Goal-Setting for ADHDers, Part 4

So you’ve done all the work, and you have a to-do list made of small steps/tasks. But that list is kinda long, and it’s hard to get through. Some days, you can’t even get started on the first thing, because the whole list is just too much.

I’ve got you, don’t worry! There are a few ways to cut down the overwhelm, and that’s what we’re going to get into today.

Pinnable image for this post. Illustration of a man holding a long sheet of paper, looking stressed out. The paper says "What should I do?" on it..

Method the First: Use Categories

Remember how I suggested categorizing your life into different areas? Well, apply those categories to your to-do list. I highly recommend colour-coding your categories and using highlighters on the list.

Once you have everything categorized, you can split the list into multiple smaller lists instead. These smaller lists will be less overwhelming. Then you can have set times each day when you work on tasks from specific categories.

If these category lists are still too much, fear not! We have more options to cover.

Method the Second: Prioritization

Prioritizing can be pretty hard, but here are a couple of ways you can assign priorities to your tasks.

  • Order by due date. The tasks that are due soonest are higher priority than things that are due later on.
  • Order by how much you want to do things. I recommend alternating between things you don’t want to do and things you do want to do, just to make sure you get the unfun stuff done.

Method the Third: Triplets

Start with categories and prioritization, then group everything by what you need or where you need to do the different tasks. Then do the tasks in what I call “triplets”: groups of three tasks with a break after the third task.

Method the Fourth: Goals & gravy

When I’m having a Bad Brain Day, it can really help to set myself “Goals & gravy.”

Goals are important things that I need to get done, and I choose three.

Meanwhile, gravy is made of three tasks that I would like to get done but that aren’t vital.

I like to do a Goal and then a gravy, so gravy is like a reward for doing Goals. The best part is that if I do any of the other things on my list, it’s extra!

So there you have it: four ways to manage to-do list overwhelm! And that concludes our month of goal-setting. I hope some of the information has been helpful for you this month. Join me next week as I introduce February’s focus!