Why Do You Procrastinate, and What Can You Do About It, With Your ADHD? — ADHD Top O the Day 755


Procrastination, a major issue with ADHD

I’ve been putting this off, but now I’m going to offer a series on procrastination, and strategies to help you deal with it.

Why do we procrastinate?

  1. The task seems too daunting, it will take too much time and too much effort.
  2. The task seems too daunting, not sure I can actually do it or if I can do it well (perfectionism is a booger.)
  3. The task seems too daunting, I don’t have a clue about how to start it.
  4. The task seems too unpleasant, like anything involving paper work, for example..
  5. I feel like I’m being pushed to do it and I’m resisting.
  6. It may seem like a  linked task; you can’t do A until you’ve done B, which you can’t do until you’ve done C, which you can’t do until you’ve done A.

It may help if you understand why you’re procrastinating, but what you really need are strategies.  Those are coming.


Bonus Links:

James Clear, with another excellent treatise, this one on procrastination

Am I avoiding or procrastinating?



@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp

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 amazon.com, or smashwords.com (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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7 Responses to Why Do You Procrastinate, and What Can You Do About It, With Your ADHD? — ADHD Top O the Day 755

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

  2. Stig says:

    How about one more reason: An actual phobia (or similar) for some kinds of tasks?

    I procrastinate a lot on studying. Despite lots of failures in recent years, now that I know I have ADHD I have every reason to believe I have the strategies I need to get started, fight distractability, and learn.
    Yet something in me resists, and for years I couldn’t pin it down (we are sometimes less aware of our emotions than other people). When I finally dug deeper into this fear, it hit me: As a smart but socially awkward kid and youth, school was the one thing I was really good at. It became crucial to my self-esteem. But at university the subjects grew larger, and eventually my heroic all-nighters no longer worked. The first time I failed an exam was a shock.

    So on top of all the distractability, I have an inner critic that goes berserk with threats to my self-image whenever I think of studying, and I couldn’t deal with this because I wasn’t even consciously aware of it! For now the best strategy I’ve found is to consciously drag “the Critic” out into the open, let him give his worst (kind of gestalt therapy/roleplay), and then repeat some rational/helpful responses (I imagine an encouraging “Coach” persona for this).

    Does this make sense? Maybe I’m not the only one who procrastinates for this reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stig. great comment. it does make sense. but I’m not sure it’s technically a phobia. you were procrastinating because you were afraid you couldn’t do well? And your critic was going to clobber you. good for you for figuring this out and then getting a great strategy to handle it. you are describing negative self talk, a booger, and positive self talk, an antidote.
      like you, i did fine in school til college. then, oh my. i didnt know how to study, and i didnt know that i didnt know. years later i learned how – what a difference.
      thank you for commenting


      • Stig says:

        Maybe not technically a phobia, but the effect is very similar. I even put a mirror on my desk, and the emotion I saw in my face when I tried to start studying was fear. It didn’t feel like negative self-talk, it was usually not verbal at all (though maybe ADHD is making me less aware of automatic self-talk than a non-ADHD-er would be). Just a vague discomfort and way too many days where I completed a lot of my ToDos … but somehow not the studying.

        I have suspected for years that threats to self-esteem had a lot to do with my procrastination, but I thought finding out the root cause of my academic problems (ADHD) and using targeted strategies would take care of that too. Rationally speaking, I finally had the skills needed to succeed. However, trying to study still FELT too awful.

        Only last week I tried to analyze the discomfort and actually ENCOURAGE negative self-talk, but of course in order to expose it and draw its fangs. This seems to reduce the fear/discomfort and help me get started and engaded in the material.


  3. rammkatze says:

    Procrastrination is a booger. I usually feel so “droopy” that I don’t do anything. At all. What helped me a lot from your blog was the tip about thinking “if you could do one thing today, what would it be?” So I do one thing. Sonetimes I do two or three things, and it’s not a lot, but it’s something and I pat myself on the back for it


    Liked by 1 person

    • ram – you got it. Glad the tip is helping. sorry you feel droopy. depression is a frequent companion of ADHD. Why is that? Maybe the genes and/or the neural network are related, or maybe its just from all the messes we have in our lives.
      thank you for commenting


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