How Do You Get Things Done?

Today is October 11, 2016.

I have things on my to do list today from January 1, 2016.

OK. Maybe that’s an exaggeration.

Or maybe it’s not.

See, my youngest daughter got engaged on New Years Eve 2015/16.

That’s my excuse.

I was the mother of the bride.

I had to help plan a wedding and fly across the country numerous times.

I couldn’t possibly schedule an appointment or two in between.

So now it’s October and I need to catch up with at least 4 appointments. Silly things like mammograms, eye exams, and dental visits. Plus the dog needs to go to the vet.

So why can’t I bring myself to make a few simple phone calls?

And while I’m at it, why can’t I clean out a closet or two, mop the floor, or mail my daughter her stuff?


You want to know why?

Cause none of those things are fun.

I did manage to pull off a wedding, decorate for the holidays, make my grandson a Halloween costume, and spend time with my friends. Oh, and I got my hair done a few times too.

Cause those things are fun.

So how do you learn to be an adult and get the adulting stuff done?

Clearly, I’m no expert.

But I do know how to research and share.

You need to start by making a list; a ginormous list of everything that you need to do. You’re not going to think of everything and that’s OK; just begin.

Ideally you could put this list in your planner but at least put it where you can find it again. That means not in a “safe place”. 🙂

Once you’ve got your list, go through it and:

  • Cross off anything that you have either had as a “to do” for more than 6 months or really doesn’t need to be done – emphasis on need rather than want.
  • Look for things you can delegate to someone else. You might want to use different colors or symbols to tell things apart.
  • Make note of anything that has a due date. If you’re making Halloween costumes, that needs to get done soonish. Or it could easily be crossed off or delegated – your choice.
  • Look for important things that need to get done, like maybe making an appointment for a mammogram.

Once you have your list prioritized, find one or two important or date relevant items and put them on your schedule.

Now here’s the hard part: actually doing them.

Remember the fun factor? Mammograms are no fun, but the potential consequences are worse.

Put your big girl panties on and do them. Doing them first thing in the morning is best, cause then you will good all day. And when you feel good about getting things done, you’re more likely to do more.

Or maybe find an accountability partner – a good friend, your spouse, or even your kid – someone who will check in, make sure you do whatever it is, and help you through when you don’t.

Still having trouble?

A few things to think about:

  • Are you depressed? It’s common with ADHD, and even if you’re taking medication, it may not always help. Look around at the bigger picture of your life. What’s going on? Maybe there is a stressful situation, or it’s the time of year, or even the weather. If you think it is depression, you need to seek help. At least find someone to talk to, even if you choose not to see a professional. Give yourself some time to rest and recover and do what you can to get things done in the meantime.
  • Are you trying to do too much? As ADDers, we often take on more than we should. Again, take a look and regroup. Learn to say no. Really.
  • Are you afraid? The reason many women don’t do things – like get mammograms – is because they are afraid. My mom used to say, “If I’m sick, I’ll either get better or die, so there’s no reason to see a doctor”. Don’t you love it?
  • Are you overwhelmed? Being overwhelmed is not the same as trying to do too much. Rather, it is a state of paralysis because you don’t know where to begin. My advice? Just start.

What about you?

How do you get things done?




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About Brenda Nicholson

I am an ADHD Expert, Coach, and Consultant. I want you to learn how to celebrate your life with ADHD too.

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