As an adult with ADHD, you have probably learned how you can get stuff done. SOMETIMES. But when you create that mental or physical list of to-dos, do you find yourself purposefully avoiding the most important and often time relevant tasks? With your routines in Brili, do you keep reordering or pushing those important tasks back until the very end of your routines?
This idea is known as Procrastivity or 'sneaky avoidance', because you are getting SOMETHING done, just not the thing you should be doing.
Studies have found that these tasks you might tend to be avoiding are those that have the highest priority on your to-do list and are often tied to more strict deadlines.
If you are consistently opting for the tasks on your to-do lists or in your routines that have a predictable time frame, are often more physical in nature, require less cognitive activity and are familiar to you, that is most likely your Procrastivity!
As the word literally is a combination between procrastination and productivity, it is not all bad! You are getting things done, which is pretty good. However, Procrastivity is a sneak way of putting studying for a test or preparing for a pitch at work off for "just another day". It is the picking and choosing of what you are deciding to procrastinate over an extended period of time.
SO, here are some ways you can structure your routines in order to avoid your tendency for this 'sneaky avoidance'.
Tip 1 - Structuring Your Structure? Where Does It End!?
On your list of to-dos, it can be positive to start with some easier more physical tasks to get you in the flow of getting stuff done. For instance, doing laundry or cleaning the kitchen. These times serve as a great on ramp for the larger task(s) you have planned, they also allow you time to think!
Once those less draining tasks are out of the way, placing the BIG to-do in the center of your routine with a break for cushion at the beginning and the end can be extremely beneficial. These breaks allow you to mentally prepare before and re-adjust after completing that BIG task.
In your list of tasks, the BIG to-do you need to get to, shouldn't necessarily just be one line, card or sentence to be crossed off or swiped away. Try breaking that BIG task down into at least 5 separate 'crossables' or smaller task cards in any way you see as beneficial. You could start with a 'prep' task, where you collect all the relevant documents or open all the relevant tabs. After prep could be the 'formatting' or 'Execution' tasks, whatever, try to get creative with how you chop things up.
Tip 2 - Acknowledge The Discomfort
Be honest with yourself, you ARE avoiding the task, so ask yourself "why?". Think on it a bit or talk with your nearest friend. You will likely find your answer and realize that it is not actually connected to the task or action itself at all but your thoughts around it.
It is easy to paint a mental picture of all the things a task is going to make you have to do, yes, but half of those conceptualization aren't as accurate as you think they are. For instance, how long you think it will take you to complete a task can be impacted and lengthened by the anxiety or stress you have associated with it in the past.
You brain is sneaky and you've had you're Procrastivity to rely on for so long that it has become in some ways part of your subconscious decision making. Verbalizing this really helps break through that block and start the task you've been putting off. Remember this is difficult, so the more you externalize and converse with others the more beneficial it will be for your routines.
TIP 3 - IF X THAN Y
This goes for any task really, but is particularly effective with the big ones. You might already know how to develop physical or environmental cues for getting certain things done but associating certain places with certain actions is key. In the same way you usually don't remember to brush your teeth while working in the garage, putting yourself in the right environment can really help.
Having a crossable or swipe-able task like 'Head to the Bathroom' before you get to the task of personal hygiene ensures your have set and setting to begin.
Relating this to tip 1 above, if your first two tasks of getting that BIG task done are 'Head to Office' and 'Sit & Open Computer to Browser', the more likely you are to say "AHHHH fine" and get it over with.
The more you do tasks repeatedly in certain places the more immediate and easily replicated they become.
If you do not have Brili yet to try these techniques out, why not try it for 30 days completely free, no automatic charges whatsoever. Surveying hundreds of our community members over the past two years we know that Brili Routines can help you regain at least 30 minutes of your morning or afternoon. That's 30 minutes you can decide what to do with, so give it a try!