Top Ten Strategies for Getting Things Done with ADD

1. Commit to one vision. You may have many brilliant ideas and plans, but without implementation, none are worth much. Choose ONE idea to flesh out and commit to. Write it down in detail. Picture exactly where you’d like to be with that one idea at the end of a year.

2. Mark each little step on the calendar. After figuring out all the little steps, make a commitment to yourself as to exactly when you’ll do them. Put them on a calendar so you can see all the steps, working backwards from your final goal or deadline.

3. Chunk it down. Divide all tasks into small, manageable chunks. Instead of planning to file a huge pile of papers, plan on filing only one inch of paper at a time. Don’t commit to getting rid of all the clutter in the house; but perhaps one visible shelf at a time.

4. Plan on getting help. Many of the steps may be in areas where it makes more sense to get someone else to help than to do it all yourself. Consider people around you who might find it easy to do the things that you find daunting. For example, if you don’t know Excel, ask your computer-whiz teenager to set up a database. Love to cook, but can’t bear to file? Barter with someone you know who has administrative skills to help with filing. Hate research? Trade an hour of your expertise for a friend’s researching digital cameras for you on the Internet. If clutter has become overwhelming, consider that the cost of hiring a professional organizer for a day (to do what would take you weeks to accomplish) might be worth it.

5. Consider your best mode of focusing attention. If you need to learn new information, think about how you do your best concentrating and memorizing. Are you most effective seeing it, hearing it spoken out loud, or pacing up and down while reciting it to yourself. Maybe rocking in a chair while you make up rhyming lyrics about the information helps you focus best. Don’t assume that the traditional manner works best for you.

6. Learn to observe what distracts you. When you find your time frittered away without accomplishing your intention, start observing and taking notes on what distracts you. Is it your own thoughts, or the need to constantly check and answer email? Do you feel compelled to answer the phone whenever it rings, and then get into long conversations? Once you become clear on what your distractions are, you can start to create strategies to overcome them.

7. Allow multi-tasking to work for you. Many ADDers tend to multi-task, doing two or more things at once to stay stimulated. This can be an excellent strategy for getting things done that don’t require much concentration. You can file while watching TV, or learn Spanish through audio-tape while on the treadmill.

8. Listen to the messages that you give yourself. Do you have a lot of “I can’t” messages in your self-talk? Think about ways to change them to “I will accomplish my goals.” Once you have a strategy for working with your special ADD traits, instead of fighting against them, you can achieve a great deal. Allow yourself to accomplish small steps at a time, and you’ll prove it to yourself.

9. Keep out negative messages from others. If important people in your life are constantly throwing negativity your way, you don’t have to embrace the message. Think of your self-esteem as a fence with a gate. You can CHOOSE whether or not to open the gate to negative messages that drain you. Having a loved one in your life doesn’t mean you must allow in every one of their utterances.

10. Avoid black/white thinking. If something you try doesn’t work, don’t automatically throw it out. Think about what about it didn’t go as planned. Perhaps your strategy just needs tweaking. The idea may still be great, but the implementation can be modified. Or maybe more trial and repeat is needed. Thomas Edison was said to have tried thousands of times before he got the light bulb right!

BONUS STRATEGY: Don’t plan to “try”. Yoda, in Star Wars said: “There is no ‘try.’ There is only ‘do’ or ‘not do.’” Have an intention to DO small steps. Then, if you don’t do them, consider what got in your way in order to modify your strategy next time. If you only say you’ll “try,” you’re giving yourself permission not to do it at all.

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie Mincu is a Personal and Business Coach specializing in Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. She has advanced training and expertise in helping ADDers understand works in their lives and the different strategies that are needed to create action and change. She helps her clients reach goals they never thought possible. To find out more about her and to subscribe to her free newsletter: THRIVE WITH ADD, visit: