Topic: How to Prioritize
July 2013 Meeting Notes for the Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group
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Facilitator: Pete Quily.
Prioritization is a huge problem for adults with ADHD. Here are some of the costs of not prioritizing effectively, the benefits of doing it effectively, ways of prioritizing, and what helps you to prioritize.
Thanks for Christopher Stanbury for taking the notes
1. What are your most and least favorite ways to prioritize?
I.e., Time, easy, hard, stress level, sort & simple (clear the deck), the fun stuff.
3. What is the cost of not prioritizing effectively?
Loss of time, money, health care (taxes undone)
Miss deadlines, opportunities
Affect other people so their lives are screwed up
Lower self esteem
Problems with relationships
Anxiety and stress ADDers are more stressed than most.
Harms long term success
If you know the cost, and benefit, of prioritizing, it will make it easier to achieve [your goal].
Life planning should be taught in school
Important tasks remain undone
Create crisis as result of tasks undone
Lots of half done tasks
Risk of injury i.e., forget safety equipment
Long term effect on health i.e. from high stress
Higher risk of addiction long term stress can increase risk of addiction which leads to even more problems
Eating properly and diet problems forget to eat
More abuse, etc
Poor life-style choices
Increase in obesity (and possibility diabetes as well)
What works for one person may not work for another person
4. Benefits of prioritizing effectively
Improved relationships Adders need to be better than most.
Longer life, better health
Better self care
More free time as more productive
Reduce list so it is doable, apply reality filter.
Reach your full potential
Better self confidence
Increased success - reduced failure
Take five minutes to create a to-do list for tomorrow.
Then arrange yourselves into groups of three to compare priority choices.
5. What are ways of prioritizing?
Choose some that work for you - that you can do easily
Stress / reduced stress
Swallow the frog first (what you do not want to do)
Most time efficient way to do task
Ask your spouse / somebody else
Do what works for you that day
Limit priorities / tasks
Fear - What are you afraid of most?
Do what is on your own list first
Simple / pleasant
There may be ideas here you have not considered. Which options work for you?
Break large projects down into steps
6 What helps you to prioritize?
Limit the things on your list. Having no limit is stress amplification.
If every day you manage to do ___ things only, then only put ___ things on your tomorrow list.
Otherwise you set yourself up for constant failure.
Boundaries - if you do not set boundaries on others, your plate is always overflowing, which will lead to overload and overwhelm.
Check out book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud.
Number in order of importance
Pick most important and ensure it is done
Schedule routine items that are important to you
Schedule time to re-prioritize list
Learn to set boundaries on others
Learn to set boundaries on yourself
Learn to say No.
Have a someday / maybe list
Time cost the tasks on your list
Do it at a time when you feel good, have the energy, when your brain is "on line".