The concept of prioritising may appear to be simple enough. But there are many steps and processes to consider before getting started. And when you add ADHD into the mix, it becomes an overwhelming task that we try to avoid.
But it doesn’t need to be difficult when finding techniques that can work for you. So, if you’re someone struggling to decide what task to crack on with first, here is a technique to show you how to prioritise your life when you have ADHD.
The Eisenhower Matrix
Also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix. This technique helps you to decide and prioritise tasks based on how urgent and important they are.
The matrix is split into quadrants and the idea is you prioritise tasks based on where they fit into the matrix.
- Things that are Urgent & Import should be done straight away
- Those that are Not Urgent, but Important should be scheduled in to do later
- Things that are Urgent but Not Important should be delegated to someone else (if you can)
- And things that are Not Urgent & Not Important should be postponed, or even reviewed as to whether you really need to do them
Now I know what you’re thinking…
How can you decide what is urgent when everything seems to be urgent?
Our lives our full and busy with lots of things that need doing now. But actually, when you start breaking things down, you will soon find that not everything is as urgent as you first thought.
The ADHD mind
The typical way the ADHD mind works is to focus on what is urgent (or interesting!). But this can often mean the things that are important get forgotten or don’t get done until they then become urgent. And this is what can lead us to feel overwhelmed and anxious, and sometimes burnt out.
How do I decide what is urgent when everything is urgent?
Some things may seem like they’re urgent, but are they really?
The definition of urgent is something that requires immediate action or attention. But they can also have significant consequences if they don’t get done.
Let’s use your car MOT, as an example.
As you approach the deadline, it starts to become both urgent AND important. It’s something that has to be done and you know has consequences if you don’t get it done on time.
Let’s look at another example.
You’ve decided you need to cut the grass this weekend as it’s going to rain for the next week. It’s become important to you, but is it really urgent?
How do you decide what is important AND urgent?
Using the example of cutting the grass, it’s important to you to get it done as once it’s started raining, you’re not going to be able to get out there and do it until it’s dried up again. But consequence-wise, all that is going to happen is it won’t get done for another week or so and will get a bit longer.
This would be something you’d schedule in to do another day.
But we shouldn’t forget about the important but not urgent stuff…
Because our brains are wired to deal with what is urgent, we can sometimes forget or avoid doing the important stuff, unless it hits being urgent too.
So how do we get round this?
By making our brains think they are important AND urgent. To do this, you set yourself a deadline. As the deadline approaches, it will trigger your mind into thinking this is now something urgent that I need to do now. You can also make sure you schedule in time every day, or even every week to do something on your list that is important but not urgent. Make it part of your routine.
If you’re looking for other ways to help get your ADHD mind working with you and not against you, get in touch to find out how my sessions could help. Contact me by clicking here, or if you’re ready to take action today, book in for your assessment consultation. Don’t forget it comes with my money back guarantee!