Head's up, there could be affiliate links ahead!
ADHD procrastination is a special kind of torture for those of us who want to get things done, but just can’t muster the motivation to start.
If you struggle with procrastination, ADHD or not, this video and blog post will help you identify WHY you’re procrastinating, and give you some tools to figure out what’s behind your lack of momentum.
Having ADHD doesn’t mean you HAVE to procrastinate. Self-motivation is a skill and it’s one that you can master with the right tools and some helpful guidance. I hope you find that in today’s video.
Why do we procrastinate with ADHD?
We all procrastinate sometimes, but if you have ADHD, there seems to be a stronger pull to put off important but perhaps uninteresting tasks until they are urgent. Based on the work I’ve done with clients and my own experience, these are the top three reasons we procrastinate, and how to get around it.
Procrastination Based on Perfectionism
We procrastinate on things when we are afraid that we’re going to screw up or not do something right. There’s a real fear there. Now perfectionist or not people that are always perfect. Perfectionist are people that have an expectation of how things should be, that’s unrealistic. And because they believe they can’t achieve their own unrealistic expectations of themselves, they don’t even try.
Perfectionism chokes creativity and seeds procrastination.
Procrastinating Because We Don’t Know the Next Step
The second reason that we procrastinate is because we don’t really know what the next step is, or where we want to go. When we don’t have all the steps clearly planned out, we’re afraid to move forward.
The reality is that nobody has all the steps lined out. Every single person on this planet is making life up as they go. Nobody knows (for sure) what they’re doing.
And I think that very often we have this feeling like we should know what we’re supposed to do. But it’s perfectly normal to feel trepidation with every new thing in life that we try.
Procrastinating Because We Really Don’t Want it Badly Enough
The final procrastination trigger is that sometimes we think we want to do something or we think other people want us to do something, but we don’t actually want to do the thing.
So we just keep pushing that task into the future, hoping we’ll get the motivation to do it, but we never do because we don’t want to do it. And if you have ADHD, it is really hard to force yourself to do things you don’t want to do. That’s just bottom line the truth.
So what do we do about these situations?
Well, when there’s a fear of failure, looking foolish, or not being perfect, I would ask you, what do you need to do in order to give yourself the safety and confidence you need to take the next step? Maybe that’s practicing, or playing out scenarios, or creating a pros and cons list?
By asking yourself the question – what is it that I need to give myself in order to feel more confident? You start thinking about solutions instead of dwelling in fear. You can also give yourself the grace to take messy action and get better as you go.
Nobody feels a hundred percent confident all the time, so it’s okay to be afraid and it’s okay to fail. Those are all human things. How can you make it a little bit easier for yourself?
And that leads beautifully into the next trigger – not really knowing what the next step is. First of all, give yourself grace and space and know that none of us know what the heck we’re doing. You don’t need it to have all of the ducks in a row in order to get started.
That’s the beauty of momentum, once you are in motion, it’s easier to stay in motion. If you are not in motion, it is easier to stay, not in motion. So what can you do at the very least to get into motion?
When it comes to not being sure if you really want to do the thing you’re procrastinating on, the first question I would ask you is- how badly do you really want this thing?
If you were to just put it down and walk away, how would that make you feel inside? Does that give you a little sense of freedom? Or does it give you a sense of self betrayal?
There’s no right or wrong answer here.
Forcing ourselves to do things we don’t want to do is often just a part of adulting. But there’s a lot of things we force ourselves to do unnecessarily. I would encourage you to look closely at your motivations. If you have a strong enough reason, you can motivate yourself to do pretty much anything you want.
Go get ’em!