Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Things Done: ADHD Edition


Step 1 – Identify the task you plan to do.   For this example, I’ll say I’m going to sort that large, disorganized pile of papers.

Step 2 – Decide when is the appropriate time to do the task.  I choose during naptime, so it’ll be quiet and I can focus.

Step 3 – Go about the rest of the morning as usual.

Step 4 – The baby is down for a nap.  Time to get to work!

Step 5 – Try to remember what I was about to do.  What was I about to do?

Step 6 – Look for to-do list, because maybe I wrote the thing I was planning to do on the to-do list!

Step 7 – Check to-do list I found in this large, disorganized pile of papers.  Wait, no.  This is yesterday’s to-do list.

Step 8 – Continue digging through pile of papers.

Step 9 – This time check the CORRECT list… Nevermind, that’s from last week.

Step 10 – Wow, what a mess.  I really should sort this pile sometime.  Maybe I should write that down…

Step 11 – Decide not to write it down, to avoid creating yet another to-do list to get confused with the others.

Step 12 – Decide to send myself a text reminder instead.

Step 13 – Get out phone.

Step 14 – Remember that I wanted to buy portion-control food containers (for that plan to do healthy meal prep, which I’ll totally follow through on).

Step 15 – Look up prices of aforementioned food containers on Amazon.

Step 16 – Why did I get out my phone?

Step 17 – Instinctively touch Facebook app.

Step 18 – Read the pop up that is now on the phone screen: “Facebook is currently blocked.”  (Whew.  Good thing I have that Block app installed on my phone.  Otherwise I’d get distracted!)

Step 19 – Check email.

Step 20 – Decide not to actually read any of the emails because there are thousands of them, and that’s overwhelming, so I’ll deal with that later.  Again.

Step 21 – Remember that I was about to do something.  What was it?

Step 22 – Walk around looking at everything, hoping something will jog my memory.

Step 23 – Was I going to vacuum?  …No, not during naptime.  The vacuum is too noisy.

Step 24 – Notice how embarrassingly dusty the furniture is.

Step 25 – Dusting!  That must have been the thing I was going to do.

Step 26 – Gather dusting supplies.

Step 27 – Start dusting.

Step 28 – Feel good about myself for finally getting to the thing.

Step 29 – Continue dusting.

Step 30 – Look up and- is that a spider in the corner?!?

Step 31 – No, it’s just a shadow from the texture of the popcorn ceiling.

Step 32 – Why is it called a popcorn ceiling?

Step 33 – Speaking of spiders, did I remember to bug spray?   …Yes.  Yes, I did.  (I think.)

Step 34 – Continue dusting.

Step 35 – Hyperfocus on dusting.

Step 36 – Notice that large pile of papers is in the way.

Step 37 – Gather pile to move it out of the way so I can continue dusting.

Step 38 – …The pile!  That’s what I was going to do:  organize that pile.

Step 39 – Put down dusting supplies.

Step 40 – Actually, I’d better put the dusting supplies away before I forget, or I won’t be able to find them later.

Step 41 – Put away dusting supplies.

Step 42 – Okay, time to get to work!  (For real this time.)

Step 43 – What’s that sound?  Oh.  It’s the baby.  The baby is awake.  I guess naptime is over.

Step 44 – New plan:  I’ll sort that large, disorganized pile of papers TOMORROW.


To do list
Image Credit – StockSnap on Pixabay –


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