9 Best Productivity Tips for ADHD | Pennalife

9 Best Productivity Tips for ADHDers

I’m an ADHDer, and before now, my life looked chaotic. And by “chaotic,” I mean sticky notes everywhere on my screen, colored cards on my desks, and my agitated self screeching because it’s already 2 p.m. and I haven’t crossed a single task off my to-do list. Getting through each day without going crazy was a miracle. 

It’s a different story now. My life is much more organized, and I speed through my daily tasks like Usain Bolt because I can be productive even while working from home. 

In this guide, you’ll discover nine productivity tips for ADHD—and if you take them seriously, you can become the most productive and organized version of yourself. So, let’s dig in.

1. Start your day with a simple mindfulness practice

As an adult with ADHD, starting your day with a mindfulness practice, even if it’s only for 10 minutes, will change so much positively about how you approach every day. 

This mindfulness practice can be as simple as practicing breathing techniques, making a journal entry, saying your morning prayers, doing yoga, or reading positive affirmations out loud.

Don’t jump out of bed to tackle your daily tasks. Start each day with mindfulness so you can feel grounded, present, and focused.

2. Pour out your thoughts and group them by priority

One thing that’s common with us ADHDers is the reality of waking up with 115 ideas clashing in our minds. This makes it overwhelming to find your focus and might heighten morning anxiety

What you should do to drown out the noise and confusion is to empty out your thoughts. Call it what you want: brain dumping, mind mapping, freestyle journaling… Just get out all the things you think you have to do. 

Once this is done, begin to group these tasks by priority level. Is it important? To what level? Is it urgent? This takes away your overwhelm and allows you to know where to start.

3. Attend to tasks you enjoy first

Don’t get tempted to start with the hardest job because it will be a big win. It will tire you out and take up a major chunk of your working hours. Instead, start with the simple tasks you enjoy. Emphasis on “simple” and “enjoy.”

Let me break that down for you.

If you have a writing project (and you enjoy writing) but need to set up your blogging website (which, maybe, isn’t your zone of genius), it would be more productive for you to write first.

You might get stuck down the rabbit hole of HTML code snippets and those YouTube website set-up tutorials you’ve always called boring. And if you do get stuck, this means you will neither write nor set up anything.

But when you start with simple tasks you love, you are more likely to finish them. The feeling of accomplishment, like, “Woohoo! One down… on to the next” washes over you, and that makes you pumped to take on the next task.

4. Break your tasks down into tiny bits

In the past, I would make a long list of tasks I’d never finish in one day, get all panicky during the process of execution (as though someone was chasing me), and at the end of the day, wonder why I wasn’t so productive.

Now, I get more done because I’ve learned to set SMART goals. That means specific – measurable – achievable – relevant – and time-bound goals. When setting your daily goals, you need to work with your ADHD by breaking them down into simple steps.

Woman creating a to-do list since it’s one of the best productivity tips for ADHD.

5. When you achieve “not on your to-do” tasks, add them to the list

If somehow, because you couldn’t effectively manage distractions, you end up completing a task that isn’t on your to-do list (which means your distraction was inclined toward a productive path because you finished a task), add it to the list. 

A win is a win. 

We can quickly get caught up in that wave of guilt, blaming ourselves because of our focus and productivity levels. Something like, “I can’t believe I didn’t do up to 30% of what was on my list today.” Well, guilt-tripping yourself isn’t the answer. 

You did something that wasn’t on your list, so add it in. This helps you find quick wins while you work on strategies to improve your focus level, which brings me to my next point…

6. Try the 2-hour focus sprint to get more done in one day

This 2-hour productivity strategy is one of the best productivity tips for people with ADHD. It’s exactly how I get more work done in two hours than most people do in a whole day, and it’s quite simple. 

I wake up during my most productive times, which start at 6:30 a.m., set the mood, turn on Do Not Disturb mode to block out distractions, schedule a timer for two hours, and crush the tasks on my list. 

Before this focus sprint, I do one key thing: prepare for it the night before by cleaning my workspace, sleeping early, and scheduling my tasks ahead.

7. Overestimate the time for each task

We ADHDers have a different way of estimating time. Most of the time, we underestimate how long a task takes. 

For instance, a project’s due date can seem far away because it’s in seven days, especially since you think the whole process of completing the project will take less than a day. So, you stall and do other things until it’s about 20 hours to the deadline, and you’re bolting through your workflow all panicky and overwhelmed because you need “more time.” 

So, here’s one tip to boost productivity with ADHD: Overestimate the time you give to your tasks. If you think a project will take you one day, schedule two days for it. If you think your laundry will take you two hours, plan for four hours. 

8. Become intentional about tuning out distractions

I’m going to say it… We can’t resist distractions on our own. That’s who we are—and that’s okay.

So, instead of trying to fight your ADHD, why not learn to work with it so you can manage your time and achieve your goals? 

To do this, you can use alarm clocks, set timers on your phone or a time management app like Toggl Track, schedule time limits on apps (for instance, my iPhone has a time block feature called screen time to restrict app usage), and put your phone on DND when you’re in work mode. 

9. Simplify your daily tasks with templates and routines

Templates and routines have simplified my life and business processes. I know what to do when I wake up in the morning, what time to wrap up work, and what I need to put in order before bedtime.

Also, it’s become easier to achieve my daily tasks because I have plug-and-play templates for most things, such as:

  • Templates for my social media content and graphics
  • The Content System Template I use for organizing and tracking my blog content
  • Trello board for organizing newsletters, social post ideas, and more.

I urge you to do the same. Create templates and routines to simplify your workflow and become more productive.

Final Thoughts: Top 9 Productivity Tips for ADHD

You, too, can become productive when you learn to work with your ADHD. 

With this list of the best 9 ADHD productivity tips, you will be able to improve your focus, simplify your everyday tasks, manage your time, and get more done while functioning at your best capacity.

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