The Power of One, for ADD ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 658

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,strategy, strategies, tips,living with ADD,living with ADHD,coping with ADD,coping with ADHD,symptoms,problems,ADD problems,ADHD problems,ADHD symptoms,procrastination,procrastinating,one,one thing,@addstrategies, #adhd, #add, @dougmkpdp,@adhdstrategies

Am I procrastinating? Or just waiting til the time is right?

List of One – for ADD ADHD Overwhelmed

I was already overloaded when I got the notice that my gross receipts tax (New Mexico!) had not been paid for December, 2014. Think of the penalties! Think of all the research to do. Think of filling out the forms and writing the check and addressing the envelope. Oh my!

My short to do list was already too long and my list of five was already up to seven. I couldn’t decide where to start. I alternated between sitting, paralyzed and stagnant, or spinning around in circles.  

Then I made my list of one.  On the back of an old envelope, I wrote, “TAX.”  That was probably the most important thing on my list of eight, but it didn’t matter. I just needed to do something.

One Thing

Sometimes I think I have too many things to do.  This can cause stagnation, demoralization, procrastination.

And it’s not true.

I only have one thing to do.  In the example above, it’s the tax.

So when I’m doing something, or thinking about doing something, I’m thinking,”But, oh, I need to do this, and I need to do that, and I need to do the other, too.”

No, I only need to do one thing.  When that one is done, then I’ll need to do the next one thing, but right now, it’s just this one.

That works better.


Bonus Link:

Does ADD ADHD change with age? – from Linda Roggli


@addstrategies @dougmkpdp #add #adhd

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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20 Responses to The Power of One, for ADD ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 658

  1. Pingback: This Is Embarrassing — ADHD Tip O the Day 833 | ADDadultstrategies

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  5. Have you heard of the method called 5-3-1 or maybe it’s 1-3-5. You plan 1 big thing, three medium things and 5 small things. I think it’s an interesting idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s the truth. That’s why I’ve been enjoying the pomodoro technique of time management. I only do something for 25 minutes and then I do something else. I know I’ll get to everything eventually but I can pick one thing for now and then do something else. Otherwise I’m the same as you – paralyzed and overwhelmed!!!

    By the way, I started a new blog called I’ll be posting whenever I want and about whatever I want – mainly stuff that happens in my crazy life – definitely ADHD related things.

    I also finally scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist. I’m going on November 30th. I need help managing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Here is my new way to handle tax preparation. I am behind by more than one year. I can not get it sorted. I have all the information I need but I cannot get it to the accountant in any form. I asked her to please send me, by email, a list of three things she needs as she assembles the information. When she sends me the list of three, I send her what she needs. Then, she sends me a new list.

    Sometimes the list is easy, like looking up numbers; sometimes it is hard, like figuring out my office P and L for a calendar year. Or scanning a 1099 into my computer and emailing it to her.

    But three are do-able. She just waits until she has the three things. No reminders, no admonitions, her mailbox is open to me and when I get the three things ready, I send them.

    There is no way in the world that eventually the tax returns will not get done. And I will continue to do them this way forever and not be behind.


    • Betsy – This is brilliant! The List of Three. You don’t need to do your taxes, you just need to do the three things, then the next three. I may find a way to make a post out of this, it’s so great.
      thank you

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. I am 100% certain accountants deal with people like me all of the time and don’t have much idea how to help. If this works over the long haul, which I think it will do (aided not insignificantly by the fact that SHE generates the list and I agree to do it, relieving me of the deciding part), I hope she uses it with other people.

        Honestly, though I do not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I know the trip will cost a little more, it can’t not work; and whatever the additional cost will be worth it in penalties not accrued and in peace of mind, which I sorely need. Don’t we all.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. rammkatze says:

    This could be me, yup. I’ve been delaying urgent matters, but right now I geht my comfort from the fact that I’m doing cost-control – big efforts to think twice (IR even more) before purchasing things.


    • Ram – you deserve the comfort for working on the spending. that rule of thinking twice is a good one, tho hard to do. if you stick with it,tho, it will become a habit. and you may be illustrating the point that it works best to only work on one or two things at a time.
      thank you as always for commenting


  9. diane-yes, it works (usually). and routine is good. I like using the alarm
    thank you for commenting


  10. Dianne in the desert says:

    Yes! Once I became aware of being “frozen” or “stuck” because my list of things to do was made of seemingly equally urgent matters, it was going to be up to me to figure out where to start. Like you, I had to pick one. When that task had been accomplished or taken to a stopping point, I moved to the next most urgent/important task.

    It helps that I have set routines for the three parts of my day and that I have alarms set to remind me to get those things done. The odd thing is that, when I deliberately break my stride to deal with the “routine” matters, my head seems to clear so that I can take on the next important thing. For me, this method works. YMMV.


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