Task Management For ADHD Adults

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Topic: Task management for ADHD adults. See the other Adult ADHD Issues.

Facilitator: Pete Quily

Thank to Erik for taking the notes

June 2010 Meeting Notes for the Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group

Remember, you have ADHD. Forgetfulness is part of the condition, assume you will forget unless it’s written down in a trusted system that you review, ideally with alarms.

Use reality filters to make your to do list more doable vs the tradition delusional ADHD to do list. I use the tactics in that post with all of my adult ADHD coaching clients.

Online Tools (partial list)


D*I*Y Planner

GTD Getting Things Done (David Allan)


Remember the Milk





Offline Tools

Bulletin board

Day planners

Digital camera

Index cards (“hipster PDA”)

Moleskine Notebooks 

Paper calendars


Small pocket-size pens

White board

How do you decide what to do? (filters)

Before prioritizing, ask “Should I do this?” and “What do I have to say no to in order to say yes to this new task since time is a zero sum commodity?”

By irritation level

By negative consequence

Create a someday maybe/possibly list.



Financial importance

How long the task will take

Important to others

Momentum (keep going when motivated or on a roll)

ROI (Return on Investment)

Stress reduction

Time sensitive


When is the best time to make a list?

Whenever is best for you.

How often should you make and review your list?

Make a list daily, then review and revise as needed

Introduce structure, set a time and place to work on your list

Schedule multiple reviews during the day and at end of day. Use alarms to make it happen vs I will magically remember because I’m an impulsive, forgetful, easily distracted, disorganized, time blind ADHD adult.

At the end of the day, ask yourself some questions. Review what tasks you got done. Why were you able to get them done? What tasks did not get done? Why didn’t they? What worked well and why did it work well?  What did not work and why did it not work? Than plan your next day with those learnings in mind. Vs mindless autopilot.

When do you change your system?

Look for patterns, when it is not working. Time to adapt, adjust or scrap it and get a new system. You have ADHD, we get bored easily, assume that will happen and plan for it.

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