Procrastination is one of those areas that can be extremely frustrating to a person with ADHD. You know how to do the task, you want to get it done, and yet you seem to hit a wall every time. You may wonder, “What continually keeps me from starting?”
Or perhaps you observe this with your child. You may think, “My child is so bright, and yet he avoids doing anything - even activities he enjoys!”
Procrastination is usually attributed to one’s personality or situation.
- You are disorganized
- You are unmotivated
- You have a fear of failing
- You are lazy
However, since procrastination is associated with the inability to plan, prioritize, organize, and focus on a single task, it seems that procrastination is less of a personality trait and is truly a result of weak executive function.
Our focus should be less focused on changing the person’s personality and more focused on improving executive function.
Play Attention will develop a customized program for you that integrates NASA inspired technology with specific cognitive skill training. Your personal executive function coach will assess your needs and design your course to address those cognitive areas you need in order to start tasks right away and stay on task until completion.
No more assignments left undone! No more rooms with piles of unfinished projects! Play Attention will provide you with a comprehensive course that will strengthen your executive function and help you achieve success. Click here to schedule your 1:1 consultation to discuss a course that is right for you.
Here is one tip you can use today to help you start tasks right away!
Break the Assignment Up
If you break the assignment up into mini tasks that will take short amounts of time, it is more likely you will get started right away.
“There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” - Desmond Tutu
Understood.org provides 9 Steps for Breaking Down Assignments: (We find these steps can be helpful for both children and adults)
1. Figure out how much time your child has.
Count backward from the project’s deadline to see how long your child has to complete it.
2. Decide how long your child should work at each sitting.
Estimate how much stamina your child will have for the kinds of work involved.
3. Calculate what your child needs to do each day.
Compare how much time is available with how long your child can work at a stretch. This helps you figure out how to help your child “ chunk” the work, or do a bit each day.
4. Make a list of the materials needed.
Help your child gather them in advance. This way, your child won’t have to stop working to search for supplies.
5. Write down each task on a card.
Work with your child to write down on note cards every task the assignment involves, from going to the library to designing the report cover.
6. Put the task cards in order.
Help your child decide what comes first, second, etc. For instance, doing research comes before proofreading the paper.
7. Note questions.
For each task, ask if your child has any questions or concerns. Write them down on the back of the card.
8. Assign a deadline for each task.
Work backward to come up with reasonable due dates. Address your child’s questions as you create the schedule.
9. Review your child’s progress.
Check in regularly to see how your child is doing and if the project is on schedule. If not, help your child revise the plan.
There are many tips and strategies you can use to help you avoid procrastination. However, remember the root of the issue is typically weak executive function. Therefore, it is important to put strategies in place in conjunction with improving the cognitive skills that lay the foundation for strong executive function. Play Attention can help you improve those skills. Call 800-788-6786 to learn how.