Adults with ADHD have big problems knowing how to prioritize. One reason why it’s so tricky is because the brain is like a popcorn machine; constantly generating ideas of things to do, see and create. When faced with all these interesting options, it’s hard to know what to do first.
The definition of Prioritize is:
‘designate or treat (something) as more important than other things.’
The big question is, how do you decide what is more important than the other things? The best way for ADDers is to step back from the day-to-day dramas and mini crises and figure out what matters most to you. These are the things that, even on your deathbed, you are proud you spent time doing. Think of your BIG 5, health and family are normally in there; others will vary depending on you personally.
When you have your BIG 5, prioritizing your time will be easy. For example, if health is number 1 and you get invited to an event when you had planned to exercise, it’s an easy decision to say, “thanks, but no thanks” to the event.
Your Big 5 will stay pretty constant throughout your life. However, life is constantly changing and so do your short-term goals. Every 12 weeks, pick 3 priorities for this time period. These Flexi 3 will reflect your short-term goals. They could be related to anything from a work project to home renovation.
When you are clear on your BIG 5 and Flexi 3, write them down in places you will see often; such as: in your wallet, above your desk, etc., so you never forget them.
Getting clear on what is important to you doesn’t take long, but it does really help you to prioritize quickly and effectively, be productive, less scattered, make and enable you to focus your attention on projects and activities that mean the most to you.