Setting an Order to Things

Jump to:


31 Day Challenge: Day 11

One of the more challenging aspects of ADHD is setting priorities or setting an order to things.


It’s hard for us to decide which thing is more important than the other. You would think it would be simple, but many times it isn’t.

We might find that we have a pressing matter to get to, but instead we concentrate on getting small things done. The reason for this is that we are, at heart, perfectionists. By clearing out all of the small stuff, in our minds we are giving ourselves a nice chunk of time with no other commitments so that we can concentrate on the big thing and do a perfect job.

Of course, that isn’t the way that it works.

We are poor managers of and estimators of time. We think something will take 10 minutes when in reality it may take twice that or more.

Also, we tend to not be prepared when we jump into a project so we find ourselves stopping to go get this or that, adding to the amount of time we need.

Here are a couple of ways that you might try in order to learn how to prioritize:

The A, B, C method:

  • A tasks are highly important, due right away, and bad things will happen if you don’t do them – paying an overdue bill, for instance
  • B tasks are more day to day tasks – doing the laundry, returning phone calls
  • C tasks are things that you would like to get done but aren’t critical – checking your email, cleaning your baseboards

Another way involves a grid of importance and urgency:

  • Urgent tasks that are also important are first – like that unpaid bill
  • Important tasks with no urgency to them – going to the gym, for instance
  • Unimportant tasks that are urgent – the phone ringing, someone needing your attention
  • Unimportant tasks with no urgency – checking your email, going online

You can find many other ways to learn to prioritize your tasks, some of them extremely complicated. Try a few simple methods first to see if you can find one that works for you.

Picture of Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

Read More