Last updated: November 27th, 2019
ADHD and procrastination go hand in hand. It’s extremely difficult for people with ADHD to make it to events on time, take care of a to-do list, and of course – start on projects.
Whether it’s knocking out some work for a client, or tidying up around the house, the problem is essentially the same:
People with ADHD have brains that are wired differently, and this makes it difficult to accomplish things (or even begin on tasks).
However, the good news is that once people with ADHD start on projects, these tasks become relatively easy to finish.
You just need to keep the following 5 tricks in mind so that you can do whatever it takes to start on your work.
Because, once you get started, the rest usually takes care of itself…
Trick #1. Understand why people with ADHD are wired to be “lazy”
Most people with ADHD procrastinate because humans are naturally wired to be lazy in just about every possible way.
To put it simply, your ancient ancestors lived in times of extreme scarcity, and your brain still hasn’t adjusted – even after thousands of years.
Think about how cavemen and cavewomen ate food. They rarely knew when they’d be able to hunt food, or drink water for that matter.
So, the human brain always follows the path of least resistance to preserve the maximum amount of energy…all the time.
You might not even realize it, but your brain is constantly working against you!
But, what does this actually mean that you should do?
Well, just keep in mind that your mind and body are constantly working against you – and you have to rise above your subconscious to make good progress with ADHD.
Your mind and body will always want you to take the path of least resistance.
It’s up to you to make the conscious decision to get started on your tasks and accomplish projects.
My own life was extremely difficult when I didn’t understand that humans are inherently wired to be lazy. But, once I realized this, I felt much more capable of making the rational decision to begin on tasks as soon as possible. Even with a severe case of ADHD.
Once you internalize this harsh (yet refreshing) reality of human behavior, you’ll also be in a much better position to stop procrastinating, and quit using ADHD as an excuse (a bit of tough love for you).
Trick #2. Bribe yourself with treats
I know you aren’t a dog.
But, you’re still an animal like the rest of us.
And, we animals respond extremely well to rewards and incentives.
Just think about how great you felt the last time someone offered you a prize, gift or cash in exchange for something (like if you entered a sweepstakes, for example).
If someone offers you the chance to win an amazing vacation, you probably feel a huge incentive to fill out their entry form, right?
Well, bribing yourself works the same way.
So, you can always treat yourself to a vanilla coffee on the condition that you actually take care of your task.
But, make sure to only reward yourself with a delicious treat if you fully accomplish whatever you set out to achieve!
You have to reinforce positive habits and behavior.
Trick #3. Change the task into something better
There might be a very good reason why you’re procrastinating on something.
If you hate cleaning, then you might genuinely despise the act of cleaning, and you need to hire a maid to take care of that job for you.
If you don’t like some type of work that you need to start on, then you might not like your company or job environment, and need to change jobs.
Procrastination is often a deep-rooted issue that stems from having to do something that you really don’t want to do.
So, if you have the opportunity to change the task into a more positive scenario – then go ahead and do that.
You’ll feel much happier afterwards.
Trick #4. Delegate the task
If you really can’t change the task at hand (i.e. you can’t leave your current job for some reason), then just delegate the task to someone who enjoys it.
Websites like Fiverr, TaskRabbit and HelloFresh can help you delegate probably 70% of your most annoying tasks.
What else could you be struggling with?
Taxes? Get an accountant.
Marital problems? See a therapist.
Money problems? Pick up a second job, or start an ADHD website and get to hustling!
We live in an age that’s full of resources (some would say too many resources). So, if there’s a good reason why you can’t start on a task, then you can certainly find a way to delegate or outsource the task at hand.
Trick #5. Remind yourself that you have two tough choices in life: mental or physical pain
Whenever my ADHD-induced procrastination gets bad, and I’m really struggling to start a task, I like to remind myself that I have only two choices in life…
Mental pain, or physical pain.
In other words – everyone’s gotta’ work. And, you can work a white collar job (mental pain) or a blue collar job (physical pain).
Most people with ADHD are white collar workers, and have to endure lots of mental pain (pain related to stress, solving problems, dealing with clients, bosses and co-workers).
The harsh reality is that most people with ADHD are always going to have to face some amount of mental pain. There’s no escaping this pain.
So, when you start to procrastinate, you should also think about how you’re just delaying the inevitable pain that 99% of the global population has to face in one way or another.
You will always experience some sort of pain.
But, life is a lot better when you can learn to constantly take on the mental pain up front, and just get it over with.
Just start on your tasks as soon as possible, so that you can get that mental pain over with. The pain is only temporary.
Plus – just think about how good you’ll feel once your task is all over with.
It’ll be a massive feeling of relief. Then, you can just rinse and repeat.