It’s a matter of perspective but, if you think about it, this extra day in a leap-year February is really a gift of time! It’s kind of like finding cash in a card from your Aunt when you didn’t expect it, or the unexpected crisp $20 bill in the pocket of your jeans.
What will you do with that gift? Will you spend it wisely, or will you fritter it away?
Using time effectively and efficiently is a struggle for many of my clients, and this struggle often shows up in failure to follow-through on their intentions in a timely manner. Individuals with ADHD struggle with follow-through for a variety of reasons, and it can show up in different ways.
Sometimes, we fail to follow through because our poor organization causes us to lose track of what we need to take care of. Other times, we procrastinate, delay or put things off because we struggle to get started on them.
Often, our procrastination is a bit sneakier—we struggle to do something and find ourselves doing other things that are still productive, but not the higher priority item we really intended to be doing. I call this kind of behavior “Productive Procrastination,” and it can be tricky! Because we’re still working hard and busily executing, it doesn’t look or feel like we’re procrastinating, but rather we have too much on our plates or are not managing our time well. Really, it’s usually less about being too busy or having poor time-management, but is more a manifestation of our ADD-related challenge with follow through!
Regardless of how the struggle with follow-through shows up, it causes a tremendous amount of stress for the individual with ADHD as well as those around them, and damages how we feel about ourselves and our abilities over time.
The first step to improving follow-through for the long haul is to improve self-awareness. Start paying attention to how your follow-through falls apart. If “Productive Procrastination” is a go-to behavior when you are struggling to execute a task, it can be helpful to identify the kinds of behaviors you have when avoiding something you’re struggling with. Do you check email when you’re stuck on a more difficult task? Do you find yourself ticking off the easier things on your to-do list and avoiding certain tasks? Do you dust when you need to file? That’s one of my Productive Procrastination behaviors! As much as I hate to dust, I’ll sometimes find myself with a duster in hand when I intended to be working on something else. (It’s kind of a running joke in my house: if my family sees me with the duster or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser during working hours, they know they need to send me back to my office!)
Identifying your go-to behaviors as indicators of a struggle with follow-through can help you start to take proactive measures to keep you moving when you’re struggling, rather than finding yourself exhausted and constantly behind on the things you intend to do because you have fallen off-track.
When you can identify the challenges, and the early warning signs of trouble, you can help yourself avoid the typical ADHD pitfalls of difficulty with follow through. Improved productivity and (more importantly) improved self-concept will follow!
If you struggle to do what you intend to do and your follow-through suffers, check out my new Push Past Procrastination© group program and use code “Leap10” to save 10% off any product or program in my store!
Until next time,
P.S. If your struggle with Follow-Through is keeping you from reaching your potential, I’d like to offer you a new approach to that as well!
Register now to join the group program!
(And you can use the coupon code below by 3/15/16 to get 10% off the price of the program!)
Find out more: www.PushPastProcrastination.com