head Knowledge’ or strategies. “They know perfectly well what to do”- as Dr. Russell Barkley says, but “They can’t Do what they know” And that, he explains is because “ADHD Is not a knowledge disorder, but rather a- Point of Performance Disorder” (P.O.P) In other words, many ADHD problems need fixing at that specific point in their lives where the problem is happening. ie; In their surroundings or environment. This then is the actual reason for many of our failures. The strategies we applied aren’t designed for ADHD, because they don’t address the problem at the Point of Performance.
A breakdown of our own Approach
We start the day feeling optimistic and decide to finally tackle that task we’ve been putting off. After breakfast we check a few emails/ look through our Social media streams and then we begin. Sounds good so far. But before too long we begin to come unstuck. We hit a challenging part of the task and we start to feel overwhelmed, or maybe it’s just plain ol’ boring! Either way, at this crucial point when we need some stick-to-it-iveness, our ADHD traits of Distraction, Overwhelm and Low Motivation kick in. Then as if on cue, our minds recall that earlier email or social media post. So what to we do? We take a ‘quick’ break from our task to deal with it, intending to come back to our task right after. Right! But as we’re so bad at Transitions and low on Intrinsic Motivation, getting back to that challenging point is now almost impossible, and we abandon it all together.
So Clearly what’s needed is a Strategy that deals with those disruptive ADHD traits– at the Point or Performance before they sabotage our intentions. That’s exactly what I want to share with you now
This strategy is something I call Momentum Mornings. It’s basically a Mash-up of a few strategies. Inspired by Julie Morgenstern’s book ”Never Check email in the Mornings. I took her idea and Hacked it for ADHD. The main thrust of this approach is that old Law of Physics, A thing in Motion- Tends to stay in Motion. Then folded into it are some tweaks/hacks that incorporate Dr. Barkley’s logic about the P.O.P.
How it works
Firstly, Block the Dedicated Time needed for your task. Then, ( here’s the crucial P.O.P bit ) start on the task before you even look at anything else! Yes, that does mean No emails and No Social Media!!! Why?! Because if you even peek at that stuff beforehand, you set yourself up to become mentally distracted and pulled back into it later. Especially during the more Challenging, Overwhelming or Boring parts of your task. Which there will most certainly be!
Ideal Time Blocking Tips. Locking yourself in a room ( Ok, so no actual locks needed, but do close the door and make sure no-one comes in) Leaving your current environment for another ( like a Coffee shop or Library) or if your ‘go-to-distractions’ are on your desktop? Then make use of Internet or Site blocking add ons such as Cold Turkey or StayFocusd. Finally, turn off all pop ups and audible reminders on your devices, or place them elsewhere until you are done!
Below are more ‘Hacks’ to deal with the ADHD traits of Overwhelm, Perfectionism, Poor Transition skills, Low Motivation etc
The ADHD Hacks
- The Best time to do this is in the morning, when the mind is a clean slate and you haven’t seen your emails, pop ups or other distractions yet.
- Set a do-able time limit- People with ADHD are natural Sprinters not Marathon runners, so capitalize on that innate Sprinter energy, give yourself a time limit and stick to it!
- Use an Actual Timer to help you stick to that limit & maintain focus
- Set yourself a reward for the end of your time
- Let people know verbally, or with a sign on the door/desk that you’re not to be disturbed
- Accept that it may take more than one Momentum Morning to finish the task- Most of us overestimate what can be done in a morning, but underestimate what can be done in a week!
- Try to schedule at least 1, if not 2 of these mornings per week, you’ll be very surprised and happy with the long term results.
- Get all snacks, drinks or other stuff that helps you focus. eg: gum, music, headphones, upfront so you don’t need to leave and break your focus
That’s it. A simple strategy yes, but a very effective one for all women entrepreneurs. It’s been a game changer for my own work life and for many of my clients too. So why not try it yourself and see what happens? What’s the worse thing that could happen? Please feel free to comment below and check out Diane’s programs at Indigo Tree.
Diane O’Reilly – The Official Bio
Since graduating from ADDCA as an ADHD Coach in 2009 I have:
- I Opened my own ADHD successful and well respected Coaching business, producing a regular Blogs, Coaching services and programs to serve the ADHD community, well respected ADHD service
- Partnered with child & teen psychiatrist and ADHD expert & Author, Dr. Kenny Handelman on his ADHD Insiders website where I created & co-wrote his ADHD Child & Teen program & delivered his Child & Teen Monthly Webinars
- Created & run several niche ADHD programs for Adults, Parents & Teens, delivering local monthly or weekly workshops
- Given Professional Day seminars for teachers & other organizations, helping increase their understanding of how they can best reach & teach students or their employees who have ADHD
- Consulted with parents & school teams to help them Organize & Motivate their ADHD students
- Spoken publicly at Conferences, Schools & Support groups on the subject of ADHD
- Last but not least I Coach One on One with ADHD Adults, Parents and older Teens helping them to make the changes they need to get where they want to go.
I am also a professional practicing member of ADDA, ACO & CADDAC