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If you’re anything like me, then you probably have a really uncomfortable relationship with productivity. As someone with ADHD, I understand the struggle of trying to make yourself be productive. Sometimes energy and focus can be so unpredictable, it’s hard to trust yourself to follow through on tasks. But fear not! In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my secret sauce to staying focused and productive, even with ADHD. So let’s dive in!
Self-Awareness and Acceptance
The first tip that has been a game-changer for me is self-awareness and acceptance. Knowing what works for me and what doesn’t, understanding my preferred working environments, and taking care of myself to manage my attention and regulate my nervous system have been crucial. This self-awareness comes from the tools I learned in my coaching practice, which are baked into my daily routine. By embracing who I am and how I work best, I can set myself up for success.
To find out what works for you, look at your past accomplishments. When have you done something that you’re really proud of? Something that’s hard for most people to do? Now consider what made that successful? What were the conditions? What support did you have? How did you feel about the task? I like to use the example of doing a half ironman and a fitness competition in my own life. I’m not a sporty person, and these are really hard things to do. So how did I get through it?
I had a coach, a program I was following, a team (social support) and a timeline. There was a specific end date that I was working towards, and both experiences were very new to me, so they was plenty of novelty.
Success leaves clues, so break down the success roadmap that worked for you, and consider what works well for you (and what doesn’t).
Externalize Everything with Notion
As someone with ADHD, it can be challenging to keep everything in my head. That’s why I rely on externalizing everything using a digital tool called Notion. Unlike traditional to-do lists that often get lost or forgotten, Notion provides a centralized space for all my thoughts, lists, tasks, and projects for my personal life and my business.
I create a new page every week that serves as my dashboard, containing everything I need to stay aware of. By having this visual representation of my tasks, calendar, projects, reminders, and notes, I can stay focused and organized. Notion has truly been my productivity hub.
The Power of a Wellness Routine
Maintaining a wellness routine has been a game-changer for my productivity. While it may not be Instagrammable, it keeps me grounded and energized. My non-negotiables include getting 8 hours of sleep, meditating, working out, walking 10,000 steps, and practicing heart coherence breathing. These actions have a profound impact on regulating my nervous system and enhancing my overall productivity. When I prioritize my well-being, I find that I am more focused and able to tackle tasks with ease.
Embrace a Weekly Rhythm
Having a weekly rhythm or routine has been instrumental in my productivity journey. Each day of the week, I allocate specific tasks and activities to ensure I stay on track. For example, Mondays are dedicated to content planning, Tuesdays for filming, Wednesdays for calls and editing, Thursdays for finalizing and uploading, and Fridays for catching up on various tasks and writing my newsletter. This structure eliminates the guesswork and allows me to focus on one thing at a time. By establishing this routine, I’ve built a habit that keeps me consistent and productive.
Finish Before Starting Something New
As someone with ADHD, I am constantly drawn to new and exciting projects. However, I’ve learned the importance of finishing what I’ve started before taking on something new. This practice of intentionally slowing down and completing existing tasks or projects has been challenging but incredibly rewarding. By focusing on one thing at a time and squeezing the juice out of each endeavor, I not only avoid overwhelm but also enhance my productivity. It’s a work in progress, but it’s worth the effort to cultivate this habit.
Overwhelm is a common challenge for individuals with ADHD. When faced with numerous tasks or projects, it’s easy to freeze and feel paralyzed. To combat overwhelm, I ask myself two important questions: What is most important right now? And what am I optimizing for? By identifying my priorities and focusing on value-based outcomes rather than just tasks, I regain clarity and can take a more thoughtful approach to my work. Overcoming overwhelm is an ongoing journey, but these questions have been instrumental in helping me navigate it.
Finding your own ADHD productivity secret sauce
Productivity with ADHD is often unpredictable, but not impossible. By embracing self-awareness and acceptance, externalizing tasks with tools like Notion, prioritizing wellness, establishing a weekly rhythm, finishing tasks before starting something new, and overcoming overwhelm, you can enhance your productivity and achieve your goals. Remember, it’s not about toxic productivity but finding what works best for you and creating a life that you love. Embrace your unique strengths, manage your energy, and stay focused on what truly matters. Here’s to a more productive and fulfilling journey with ADHD!