Prioritizing and Procrastination with ADHD

Recently, as I was preparing for my procrastination discussion with Tara McGuillicudy on ADHD Support Talk Radio I asked my Twitter followers for input.  The first theme that arose was prioritization which tends to be difficult for someone with ADHD.  When someone has trouble prioritizing, it can lead to procrastination simply because you don’t know where to start.

Skill Building

While prioritizing can be difficult for someone with ADHD, it is a skill that can absolutely be developed.  Stop reading for a moment while you get a piece of paper and a pen.  Don’t wait until later (don’t procrastinate!)

Make three columns on your paper and label the columns, “Task”, “Must?” and “When?”  In the task column write down everything you can think of that is currently on your To Do list.  Don’t worry about the other two columns for now.  I recommend just writing out the list to avoid getting stuck on the actual priorities at this point.

Do you dislike the idea of writing a list?  If you prefer another method, try using sticky notes and putting them up on a wall.  The movement can be helpful and you can move your tasks around as needed.


After your list is done, go back and answer the question, “Is this something I must do?” and answer yes or no.  Next, for the items that must be done answer the question, “When must this be complete?”  After you have done this, look at your must dos that are due in the next few days.  These are most likely your top priority and need to be tackled first.


Now, write down your top priorities in your planner on the day that you plan to complete the task.  What?!?  No planner?  Be sure to get my guide to choosing the right planner before starting your shopping.

Now that you have your prioritized list, we have broken down one barrier to procrastination!  Congratulations!


To learn more about overcoming procrastination with ADHD, join me on May 31, 2011 for a free teleclass titled “Procrastination and ADD / ADHD: Strategies for the Real World“.  I will help you identify how procrastination affects you and learn how to develop strategies and an action plan to overcome procrastination in your life.

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