This is the final post in a series on how to do longterm projects. To see previous post go here, here and here.
It’s hard for people with ADHD to focus on one project at a time. That’s ok. Don’t pressure yourself to just do one thing. Give yourself permission to take a on a project and come back to it later. Doing this keeps a longterm project novel. In the middle of reorganizing and decluttering our house, some days, I just didn’t do anything toward my goal. It was on purpose. I was getting burned out after working really intensely on it so I took a day off. I read, worked on a lego set, binged Netflix, or played my favorite cell phone game. I just rested. I don’t have any particular schedule I do this on. It’s just as needed.
With this particular project, even though I don’t have a deadline, getting it done quickly will really pay off. As with any organizing project it tends to get worse before it gets better. Right now my office is chaos and it makes it hard to work. I will definitely benefit from having a clean office again. That urgency doesn’t mean that I can’t take breaks. In fact I need to take breaks, or my productivity will sink.
The key is I need to be able to circle back to it later. I know that I tend to be distracted by (and therefore able to focus on) visual things. I have a whiteboard where I write down my current projects. I have it divided up into a few categories: work, home, personal, kids, other. I’ve got the projects listed plus maybe one or two next steps. LINK Having things listed here helps know what I can be circling back to. I tend to bounce between projects, leaving some neglected for weeks at a time. But by having it up on the whiteboard, I know I can circle back to it, so I’m not anxious or trying to remember it. Projects tend to sit around my house half finished around my house because of this, but the ones I really care about eventually get done.
A lot of ADHDers do this with a bullet journal, but I’ve found that I write things down in my BuJo with lovely spreads, and then never turn back to that page again. A whiteboard is a bit more in my face (even if it is currently laying on the floor of my office because I’m in the middle of the project that includes deciding where to hang it.)
Obviously, some things have a deadline and you just have to get them. Tiny breaks along the way help here. You can’t totally abandon it for weeks, but you can stretch and get a fresh cup of coffee, let your brain rest, then get back into it.