Possibly the most crucial step in getting things done is the simple act of getting started. This can be particularly challenging for people with ADHD because ADHD impairs the executive function necessary for task initiation. If you’re finding that you just can’t get started on your To-Do list, here are some tips to improve task initiation.
A long To-Do list can be overwhelming and that feeling can often discourage people from getting started. If you’re faced with a long list of tasks, first decide which ones need to be given priority. Next, choose which tasks to move to a later date or remove from your list altogether. Try breaking down your To-Do list into daily, weekly, and monthly priorities so you don’t get overwhelmed by too many tasks at once. When you have a more manageable task list, you’ll find it easier to get started.
Often we forget why we are doing certain things. Find the motivation to get started on your tasks by reminding yourself of the benefits and positive outcomes of finishing the job. By focusing on the potential rewards of completing a task, you’ll find you have more motivation to get started.
Build A Support System
Building a support system can help promote task initiation. A support system can include having a trusting colleague or friend help keep you accountable, but it also includes optimizing your health so your body can better support your brain. Factors such as lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise can impair executive functioning even further and make it that much harder to get started on your work.
Goal-setting and positive reinforcement can help motivate you to start crossing tasks off your list. Set a timer and challenge yourself to work for a designated period of time with lots of short mini-breaks worked in. If you meet that challenge, reward yourself for a job well done!
Often the anticipation of a task is much harder than the task itself. By using these tips, I hope you can find ways to help yourself overcome the hurdle of getting started. Once you do, you’ll find yourself getting things done in no time!
If you’d like additional help with task initiation, contact me today to discuss a personal coaching plan.