Let’s say that you’ve been following along on this series of blogs on Procrastination. You’ve read that procrastination is a particular hazard for those of us who have ADHD because you need to have the right level of stimulation to pay attention to something… and it is hard to do a task if you can’t pay attention. The last blog covered how to increase stimulation levels so you can work on a particularly tough task. In this blog we’re talking about momentum and its role in overcoming procrastination.
Starting and switching tasks can be rough for those of us who have ADHD. If you have a hard time starting a task or switching to a task that you’ve been procrastinating on then it seems extra important to use momentum to your benefit when you do get on a roll. For this reason, I rarely advocate for the “one bite at a time” or incremental approaches to dreaded tasks. Instead, try to get started and then plan to roll through as much of the task in one sitting as possible. You may want to manage your environment in advance so nobody interrupts you while you’re on a roll. If you can, plan to knock a task completely out in one sitting. If you push yourself for the knock-out you get the satisfaction of completion along with a reprieve from having to start the task *again* when you really dread it.
Another approach that often works is sneaking into momentum by telling yourself that you’ll only work on something for 10 minutes. If you don’t have concentration after 10 minutes, cut your loses and switch tasks. If you do get in the right frame of mind then let the productive time extend.
If you get on a roll, please pay attention to how great it feels to have momentum on the projects. Shower yourself with congratulations for your efforts. Gleefully make a todo list with the procrastination task on it and cross it out enthusiastically, maybe cross it out with color or sparkles and put that completed list on the fridge. Do your best to fall in love with the feeling of momentum and task completion. Perhaps next time an onerous task is put on your plate you can recall the great feeling of completion rather than focusing on the potential for dread. (This is a little teaser to the last blog on this topic… attitude. I can’t resist adding a blurb here because momentum and happiness are closely related.)