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3 Deadly Time Wasters -and Fixes- for ADHD Adults

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

…and boy, do the days tend to run us ADHD adults, cuz we let so much time slip away needlessly.

 Indeed, if there’s one thing we ADDers need more of, it’s TIME. So if there’s one thing we should never be doing is WASTING IT. And here are three of the deadliest (and most common) time-wasters, along with some simple time management fixes that act as natural remedies for ADD

1. The But-First Syndrome: Heard of this one? Even if not, I promise you’ve experienced it. You start on a major, important task…but just before getting fully engaged, you say, “But first I gotta…” and you dart away to do that other thing. During which you blurt, “Oh, and let me also just do this one other thing…” and then another…yada yada. You know the rest. Hence The But-First Syndrome – a massive time waster, cuz NOTHIN’ gets completed, least of all, the major, important task you first set out to complete.

The Fix: The key to staying on task and resisting But-Firsts is to LABEL thoughts and things. If you were to use a mental labeling gun to forcefully label the task at hand as “What I’m Doing Now”, you’d be less likely to But-First yourself away from it. All the more so if you then label potential distractions as “NOT What I’m Doing Now”. Here’s free access to ADD Crusher™ Video II, Way 8, with the full treatment on this alternative ADHD strategy: Do What You’re Doing Now


2. Screensucking: A term coined by Dr. Ned Hallowell, it refers to wasting time in front of electronic screens. For instance, TV has rightly been called the great preventer. It sucks precious hours from our life and undercuts our productivity. The three hours a day the average American is watching TV are three hours preventing growth and accomplishment. And we ADHD adults are more likely to have addictive attachments to TV – and all electronic consumption.

So for anything with a screen – Facebooking, video games (including the particularly stupid ones on our phones), online shopping or gambling, etc., we must ask ourselves – what is the VALUE of the time we spend with these vs the VALUE of doing other things?


The Fix: Make a list of your top electronic behaviors. Go ahead – do it right now, cuz otherwise you’ll never do it! All electronic behaviors – necessary and frivolous. Rank them in descending order of time spent over the course of a typical week. Circle the biggest offenders: those eating most time and being least important to your success. Then make a pledge, right here on the spot, to reduce or eliminate one or more of those behaviors.

Think about it: How often do we say to ourselves, “I just don’t have enough time to do everything I need to do”?  Yet, NOTHING horrible is gonna happen if you do NOT watch another re-run of Two and a Half Men or check Facebook every 10 minutes. By honestly facing up to our screensucking crimes, we can free up gads of time.


3. Doing It All Ourselves: We ADDers waste HUGE amounts of time trying to do things at which we suck – or just needn’t be doing ourselves. Things that people around us can and will do FOR us – if we are WILLING and ABLE to hand them off.

Delegate-Authority-ADHD-ADDCrusherIf you could delegate just two things this week, you’d free up tons of time. I know, easier said than done. We’re terrible at delegating because 1) it requires giving a subordinate a clear roadmap to completion of a task, which we suck at; and 2) delegating means asking something of another person, which we don’t feel entitled to do…we’re always aiming to please.


The Fix: The above two barriers to delegation apply mostly to major, complex tasks. But there are lots of to-do’s and routine tasks that can be easily delegated – either to a family member (e.g., laundry to one of the kids) or a paid service (e.g., laundry to a wash-and-fold service). Take the time right now to identify one or two things you could delegate, even if just on a trial basis. Keep it simple. Key thing is to flex that delegation muscle so you can begin to build it up.


Lets’ face it. We can’t stop time. But what we CAN do is cut it down to size and start taking control of it by pulling on our Big Boy or Big Girl Pants and facing these time wasters head-on. So there ya go. Three deadly time pirates that, if reduced even modestly, would make your ADHD waaaay more manageable.

‘Til next time…


PS – If you like no-BS insights and suggested fixes, think about how powerful a video “virtual coach” could be in slaying some of these classic ADHD miseries. We are humbled and honored that thousands have benefited from the Crusher approach to treating ADHD symptoms, and I hope you’ll give our videos and tools a no-risk try one of these days. Check out the various packages here. -ab

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

10 Responses to “3 Deadly Time Wasters -and Fixes- for ADHD Adults”

By Viame - 13 July 2020 Reply

I’m proud of the fact that I do not allow devices to suck too much time. When my dopamine is low and I’m exhausted – I do it to find materials to write about and to keep up with my social sharing. I don’t really enjoy it. I can’t delegate to others much… that part isn’t true for me that someone else can do it. I do have to do many things that cause me stress and or confusion. I just have to suffer the physical aspect of it. I do tell myself lies like “I’ll remember it”… and I do really try… I do get to my appointments on time… that is something I do well. I also have struggled with trying to get too much done in one day. I don’t know where I’m at on this spectrum. I do know that for sure, focusing too hard causes me physical pain. I’ve found a dopamine booster that has really helped. Now I’m focusing on actually using my to-do list and prioritizing it and not forgetting I have it.

By ADD Crusher - 13 July 2020 Reply

I’d say that you’re in a pretty good place, in that you’re VERY tuned-in to your own “outlaw brain” and how it wants to drag you off into time-wasters. If course, it’s a lifelong, everyday battle we must fight. Keep using whatever hacks you have, learn and implement some new ones, and sure enough, things will get easier/better/happier!! APB

By Terri - 8 March 2020 Reply

I still need more help with the screen suckers/digital world. I am a “work in progress” and your tips have been amazing! I often times forget what I have learned and have to go back. Currently, your site/email/blogs are added to my daily (well 4-5 days a week) planning list. It is a reminder, I can be a better self if I remind myself of the things that distract me and hacks to reset. I continue to grow with your program and love all the tips/advice/examples. BUT, something that has me baffled is the email hoarding and my to do list papers all over the place. It is overwhelming to tackle the inbox… I have researched a few online/apps for todo list and organizing…. but I have not found the tool that best fits yet. I feel like the “apps” are just the “containers” for my junk. I first need to get rid of the junk- then organize my inbox. Any suggestions or hack for my inbox?

By ADD Crusher - 9 March 2020 Reply

Hi Terri, first let me say that an app or new planner is unlikely to change anything. You must reduce the amount of to-dos in your field of vision. My guess is you are adding to-dos and maybe sorting them, shuffling them around (and doing same with your email inbox — which you are using as another to-do list!). What I invite you to do is choose ONE to-do — just ONE — and write that on a blank stickie. THAT is your new to-do list. Put your other lists and your email OUT OF SIGHT. And then get to work on that one to-do. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It’s easier said than done, but it is one way out of this very familiar mess!! Also consider joining Crusher™TV (www.CrusherTV.com) and watching Episode 75: 5 Ways to Get to Inbox Zero! -Alan

By Terri - 22 March 2020 Reply

Thank you! I am still with you! The to dos and email is now considered to drain my mental energy. I am on it!

By ADD Crusher - 23 March 2020 Reply


By Leslie Haber - 14 May 2015 Reply

Whether one has been diagnosed with ADD or not, these ADD crusher tools work for EVERYONE. They have become such an essential tool for working with my clients (I am a professional organizer who specializes in chronically disorganized individuals). LOVE TO ALAN BROWN & staff! You guys ROCK! LH

By ADD Crusher - 15 May 2015 Reply

Thank you so much, Leslie! Love right back at YOU! -A

By Kitty Smith - 15 May 2014 Reply

I wondered once if I had ADD or ADHD, then I met Shelley Mitchell. She would not hire me to be her VA the first time we spoke, I was TOO MUCH LIKE HER. I am learning that I probably am affected by this, but I got by with figuring out some coping mechanisms which I have learned are actually used by ADDers. But reading this article, I see myself…. in all three instances. The first has been the most difficult because nothing ever seems to be all together in once place so I can accomplish the task.

Thanks for the eye opener, I guess I should talk to a health professional to find out once and for all if this is what has been my stumbling block all these years.

By ADD Crusher - 22 June 2014 Reply

Good move Kitty — to get professional diagnosis/treatment. And ADHD coaching can bring huge breakthroughs as well. Say hello to Shelly for me — she rocks!

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