Completing Those Projects that Just Never Get Done!
By Leslie Rouder, LCSW
People with ADD very often complain that they have a problem with starting and/ or completing projects. This is often a great source of stress in one’s life, in light of the many projects that just never seem to get done. Some of the reasons Adder’s seem to struggle so much in this area has to do with their inability to begin a project, no less follow through to completion. Sometimes individuals with ADD suffer from chronic procrastination, over commitment, and the inability to focus one’s attention long enough to see a project through to the end. Since Adder’s have problems planning and prioritizing, beginning a project can often feel overwhelming. The following is a list of steps one can take in alleviating this problem and creating an action plan that helps:
- Put your goals in writing.
- Research has shown that people who write their goals verses those who do not, get them accomplished far more often. Remember you can’t hit a target that you can’t see. Make your project concrete and realistic. Keep it simple and don’t bight off more than you can chew.
- Establish the Action Steps you will need to take in order to complete the project.
- Break down the project into small action steps and write each step down on your goal list.
- Determine how long each action step will take and put a time frame next to each step.
- Determine what materials will be needed to complete each action step.
- Make sure that you have all the materials that you will need to complete the project before beginning. That way, you will not have to stop once you get started and lose your focus.
- Give yourself a time frame in which to complete the goal or project.
- Now that you have determined each step and the approximate time each step will take, you can set a realistic time frame to complete the project. If, while working on the project, you realize that you miscalculated the time it would take to complete each task, go back to your action plan and modify the time frame given this new information.
- Continue to review your action plan every day until completion.
- Not only is important to write your goals, but it is also important to keep them in your sights and review them daily. The more you keep them in your mind, the faster you will complete them.
- Keep going!
If you have gotten this far, you have done most of the hard work. Now race to the finish!
Always take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work you have done. This will re-enforce the great feeling of knowing that you can complete a project and achieved your goals. The more positive experiences you have like this, the more confidence you will develop in achieving your goals. This will make it easier for you the next time a project comes along. Remember that believing that you can is half the battle.
Leslie is an ADD coach and counselor. You can read more about Leslie at www.addadults.net