My friend and business partner Marcia Hoeck is one of the most productive people I know, yet she never uses a ‘to do’ list. Marcia only discovered she has ADHD a couple of years ago, but that didn’t stop her running a highly successful marketing company for 25 years…and not once did she use a to do list.
I love lists! They make me feel organized and I get a thrill every time I cross an item out, But not everyone feels like this. Some people write lists, have lists of list, but don’t actually take action. This leaves them feeling anxious, overwhelmed and unproductive.
Is this you? Don’t worry! You can use Marcia’s strategy and never have to write another list ever again.
Marcia replaced lists with ‘time blocking’. When she has something to do, instead of writing on a list with the hope to getting round to doing it someday, she opens her agenda and blocks out the time she will do this task. Sounds simple doesn’t it!
However, even though it seems simple, you will properly feel some resistance to this idea. We are so hard wired to use lists, moving away from them is a big mental leap.
Two other issues to be aware of in order to make time blocking work:
1) You need to commit to doing the task at the time you allocated. This isn’t a punishment, it’s to help you!
2) Be realistic about how long a task takes you. ADDers tend to think things will take less time than it actually does. If you plan days with unrealistic time slots, you will quickly fall behind, feel bad about yourself and think time blocking doesn’t work.
Your challenge this week is to try time blocking for a day and see how you find it. My guess is you will enjoy the peace of mind it gives you and want to use it all the time!
Roxi would you mind sharing what app you use? Thanks
I can relate!
It took me a while to find an app which shows me the whole week in one page.
I simply pick the day and time, allow 30 minutes more in case I get distracted and add 2 alarms (1 to tell me it’s time to do it, the second one to get me out of distraction, if needed)
For every task I do, I also add a reward right after completing it. The more boring the task is, the better and longer is the reward.
Plus, I can pick any color I want for the task and even use emotions and symbols instead of plain text!
And if I’m in a lazy mood and I feel like hyperfocusing a bit, I simply drag it to another time slot (unless a message says it’s urgent).