I am a perfectionist.
I don’t say that to be vain or brag – because, in fact, it can be (and is, most days) hard for me to deal with. I’m the person that can plan out, step by step, the sequence of tasks that need done in order to finish a project competently & with an elevated level of skill & presentation. I (over) analyze every element, every potential outcome of the project/task/challenge to evaluate my best course of action & I strive for nothing but success… but… I have the attention span of a goldfish with a mind that simultaneously goes a million miles per hour in 72 different directions. If the opening statement didn’t detour you from this blog post & you’ve made it this far, you can probably deduce that I have ADHD. Since my adult diagnosis, I’ve trial & errored more productivity tips & tricks than you can shake a stick at. In those trials & tribulations, I’ve been able to develop a solid list of handy ideas to maintain productivity, that have proven to be pretty fail-proof for myself. If you, too, struggle with the inability to maintain focus & you’re your own worst enemy at being industrious, perhaps there are some ideas in this list that can benefit you!
- Buy An Organizer
- I know. Everyone says to do this… but I will flat tell you, this suggestion won’t work until you’ve made up your mind that it WILL be an asset & you WILL utilize it to help reach your greatest potential. But I suggest not buying just any old organizer; buy one that’s very detailed in order to maximize your time and effort. Mine breaks down my month down to single weeks, and the weeks are divided further down to a daily basis in the form of 30 minute blocks (from 5:00am to 10:30pm). Looking at the week as a whole, when the book is open, the planner has a spot to mark the current week’s main goal, as well as other top priorities for the week. The designer of the book was forward thinking and breaks down those targets for the week, to smaller components by allowing me to make notes of ‘todays goal’ and the top 3 priorities for me to accomplish on said date (or have done by said date). Therefore, aiding me in the mission of chipping away at tasks piece by piece to achieve the larger picture.
- Buy ALL The Colorful Stuff
- Okay, don’t go crazy & buy just to buy. I’m a very creative person & breaking things into color blocks helps my mind sort what I’m doing. For example, school stuff will be blocked out in purple, farm stuff in teal, AvKARE tasks/appointments in red, ect. This allows me to make sure I’m dividing my time wisely and putting adequate amounts of time into each responsibility.
- Set An Alarm
- I set an alarm on my phone in 1 hour blocks. I force myself to be studious and productive for an hour, no outside interruptions until the alarm goes off. At that point, I allow myself 10-15 minutes to take a break, check my phone, do the things that I would normally do, as I was notified – but those notifications would derail my progress under normal circumstances. At the end of that 10-15 minutes, I resume the work at hand, until the alarm goes off again in an hour. If 1 hour blocks don’t work for you, start where you’re comfortable & increase your tolerance to remain focused.
- Ask For Help
- Asking for guidance or ideas if you’re having a mental block isn’t a bad thing! My co-workers have been AMAZING at talking me through when I have a productivity block and helping at getting my creative mind back in action. Realize, you’ll waste more time trying to figure out on your own what the root of your block is, than you will by discussing with someone else & having them aide in jumpstarting the productive side of your mind.
- Get Enough Sleep and Drink Your H2O
- I’m the absolute worst at this, and I’ll own it. But honestly, I’ve found that when I’m actually well hydrated & well rested (meaning NOT running on 4 Dr. Peppers & thriving on the adrenaline of procrastination & deadlines), my mind is bulletproof…. I feel like a disclaimer needs to be added here, that the 5 page + papers written at 3am in college would offer a quality comparative analysis of adrenaline brain vs healthy, bulletproof brain.