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Learn effectiveness and efficiency Skills to help with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD Prioritizing Skills:

Individuals with ADHD struggle with organizing their day and tend to focus on completing B tasks; those that are interesting, easy, fun, or quick to do. It makes sense for this to occur because these tasks are more congruent with their short attention span (avoidance of activities that require sustained attention) and desire for quick rewards (impatience). On the other hand, A tasks (those that are laborious, boring, and required a lot of time to complete) are either completed after B task are done or not done at all. Unfortunately, most of the tasks required for daily living, work, or relationships fall in the A task category.

Instead of focusing on whether an item is an A task or a B task, work should be completed based on urgency and importance. Those items that need to be done now or catastrophe will ensure if not done need to be taken care of prior to those that can be completed later or are irrelevant.

So. When planning your day, make a list of all the things can be done. I would still include fun activities like going for a job or watching your favorite TV show. Then, rank them based on their importance and urgency. Go down your list completing each task in order and check your rank list periodically to keep yourself on track. Do as much as you can before the next day. Hopefully you will have gotten to the end of your task list and have been able to reward yourself with a successful day with the fun activities which were likely at the end. If something has not been completed, add it to your list of things to do for the next day and repeat. Organizing your day in this way also helps cut down the time spent thinking about what to do because you only have to do it once instead of after every activity. Don’t forget to update your task list if something new comes up during the day.

Example: Task List – Your rankings may be different for these items based on your individual situation.

6) Do this weeks grocery shopping

2) Get dinner for tonight

4) Go for daily run

1) Study for test tomorrow

7) Write paper due in two weeks

5) Laundry

3) Watch Duke Basketball game – live

This prioritization system is one of many. If you have found one that works for you, GREAT! Otherwise, give this a try and see if you are being more effective and efficient.

If you would like to talk about prioritization in person, please give us a call.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Namdari
Dr. Namdari, Chapel Hill, Cognitive Psychiatry

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