AAARRGGGGHHHH!! Why must you be so TRUE, truthful quote?!!
We ADHDers are the undisputed kings of starting-but-not-finishing. And a big underlying reason is that we just can’t seem to stay on one chosen task to see it through.
Is there REALLY a simple alternative ADHD strategy for getting things DONE? C’mon. Staying on task? Resisting the “but first” syndrome? (“But first I’ll do this…But first I’ll do that.”) Not getting distracted from what I’m doing by a million potential squirrels? It’s impossible for the ADDer, right?
Actually, Staying on Task Is Quite Possible
There are two keys to keeping ourselves on track to do the important things we know we need to do. The first is awareness and acceptance of two truths:
- That multitasking is for suckers. Research confirms that even the best multitaskers…suck at multitasking. And don’t buy the myth that ADDers are somehow better at it than others. Baloney.
- That we are impulsive and have an intense desire to do the things NOW that interest us NOW – rather than what is most important now!!
If ever you needed evidence that multitasking is a social illness of ours…
(OK, it’s not a real product. But it COULD be!)
A Simple Natural ADD Remedy “Brain Hack” for Staying on Task
The second key to staying on task is the simple-yet-powerful trick of LABELING important tasks and potential diversions. You need three labels:
- What I’m doing now.
- BS that is not what I’m doing now.
- Important, but not what I’m doing now.
Take a moment right now to design your three labels. What color are they? What shape? Like a STOP sign?
Or more like a tag that spits out of a labeling gun? Or just like mine, above.
Doesn’t matter – as long as you have formed a picture of them firmly in your mind.
How to Use Your Labels
Using your labels in the manner described below is nothing more than a simple “brain hack” for productivity…
The way to get firmly engaged in an important task is to determine forcefully that THIS IS WHAT I’M DOING NOW. So, identify that thing you need to work on and mentally label it as such. This alone will make it easier to stay on task.
But the way to really keep from getting pulled away from your important task is to guard your mind’s open window…with your mental labeling gun for things that are “NOT WHAT I’M DOING NOW”.
Two Kinds of “Not What I’m Doing Now”
Per the above labels, there are two kinds of “Not What I’m Doing Now”…
“BS” distractions are easily identified, but not always easily dismissed. Again, the ADDer is powerfully attracted to what is interesting at the moment – regardless of its importance. Cleaning your garage looks mighty uninteresting compared to that text from your friend or yet another peek at your Facebook feed. Neither is important, and the way to resist them is to forcefully LABEL them as “BS That I’m NOT Doing Now.”
Important things that are Not What I’m Doing now are even tougher to dismiss, because you CAN’T just swat away an important interruption, because ignoring it will burn you later. But unless it’s urgent, you must dismiss it, in order to finish the important thing you ARE doing now. And you need only dismiss it temporarily – by labeling it, “Important But NOT What I’m Doing Now”, and jotting down a note on a sticky so you can come back to it later. Then return to What You Are Doing Now!
Here’s a free short clip from ADD Crusher™ Video II, with a fun interactive game to practice this “brain hack”
Bottom Line: If you can firmly decide the ONE task you want to do now – and LABEL it as such, you can better fend off interruptions from yourself and others. And GET MORE STUFF DONE!!
Remember also that the reward for deviating to some titillating distraction is nothing when compared with the reward for staying on task and completing your project!
Label it…Crush it.
DID YOU KNOW? ADD Crusher™ Videos & Tools are recommended by professional ADHD coaches across the country to help their clients live to their potential. They’re as close to having your own personal ADHD coach as you can get…without hiring one. Try the Crusher approach totally risk-free.
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