You are lying in bed and you snap open your eyes and you realize that you didn’t get to do half of the things on your to do list. It can be difficult for anyone to juggle a to do list however for a women with ADHD, the challenges can be more harder. The good news is my 5 Steps To Writing A Better To Do List To Do For Women with ADHD can help you get started and stay on track with your day
Step 1: Create Your To Do List By Doing A Brain Dump – The first thing that you can do is to gather all the reminders you’ve written yourself in recent days — the scraps of paper, sticky notes, napkins, envelopes, and so on — and compile them into a single list. You don’t have to worry about how organized this list is, it is just a brain dump. On the other hand, if you are starting from scratch you can ask yourself the following questions – Which tasks do you need to do in order to get to work? Which tasks do you need to do in order to get your children to school? What errands do you need to do? What tasks do you need to do to maintain an organized home?
Step 2 Ask Good Questions to Effectively Prioritize the Items on Your List – Once you have everything you need to do out of your head and all of your reminders you have written yourself on recent days onto your list, you can start organizing your list and you can ask yourself some important questions such as
Which tasks have deadlines? I write those beside the task.
Which ones have consequences if they don’t get done and how bad are those consequences? Also, write those beside the task.
Do any of them need to happen before I can do another task? I call these pre-requisits.
When am I most likely to actually do the task? Day/time of day, anything relevant.
Can I combine any task with something I like to do? (like Netflix lol)
Step 3 Organize Your List – This is where you can start putting everything that you wrote from your brain dump into your calendar. You know yourself best so you can break down your list by Morning, Afternoon or Evening so you can put your tasks/appointments etc. into the spots that works best for you. For example, I am more likely to write my blog/newsletter in the morning because that is when I work best.
Step 4 Plan to Be Flexible With Your Schedule – Life rarely works out the way we have on our to do list. Just count on that. It is not likely that you will have a week that will work out exactly as you planned. That’s okay. Adapt. Re-adjust. Re-work your calendar for the rest of the week. Worst case scenario, this’ what your ‘catch up’ day is for. When I find that I have overscheduled myself and there are tasks that I will not be able to get done I go back and make sure all of my deadlines and task are reschedules and I only take things off that I can put on another time. If and when you need to readjust your schedule, it is helpful that you ask yourself the following questions.
What are the things that–even if nothing else gets done–they are the things that MUST HAPPEN
What are the things that–if everything else on the list gets accomplished–in the scheme of things, it’s ok that they didn’t get done?
Are there any items on my list that would be best to just let go of and not worry about anymore?
Are there ways to make some of the things on my list easier for me?
Step 5 Way to Stay on Task to Get Things Done with ADHD – I can’t believe I forgot one important strategies that deserve to be pointed out more specifically. One of the questions I had to ask yourself if there were any times of the day that make your tasks more interesting or at least more tolerable. It turns out that is the keys to staying on task and here are some ways to stay on task.
–What Would Make Me WANT to Do it? Question – There are some tasks that I absolutely hate doing however when I asked myself “What do I need in order to not hate to this specific task?” It turns out the answer was listening to music to motivate me. For whatever reason, it really does help. Another example is when it comes to finding my paperwork to do my taxes. I allow myself breaks which allows me to stand up and move around.
-Start with A Task That You Have The Most Energy For – You know sometimes you can’t always wait to feel like doing a specific task. For example, if you don’t feel like doing your taxes you probably won’t do them and wait to do them. So, if this is the case try to start a task that you have the most energy for. Even if that means you are doing a task that is a lower priority on your to list. Many times, once we get started and we check it off of our list that can give us more motivation than we excepted.
I know this process may seem like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. The first time or two you try it; it may feel a bit time consuming but once you get used to it you start finding appropriate short cuts that don’t lessen the effectiveness and that helps.