For those with ADHD, how do you deal with procrastination?

My ADHD is a gift and a prison sentence. I'm easily distracted and cannot focus unless I have a tight deadline to meet. This causes a lot of unwanted stress / anxiety and probably shows in my work.I'm on a very low dose of adderall and have tried various strategies (e.g., writing in a planner) and try to minimize distractions but often find my mind wandering…How do you guys maintain focus when there isn't the pressure of a deadline riding your ass?

Comments (9)

Most Helpful
Aug 9, 2022 - 10:53am
kindheartedconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I struggle with this severely. This is how I get through my ADHD:

1) I set up check--ins with my supervisor so that I have a deadline to work toward, which helps me have that sense of urgency that I need to get stuff done

2) I add to my Ritalin by listening to loud, heavy music, often on loop, which somehow helps short circuit my brain so that it can focus on a task (idk why, it just helps)

3) I make detailed lists of what I have to do before the day starts in earnest, and then I cross them off, and the crossing off gives me a touch of that dopamine I need to do it again

4) Exercise in the morning helps me a ton--if I run really hard in the morning, oftentimes I don't have to take ritalin because I'm dialed in

5) Get away form my computer for 10 minutes to go check the mail or something, so it feels like I lost 10 minutes and I have to make it back up

None of these are panaceas and I still struggle most days, but this is what's helped me out.

Remember, always be kind-hearted.
  • 8
Aug 9, 2022 - 4:22pm
kindheartedconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There's long term effects? well shit

Remember, always be kind-hearted.
  • 2
Aug 9, 2022 - 4:23pm
kindheartedconsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I took it only as an adult, if that helps--turns out that growing up in poverty means that you acting out is diagnosed as "This kid is a handful" instead of "this kid has ADHD" and I only got diagnosed a couple months into my first job

Remember, always be kind-hearted.
  • 1
Aug 9, 2022 - 4:47pm
the_lonely_traveler, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There are definitely long term effects its just a matter of the degree to which you are affected. Studies have found significantly higher risk of dementia and parkinsons in people with ADD but I have heard speculation on the part of doctors that this is really a result of the fucked up sleep stimulants give you. From what I have heard from researching for the past couple years: amphetamines are worse than ritalin and modaf. Lower dose (like 5mg or 10mg IR) and IR is better than higher dose and extended release. Taking it in the morning helps a lot and avoid at night time because just like caffeine later in the day it absolutely wrecks your quality of sleep. Even if you fall asleep successfully on time and get 7-8 hours you probably wake up tired enough that without the ritalin you are struggling to get shit done if you took it past 12pm the previous day. 

Aug 9, 2022 - 10:57am
mergelord11, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm in the same boat, and i think alot of IB guys are in general. 

Learn to live with it in a way that alleviates the lows as well as possible. Meaning - you are going to procrastinate. Almost always, no matter what. But if you can do small things, here and there, like "hey, im putting this off til friday, but today I will at least save down the file, tomorrow I will do 5% of the work" you're still left with a huge chunk of the work procrastinated, but just sneaking in a little chunk of work will make your life much easier, as people like you are accustomed to beingstuck with 100% of the work incomplete and due in 6 hours. When it becomes 70-80%, it seems like a cake walk. 

Hope this made a little sense and helps. Curious your thoughts 

Aug 9, 2022 - 11:10am
The_Finance_Flunky, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I developed a system, early on in my career, of handwriting my to-do list every morning. It serves the dual purpose of allowing me to have clear visibility around the tasks I know I have outstanding, and it gives me the satisfaction of being able to cross items off once completed. This is still a daily habit, and something that keeps me focused, and helps me to avoid procrastinating. Within that list, I break down the larger items into smaller, more manageable tasks, so even if I can't complete the entire deliverable that day, I am able to make tangible progress. I have accepted the fact that this is how I'm wired, and have learned that I can't compare my working style to my peers as long as the work is getting done.

Aug 9, 2022 - 5:11pm
Arsene Lupin_88, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For me it's sports in the morning even just 20min.

Distractions are good as well if short termed, they help me come up with ideas to improve my work product.

I sometimes end up doing 3 things simultaneously as I get bored working sequentially, but this is very much task dependent and can't be always achieved.

I also need to see the end goal to understand trajectory but also divide the way into tasks so that I'm cashing in the "winnings" milestones as I approach the end result.

I would avoid any dependencies on pharma- get ginkgo and other similar products that spur concentration.

Aug 9, 2022 - 5:26pm
thugs_bunny, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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