Getting It Done

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Yesterday, I wrote about self management; about how it isn’t our time we need to manage so much as ourselves.

Katrina left me a comment:

…HOW do I get motivated to take that shower first thing in the morning and ready for the day?

Katrina makes an excellent point. Setting aside time every day to do the things that you need to do, putting them in neat little boxes and entering them on your calendar doesn’t mean that you will do them. In fact, it can be just a well organized list of what you didn’t do and when you didn’t do it.

So the problem here also includes motivation. How do you motivate yourself to do the things that you should?

I have some ideas:

First, and probably most important: those of us with ADHD are accustomed to waiting for inspiration to strike or the motivation to do something. I hear it all the time – I do a much better job and a quicker one if I can do it when I’m in the mood to do it. Guess what? There are some things that you really should be doing that you will never be in the mood to do. Income taxes and root canals come to mind.

That being said, I want you to commit the following to memory and tattoo it on your forehead, too.

Motivation does not inspire action; action inspires motivation.

Or to quote Nike, “Just Do It”.

Second on the list is that those of us with ADHD like shiny new things. Variety, in other words. We get tired of the same old, same old all the time and we lose interest. Add in something different and pleasant, and we are once again interested.

I might suggest to Katrina, for instance, that she buy herself some shower gel that smells divine, or a fabulous new shampoo guaranteed to make her love her hair, or maybe even some new clothes that will inspire her to get up, showered, and dressed just so she can see how cute she looks.

Now you know that won’t work forever. But if Katrina can alternate the shower gel with the shampoo and the new clothes, maybe she can string her interest along a little further.

Next, forget perfection. Why is it that we are so obsessed with perfection? Things will never be perfect; it will never be the absolute right time to do anything. Once again, just do it.

Give yourself a time limit. Agree that you will begin whatever thing it is you’ve been putting off, but you only have to do it for 15 minutes and then you get to stop.

Break it up into teeny, tiny bites. The smaller, the better. Then do just one. Need that root canal? Start by getting the phone book out. Maybe tomorrow you can look up the number and write it down. Bit by bit, see?

Be in the moment. Focus on today, not the future or the past. Do something – anything – in the next 5 minutes that takes you closer to your goals. Then keep doing it, over and over.

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Lacy Estelle

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

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