This is the 2nd in a series of posts on the myths of time management. I’ve noticed that many of my adult ADHD coaching clients often believed these time management myths and those mistaken beliefs have frequently made their time management worse.
Time Management Myths #3. If I Only Had More Hours In The Day, I’d Finish My To Do List
No you wouldn’t. You’d probably just pile more stuff on your to do list.
Reducing the number of to do items from your to do list is crucial. Without that the other stuff doesn’t matter. I tell my adult ADHD coaching clients that if you don’t limit the number of items you put on your to do list and only focus on getting more efficient in doing them, you’ll just end up more efficiently stressed.
Many people with ADHD I’ve found have problem with setting and enforcing boundaries on others, and on themselves. New is stimulating, saying yes is a lot easier and more fun than saying no. But while the average person can think of 2-3 times more things they can do in a day, Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can often think of 5-10 times more things that we can do in a day than we can actually do.
I suggest to my ADHD coaching clients that the have a limit on the number of items on their daily to do list, and base this on what they are currently able to complete on a regular basis. Not fantasy math.
If you only get 6 items on average done a day, only put 6 items on that list. It forces you to say no. To chose. To prioritize what’s important.
For all the other possible to dos, treat them with a dose of reality. They are possible to dos. Not committed to dos. Put them on a someday maybe list. Once you get those 6 items done, you can add another 6 to the list.
If you’re regularly getting 8 items done in a day, than consider upping the 6 items to 8. But based on actual past performance, not delusional optimism. Be optimistic in brainstorming ideas. Be realistic in creating your task list / to do list.