Practical ADHD Time Management Tools
Alex provides his top 3 ADHD time management productivity hacks to help you overcome your ADHD to get things done.
You write to-do lists, but you still don't get enough done. And if you're anything like my ADHD mom, you've probably found yourself halfway back home after picking the kids up from daycare only to look in the backseat and realize you've left one behind, again.
Ah yes, I cherish those childhood memories.
Enough is enough – the time for you to become more productive, focused and less forgetful is now!
I developed three productivity hacks to overcome my ADHD, and now I'm going to share them with you.
Measure Your Time
You wake up every day with the same 24 hours as everyone else. Being productive isn't about being busy, it's about using your time efficiently. You have to get the most out of your time because once you waste it, there's no getting it back.
So how do you get the most out of your time? It's simple.
Measure Everything You Do
The only way you can become more productive is if you measure how long it takes you to finish things (like writing emails, or something you do at work.) Fortune 500 companies are continually doing this because wasted time is wasted money.
The same applies to you.
Do you want to be more productive? So ask yourself, what's making you unproductive? And we don't mean ADHD. What we mean is:
- Who or what is making you lose focus?
- What activities take up the most of your time?
You need to start keeping track of or measuring how long it takes you to do things. For example, keeping track of how long it takes me to write this article.
When I'm finished, I'll compare the time it took me to complete this article compared to the last one I wrote. This will allow me to see if I wrote this article fast enough.
If it took me an hour or two longer to write this article than the last one, that's a signal telling me I wasn't as productive as I could've been. In this case, I'd think back to everything I was doing while I was writing this article.
Maybe I was on my phone or got sidetracked while doing research. Whatever it was, I'll be sure to note what I did wrong so when I start writing a new article, I can read the note and avoid repeating the same mistake.
This is a process of "reviewing & improving" you can apply to anything you do.
The Best Way to Stay Focused is to Remove Distractions Completely
Every second you spend on your phone is a second you could've used to get something done. If you want to get the most out of your time you need to create a "productive, friendly environment."
Which means: your phone is set to airplane mode, the TV is off, and your to-do list is only a few feet away from you.
I strongly recommend you:
- Start writing to-do lists if you aren't already.
- Keep your to-do lists nearby at all times.
Being able to see your to-do list will help you form plans, stay focused and keep yourself organized. I check my to-do list as often if not more than I check my phone.
The bottom line is this: if there's nothing to distract you then you can't get distracted.
Do What's On Your To-Do Lists
One important thing to remember about to-do list is you can't just write stuff down and expect it to get done magically.
You have to review your to-do lists consistently. Anytime you finish a task; you need to cross it off on your to-do lists. This will give you a chance to remind yourself of everything else on your to-do lists you need to get done and choose a new "do" to complete.
You also need to look at your to-do lists when you wake up and when it's time for bed. This way you can start your day with knowing what needs to get done ASAP. This has saved me many times when it comes to deadlines and appointments I forgot about.
To give you an idea, I have three to-do lists. One is for work and another for school. My third to-do list covers "miscellaneous" to-dos like appointments. I write mine down on notebook paper and usually use at least one whole page.
I hope these ADHD productivity hacks I've told you about will help you get more done with your time.