August 16, 2022

How to Be Productive

Today’s episode is one that every ADHD needs: a fun and simple lesson in how to be productive.

I’ll take you through the 5 steps that I teach all of my clients when we talk about productivity: Constrain your list down to just 1 or 2 things, decide ahead of time what you’re going to do, schedule everything on your calendar, take massive action (no more researching!), and then evaluate how you did and make any adjustments for tomorrow.

It may sound complicated, but really these steps are simple if you’re willing to feel terrible and TRUST yourself to implement the steps. Buckle up for an episode that just might change your life forever.



Featured Download


This totally free printable includes a psychologist-approved list of symptoms that adults with ADHD commonly experience. This could give you the answers you’ve been begging for your entire life.

Kristen Carder

Welcome to the I have ADHD podcast, where it’s all about education, encouragement and coaching for adults with ADHD. I’m your host, Kristen Carter and I have ADHD. Let’s chat about the frustrations, humor and challenges of adulting relationships working and achieving with this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’ll help you understand your unique brain. Unlock your potential and move from point A to point B. Hey, what’s up? This is Kristen Carter and you’re listening to the I have ADHD Podcast, episode number 172. I am medicated. I am caffeinated. And I am ready to roll.

What’s up? What’s up? How are you? I hope that you are doing great. Like seriously, I hope you’re having an amazing day. No matter what it is that you’re doing when you decided to press play on this podcast. I’m so glad that you’re taking me along for the ride. I can’t believe it’s August already. I do not consent to summer being nearly over. We are two thirds through the summer. And I’m just like, I’m so sad. Actually. By the time they even listen to this. We’re well over two thirds through oh my goodness, yes. This is just what happens every year. And I always think about how when winter is over. Everybody’s like, oh my gosh, thank god winter is over. It’s so long. But nobody ever says like, Oh, thank god summer’s over, it went so slow. Rains always like, summer went so fast. And that’s what I’m dealing with right now. Of course, if you’re not listening to this in real time, and it’s like February where you are, and you’re just like Christian, I don’t really care about the weather in Pennsylvania right now. I apologize. But it means a lot to me in the summertime, I talk about the weather a lot, because I just love it so much. I’m at my house because I accidentally left my podcast mic here.

Today’s been, I’m not gonna lie to you. It’s kind of been a shitshow I’m not gonna lie, running around like a weirdo. And some days are just like that. I went for a rage hike this morning, this time with my sister, which was so much fun. She brought her dog we had the best time. But I just didn’t realize how long we were going to be gone. And when I got home, I had 13 minutes to shower and get to the office before my focused call. And let me tell you something, I did it. I showered, I put on makeup, I put on an adorable dress through my hair up into a top knot grabbed chips into yogurt. And I made it to the call on time. I’m just saying that like the ADHD ability to accomplish crazy amounts of stuff in a very short time period. It’s pretty spectacular. Like, we are so well versed in not having enough time to get our stuff done that when we finally get our butts in gear and start moving and like getting the things done. Were so fast like I I was just really impressed. I was really impressed. Yeah, ADHD years. Were pretty great. So then, did I have time to pack a lunch? No, I didn’t. So I came home and ate lunch, went back to work to record this podcast and realize that my mic was actually still here from the weekend. So I’m back at home again. And that some days are just like that some days are just like that. It’s totally fine.

Okay, speaking of time, and I really did not mean to do this. But this is a perfect and beautiful segue into me telling you that I’m actually hosting a webinar on time management on August 25, you might not want to come because I don’t always manage my time well. But if you want to learn from someone who was really dropped all of the drama around time, and is able to set goals and reach them, and for the most part, get everything done on her list, then I think you should totally join me. So it’s August 25. It’s at 12pm. Eastern, and you can go to Ihaveadhd.com/webinar to sign up for that. I’m going to be teaching about time producing thoughts and how we can manage our minds and drop the drama so that we can literally create more time for ourselves. So for example, if I had been beating myself up today about the fact that my sister and I got back from the rage hike, I had 13 minutes available to me to like shower, get ready for work and get it At the office, I’d dive or if I had drama about that, I would have wasted so much time, it would have slowed me down. If I had drama, and I was like, I can’t believe you do this, Kris, and I can’t believe every single time, you’re never going to learn, you never give yourself enough time you just waste your time, You’re so irresponsible, that would have weighed me down, that would have stopped me, that would have made it take longer. Instead, I was just like, well, this happens. Sometimes, I rushed through the getting ready process, and I got to the call on time.

So I just want to give you the gift of being able to drop all of the drama around time, so that you don’t take like the tiny little bit of of space and time that you have and slow yourself down even more with drama. Okay, so time management webinar, Thursday, August 25, at 12pm Sign up at I have adhd.com/webinar. Yes, I will send you a replay but you have to sign up. So then if you’re on the email list for the webinar, something amazing happens when you sign up it like gives your email address a little tag, and then I can send the replay to everybody who has been tagged for the webinar. I don’t really understand the behind the scenes of that. But that’s not that’s not my job anyway, so whatever. Okay, so sign up. Can’t wait to see you. Let’s get to the class today, shall we? Shall we, my friends, okay. If you press play on this episode, it’s because you want to be more productive. And that’s what today’s episode is all about. So don’t you worry. This is a class that I taught in my group coaching program focused in April was a while ago, but I loved it so much. And I kind of marked it as like, hey, I want to use this for the podcast sometime, because I want you to have this value for free. I wanted to share it with you today because I think it’s going to make your life so much easier. And it’s going to change the way you approach your productivity.

Okay, because every ADHD ear wants to know how to be more productive. I’ve got five relatively simple steps for you here. Totally free, relatively simple can be implemented anytime. So I’ll just, I’ll just give you a little spoiler, okay. First, you’re going to constrain, you’ll put fewer things on your list, then you’re going to make a plan, which includes deciding what to do, and don’t fret, we will go into how to make decisions about this, okay? Then you’re going to schedule it. And then you’re going to take massive action, you’re going to take action toward the goal. And then you’re going to evaluate how it went. or adjust if you need to. Okay, so five steps, I go into a ton of detail for you so that you know exactly how to apply each step right now to day you can use these techniques immediately. And change your whole dang life. I hope you enjoy it, I hope you get a ton of life changing value from it. Enjoy. I’m excited to have this conversation today. Because every single ADHD or wants to be productive, that’s probably one of the main reasons why you joined this program wouldn’t have a long, important conversation about this topic. But the first thing that I want to chat about.

First thing that I want to chat about is I want us to define what it means to be productive. We need to define what it means to be productive, because being busy does not necessarily mean that we are productive. Having a full calendar does not necessarily mean that we are productive. Getting certain things done does not necessarily mean that we are productive. Here’s what I want you to be thinking about all day, every day productive people produce. At the end of the hour or the day or the week, you have something to show for your busyness for your work for your efforts for your exhaustion.

productive people produce. So it’s important that on this call, we talked about the difference between passive action which is the getting ready to get ready the researching and the figuring things out. And the like, oh, I’ll just read this book in preparation for the things that I need to do. Or let me just like throw a lot of laundry in or let me just like do the dishes real quick like it’s the passive action is not the actual production. Passive action is much easier for us to do we want to be in passive action our brains want To keep us in passive action, because passive action is not dangerous. hear me loud and clear, passive action is not dangerous, passive action is safe, it is not exposing, it’s not offering our contribution to the world. Okay?

Massive Action, however, is the action that we take to actually produce the results. And the result being the thing that we have to show for our efforts. And so I always want you to be thinking productive people produce. And massive action is where we want to be massive action, I just went to a coaching mastermind, and one of the speakers talked about how massive action is in mindset, it is a way of being that is like, I will stay in this energy of producing until I get it done, not going to stop, I am just going to keep going and keep going and keep going and do what it takes to get it done. So does everybody understand the difference between passive action and massive action? And does everybody understand why our brains and our bodies prefer passive action over massive action much, much, much safer for all of us to be in passive action, because it’s not exposing? There’s really no danger of doing it wrong, because we’re not quite doing it yet. There’s no danger of failure when we’re in passive action. So a lot of us stay in that passive action for far too long, because we’re wanting to perfect it before we get the thing done as an effort to avoid the potential of failure, because failure doesn’t feel good. Do I pretend to Oh, Eric asks a great question is passive action, also a mindset? I hadn’t thought about that. But I would for sure, say, Yeah, passive action is the mindset of wanting it to be perfect before we start wanting to gather all of the information so that I don’t look stupid, wanting to make sure that I insulate myself from failure and don’t have any risk.

Okay. So it’s important that as we start here today that we have a definition of producing. Okay, productive people produce, we have something to show for our actions, there is a result, there is a tangible thing to say, look, I did that. So even if it’s, I’m going to clean the bathroom, at the end of the hour, I know that the result is going to be a clean bathroom. So you always want to start with the result in mind, what’s the result that I’m looking for? Here? It’s a clean kitchen, okay? What does that look like? Exactly, this is are done counters are wiped, things are put away. Right. And so you have the end result in mind. Now, most of us ADHD errs, have a deficiency in our working memory, which it can mean for us that we struggle to picture an end result in our mind. So if you fall into the camp of deficient working memory, and that’s nonverbal, working memory, so if you fall into the camp of deficient non verbal working memory, which is a very common camp for us ADHD is to be and that means that it’s likely that you struggle to have a visual picture of what you want the end result to be. And so in those moments, what I would really, really recommend is gathering something visual, even if it is like a magazine picture of a clean house.

Or even if it is like you draw a picture of your work report being done or something like I want you to be able to picture the thing being done. So maybe you want to write a book, and you have a picture in your mind of what that looks like to have it accomplished. Okay, cutting out pictures from our magazines even the thing anymore. That used to be a thing that we would like cut out pictures from magazines, but I don’t know if that’s a thing anymore. Downloading pictures from the internet. Pinterest boards can be first of all, deep dark black hole, but also they can be very helpful in like gathering visual inspiration. But essentially it’s like a vision of what you want it to look like now that I think is best used for long term goals. Right? You know, if you have a goal of like, an empty email inbox, it’s like don’t know, it might be harder to do that kind of thing. But a long term goal of like a six figure business, or I want to purchase a new car in two years, or I want to save, you know, $30,000, or whatever that might be, whatever your long term goal might be very, very helpful to have a visual reminder of it up. And somebody suggested, Lisa suggested taking a photo of the room when it is clean. And to use that as inspiration later. I love that so much. It’s a really great idea. The first thing that we need to talk about, which we’ve talked about recently, but it bears repeating, because ADHD years, is like we just forget things so easily. So gather around, it’s really important that you audit the list of things that you’re telling yourself you should do want to do, or need to do.

It’s very, very, very important that you audit, that means look over with a critical eye and decide if it belongs there or not. It’s important that you audit the list of things that you’re telling yourself you want to produce, or should produce or need to produce, it’s very likely that you are telling yourself that you should do something that you actually really don’t need to be doing. So I want to know, like, when you think about being productive, what are the things that you really, truly do want to be productive? On? What are the things that you really do want to keep on your list. And you want to say like, this matters to me very much, it is something that I am choosing on purpose. It’s not necessarily in the should category, it’s in the like, I have a strong desire, I want to get this done. What is something for you that you would like to produce? When I say produce, I do mean do. But I am using the word produce on purpose, because so many of each years talk about wanting to be productive, but they translate that as just being busy, and often run around, as my mother would say, like a chicken with its head cut off, not really getting anything done. And so it’s important for me personally, as I teach this class that I use the word produce, like, what do we want to be producing?

So it each year, so we’ll say I just I just like want to get stuff done. I want to get some time I want to get stuff done. What does that mean? Exactly? Be specific. Okay. Patti says organization Patti, be more specific. What does that mean specifically? Because you can just kind of run around and putts and putter around your house all day long. Tell yourself you’re organizing, but not actually be getting anything done. That makes sense. So what I want you to do is be specific, like I want to organize my pantry. Securing the space for my retail business. I want to complete my dissertation proposal, keeping up with friends. Okay, so Eric, same thing. What does keeping up with friends mean Exactly? How will you know when you’ve done it? What does it look like to be accomplished? So it might sound something like I want to text one friend every day, or I want to schedule you know, drinks out with friends once a month. Something like that, where it’s where there’s a tangible thing to produce. I want to schedule a vacation choose the date book The flights booked the hotel. Love this but book the dog sitter. Do you see how specific that was? She will know exactly when she’s done. She will know and she’s produced a scheduled vacation for herself. Dishes not taking over the kitchen clean clothes for my kids intentional time on my business.

Okay, I would just define what dishes not taking over the kitchen means. So for example, I want to do the dishes by 10am Every day, something like that. Get my summer course already. How will you know when it’s already? Okay? It says no chaos. Okay, but he that’s very, very hard to define. Right? So when we’re talking about being productive. Here’s why I’m being so anal and specific about this is because so many of you are telling yourself that you’re not productive. It’s not just like that. Part of the reason why is you’re just really not specific on what you’re wanting to produce. And so a huge way to be productive is to get very specific on what you want to produce. Ah, Laura, I love this. I want to start a small garden. It’s perfect. Stay on top of invoices, tidy bedroom and book, lots of clients. I would like all of my school materials organized. That’s very specific. I love that spend two hours of work a week in the workbook. Amazing.

So do you see how so that was from Maggie? I’m pretty sure that Maggie was the one that said before like focused workbooks, like what, what does that mean? Exactly? Okay, I want to actually spend two hours a week in a workbook. Okay, now, now we’re getting somewhere. Now we have something to work toward. So the reason why we did this exercise of like, what do you actually want on your list is because so many of us have things on our list that our partners want us to do that society tells us that we should be doing that co workers have kind of like, handed off to us, that our kids kind of mentioned like, oh, I want to do this. And then we put it on our list. And we think about it every day. And we kind of beat ourselves up for not doing it. And what I would love for you to do is kind of like clear, the chaos of your list. Some of the things you might want to hand back to your partner, like, Hey, I put this on my list. But I realized I don’t actually want to do it. So I’m going to hand it back to you. I’m not going to I’m not going to be doing it. So that was something that I talked to Michelle, you’re all like, I know what you’re talking about just getting out. Yes. And I was gonna say her fire alarm thing he was beep beeping. Everyone’s saying deep, oh my gosh, she’s famous. She’s focused, famous.

So it was I just saw, we talked about how like she had this, you know, I need to get the blinds up in the bathroom on her list. It was taking up so much space in her brain and her body, she realized that she doesn’t even want to do it, you didn’t care about it. It’s something that someone else thinks that she should do. Right? So constrain down your list. When we constrain, we intentionally put limits or restrictions on ourselves. It’s intentional. It’s intentional. Okay, so you probably have a million great ideas, you have a million things, you’re like, oh, I should do this, I should do this, I should do this. Okay. Picking one might make you feel upset and might make you feel like it’s not enough, right? So you have two hours of free time and you’re like, I want to get something done today.

You have a million things on your list. And your brain does not want to constrain, right. But picking one idea is actually the pathway to being productive, productive people produce, right? Believing that you don’t have to, like catch up and focused will allow you to actually just start where you are and produce, okay. The only way to be productive is to constrained down to one goal, even if that means okay, I have 30 minutes. What am I going to do to the next 30 minutes? Right? So we can only do one thing at a time now we don’t actually move that amount ourselves, but it is very true. So if you think about the containers of time that you have, only allow your brain to focus on one thing during that container of time constrained down.

Okay. All right. The next thing, even if you’re just looking at like your day is I want you to start to plan if possible. So with all of those things that you’ve listed that you want to do lots of things so for example, the garden needs to be a plan. This is the time where people usually get caught up in passive action. So for example, if I’m going to plan a garden, I will usually get caught up in hours and hours of YouTube videos and Googling and books and talking to people and that is passive action. That’s not actually the planting of the garden. Not I Actually, the tilling of the soil, it’s not actually the building of the raised beds or whatever. Right. And so what I would love to suggest is putting some boundaries for yourself, which is same as constraint, putting some boundaries around your planning time. Okay, so planning is amazing, and it’s important, but it doesn’t need to take longer than 30 to 16 minutes, even if it’s like, Okay, I’m gonna plant a garden, right when I want to play, like, we could probably all figure out how to do that in an hour, I don’t know, maybe two hours, setting a specific time for yourself of like, I’m going to plan for X amount of time, I’m gonna research for X amount of time, and that’s it, your brain will want to trick you into staying in that passive action for much, much longer than you have set the goal for. So let’s say you’re planting the garden, and you’re like, Okay, I have, I’m gonna give myself two hours to like, research and make a plan. At the end of the two hours, your brain for sure, will say, while was not enough time, we don’t know enough, it’s gonna be terrible, you’re gonna do a bad job, we need to keep researching.

But that self doubt is there to keep you safe. And to keep you in that path of action and not actually producing, taking risk and having something to show for the end of your time. I also want to offer this to you. Your brain has most of the answers. Now, at HDS have been conditioned to believe that they’re wrong, they do everything wrong. Everything that comes out of them is is wrong. But like your brain has most of the answers. So if I had to plant a garden today, I could do it might not be perfect. I could totally do it. My brain already has most of the answers. Would it be as pretty as something if I like research and law lab? Probably not. But I couldn’t get it done today? Does that make sense? How many of you are stuck in passive action? And really, your brain has the answer. You just don’t want to trust yourself. It just feels too uncomfortable. To go with. With your gut with your body with the with what your brain and body is telling you. Yeah, Heather says I doubt my instincts. Instincts. Yeah. Yeah, it’s because we have the potential to mess it up. Right, so we were like, if I just keep researching, maybe then I won’t mess it up. But the thing is, is totally feeling ahead of time. Right? So many of you are not even giving yourself the chance to be productive, because you’re keeping yourself stuck in passive action.

When you make a plan, set a limit or a boundary, and then expect your brain to freak out and be like that wasn’t enough, we don’t have enough information. This is going to be terrible, you’re going to do it wrong, you’re going to fail. And just be like I get it I understand I understand. Just let that self doubt reside in your body. And move on. The next thing is so we’ve constrained and we’ve planned now we need to decide, like, when is this happening? For some of you, it’s like, I have an hour. I want to be productive. What can I produce in an hour? I could probably produce a clean bathroom. Okay, great. Let’s go. But for some of you, you’re you have these like long term goals. Right? So you have this like, I want to write a book by the end of 2024. Well, oh my word. That’s such a long term goal. So how are we going to make that happen? How are we going to have a book in hand at the end of 2024? It’s actually my goal. I’m going to book I want to do it by the end of 2024. feels like forever from now. Okay, how do I actually make that happen? Right and so Deciding, constraining, planning and then we schedule them. And the scheduling parts really interesting like, deciding when the thing is actually going to happen. How many of you have drama, about the scheduling part I’ll be the first raise my hand, my brain immediately says, I’m not gonna want to do it, then. Like, I can put it on my calendar, but I’m not going to want to do it. It’s fascinating, right? Like my brain says that. Don’t bother to schedule it, because you’re not gonna want to do it, then just wait until you’re inspired again. Megan’s brain says, You’re not going to stick to this anyway. So what’s the point of scheduling it?

So the truth is that, you know, shit gets real, real when we actually plan it. Because then we actually have the decision to make in the moment, am I going to do this or not? Is this going to stay in Fantasyland? Or is this going to become reality? I think a lot of you are enjoying the fantasy of potentially being a productive person, and what that might look like. But the reality of it is, it’s not super fun. It doesn’t actually feel good to be productive, even though you fantasize about like, oh my gosh, if I was productive, I would just be so much happier, I feel so much better. Doesn’t actually feel good to be someone who’s productive. Hear me again, like I this is we’re preaching here, it doesn’t actually feel good to be a productive person. productive people. They do things that they don’t want to do. At times when they don’t want to do them. productive people take a lot of risk. And they they accomplish a lot of things. That means that they’re exposed and they’re vulnerable.

So being productive, doesn’t actually feel good. Even though you likely fantasize about, like, I was just productive, I would just feel so good. I used to do this, I used to lay in bed at night. And I used to think about the next day, okay, here’s what I’m gonna do tomorrow. And I would literally it would be a legit fantasy about what I will get done tomorrow. Total fantasy into My Kingdom like this does not feel good. I do not want to do any of this crap. Right? Because reality does not feel as good as the fantasy. Fantasy always feel so much better. Right? So I really want you to think about that. Do you want to be productive? If so it’s not gonna feel good. It’s not going to feel good. Even though you are dreaming of all of the wonderful ways that being productive is going to make you feel it’s actually not. It feels terrible. Being productive means like, I have to do something that my body doesn’t really want to do in the moment. I have to follow this plan, even though it’s not super convenient right now. I have to tell my partner. No, I can’t help you with that.

Because I’m working on my own thing right now. I have to tell my kids, hey, I’m not available to you right now. Because I’m doing the thing that I said I was going to do. Being productive is not actually something that feels good. Right? Really, really important, important insight here. So this is why like the scheduling drama is so interesting to look into. Because the reason why we have scheduling drama is this is where it goes from fantasy to reality. This is where it goes from. It’s a great idea in my head, and I will dream about it and I’ll kind of beat myself up about it that I’m not doing it. That’s the fantasy. The reality is like it’s actually my calendar, and I’m deciding right now whether or not I’m going to follow through on it. So of course, we have so much drama, about scheduling, because scheduling takes us from fantasyland into actual reality of like, this is going to cost me my time, this is going to cost me my energy, this is going to cost me my comfort. When it’s on your calendar, once you have the thing, and it’s planned, it’s so important to understand that we just talked about this, that it’s not going to feel good.

And that massive action means working on it until it’s accomplished. Maybe it doesn’t get accomplished in the period of time that you allotted for it. So maybe it’s like, you know, I worked on it for two hours, meaning like I was actively working. So for example, my goal is to organize my pantry, let’s say, and I was able to do some of it. But you know, there’s, it’s still not perfectly organized. And my two hours is up, massive action, the mindset of massive action means I continue and I continue and I can tell you till I get it done. So we just scheduled another time to finish it. Right. There’s no drama, it’s just like, I worked hard. I have ADHD. So it’s probably distracted. Some, it’s not a problem. I have the mindset of massive action, meaning I’m going to take action on it until it’s accomplished. I’m going to circle back tomorrow or next week and finish it up. Okay. And then you have another opportunity to follow your schedule. Right, so you schedule it again, and then you have another opportunity to feel uncomfortable, and do it anyway. To not want to do it and do it anyway. Producing getting stuff done means that you develop a willingness to feel bored, agitated, frustrated, defeated, confused and tired. That’s not so great. Don’t you totally want to be a productive person guys. Like that’s gonna be so button. Right?

Like, there’s no way to get done the things that you have on your list without feeling bored. agitated, frustrated, anxious, defeated, sometimes confused, tired, vulnerable. There’s a way that you can’t be productive without those emotions. These being rejected feels like crap. Do you know it feels good? laying on the couch. watching Netflix scrolling social media, eating ice cream, drinking beer. Like it feels so good. Oh, that feels so good. Do you know what doesn’t feel good? Getting Things Done. Getting being sent feels terrible. we fantasize about it. Like it’s going to feel good, but it feels terrible. So taking action, regardless of how you feel is the only way to be someone who produces. There are times when you’re going to want to serve those feelings. You’re going to want to be like, Okay, here’s boredom. It’s with me in this in my body. It doesn’t feel good. Let’s go boredom. You’re welcome here. boredom, because I know I can’t get this thing done without you being present.

All right, I’m feeling really tired. Sometimes tired is like a physiological state of being but sometimes tired is just like, wow, I just decided to do this thing. And my entire body is reacting to it. Like I’m so tired. Right? And so sometimes we just have to be like, okay, tired. Here we go. I’m willing to do this with you presence, put you in a little fanny pack, pack you along for the journey. And let’s go. There is no way to promote your business without feeling anxious. If you want to be someone who promotes your business, you better start welcoming anxiety into life. There’s got to be present. Like we all want to be the person who has the thing done, like, oh, I want to have a six figure business. Well do you because having a six figure business means that you’re going to have to make a lot of offers and get a lot of nose and tolerate a lot of anxiety. So like do you right, like I’m gonna have a really clean house. Do You. Because if you want to have a clean house, that means you’re gonna have to feel bored and agitated. And like, I don’t really want to, like cleaning your house instead of watching TV, or whatever it is that you do, right? Like, do you want to clean house? I don’t know. I don’t know. All right. Last part, we are not great at evaluating. This is a ADHD characteristic across the board, we are really not so good with the evaluation. But it’s a skill that can be developed. And learning to evaluate your process as you go through like becoming a productive person, it’s really helpful and it will speed up your results, it will give you faster, better results.

So the secret to being someone who’s really, really productive is to have the mindset of massive action, which is like, I’m going to take action on this until I get it done. But also be constantly evaluating, is it working? Is there anything that needs to change? So for example, let’s say your two hours into your pantry organization thing, and like the room is an utter disaster, it might be a very good time to evaluate and say, What’s working here? And what’s not working? Right?

Okay, the part that’s working is that I’ve, like I’ve emptied out the Whole Pantry. So that’s great. But the part that’s not working is like now I have a huge mess. So maybe in the future when I organize things, I don’t just dump out a whole closet. For me, that does not work. And I know a lot of organizers recommend like, empty out the whole thing. Start with it. Totally empty, that does not work for me. Because once it’s empty, I’m just like, oh my gosh, like I have this huge pile and I don’t know what to do with, right. So I want you to know that like evaluating your process is going to be really, really important. What’s working? What’s not working? What do you want to do differently? So here’s an evaluation questions that you might want to ask yourself ready? Did my actions produce my desired results? Did I get the result that I wanted? Yes or no? And if no, why? Now, for this one, like we could just stop here and have church real quick because we carry so much shame that it’s likely that we don’t evaluate because we don’t want to feel badly. Right. And so I don’t want to evaluate what happened because actually feel really badly about what happened. If we can drop that judgment and drama and just kind of look at it as objectively as possible. Hey, what happened here? Without that, I can’t believe that you did this, or I can’t believe you made such a mess. Or you didn’t get as much done as you should have or lol all of that drama is just baggage that wears you down. And it is not helpful if you can drop that drama and just be like, Okay, what’s what’s a look at it as objectively as possible? Did I get a measurable result? Do I have something to show for my work? was like, this piece of art was not here before? And now it’s here? Like yes, check. Okay, if today’s result was a fail, how do I want to feel about it?

Okay, if today’s result was a fail, how do I want to feel about it? If you didn’t take massive action today, here’s a great question to ask yourself. What feelings kept me from taking massive action today? What feelings kept me from taking massive action today? What sneaky thoughts are coming in to sabotage me. That’s a really good one. Especially the problematic positive thoughts like quick break. I did so much already. I don’t need to keep going. I scheduled this out for the last three days. I’ll remember to do it tomorrow. I don’t need to set my alarm again. Right. If you’re resisting following a schedule, why? Ask yourself why? If you notice you’re stuck in passive action. Check in with yourself. Be curious curiosity is the best emotion that you can bring to your self evaluation was curious. Yeah, Megan says, I can finish this tomorrow without really knowing what’s left to do without really knowing what’s on the schedule tomorrow without really knowing much of anything, right. Okay. What did I create today? That’s such an amazing question to ask yourself, What did I create today? Am I becoming a person who produces

Okay, in summary, my friends, productive people produce. Being a productive person doesn’t actually feel good. It really does. It doesn’t actually feel good to be a productive person. So if you’re fantasizing hungry, it will feel to be productive, stop it. Don’t feel good. put limits on yourself and constrain your list down. Many of you are overwhelming your to do list. Plan, decide what it is you need to get done. This is the part where you set boundaries around yourself and don’t let yourself fall into passive action for too long. So you’re like, I’m going to do this. I’m going to research for an hour and then I’m going to produce a sketch schedule. Notice all the drama that comes up with wanting to schedule. Notice all that drama, take massive action.

Get it? You’re just like, I’m going to work on it till it gets done. I’m going to work on it until it gets done even if I have to finish tomorrow or the next day or the next day like it’s worth doing. And then make sure that you spend just even 30 seconds evaluating what worked. What didn’t work. What do I want to do differently tomorrow? Stay out of Fantasyland and ground yourself into reality. Right? I’m gonna take some questions, loves. Okay, and amount of research is necessary for a lot of the paintings that I do I often collect more material than I need or could ever use. Other than strict deadlines. I’ve had difficult time cutting myself off from the research way past the point of being ready to paint. is creating my own strict deadline self concept work or productivity worth work? Or both? Or should I go play a video game? Do not go play video games? I think it’s productivity work. Oh my gosh, I think you’re right. It could be self concept work to the question that I have is what’s the feeling in your body that keeps you going with the research? What’s the feeling in your body? When you tell yourself? I probably have enough, I should stop now. There’s my guess is some kind of like panic comes up for you like oh, no, it’s ended up as something like that. That would be really interesting. So what I would suggest for you, Andrew, and anyone else who’s struggling with this is set a timer, let’s say two hours, I had no idea that was just making it up.

So whatever the number is for you set a timer. And then observe your feelings, your thoughts and feelings when the timer goes off, and it’s time to stop the research. Just like observe what’s coming up for you. And just get curious about it. Oh, that’s interesting. Ricky says passive action versus massive action is planning the garden versus planting the garden. Love that. More than murky. For me, in addition to being specific about what I want to produce, it seems like it would also be helpful to make a list of potential paths of actions that I need to watch for to avoid. I love that. Yeah, like what sneaky things might want to come in and sabotage you. That’s a great idea. What about schedule fantasies? What about schedule fantasies? I need more info. How do you think we improve sitting with the discomfort of telling our partner now? Because we would be working on something for ourselves and not slip into people pleasing? Great question. Kobe.

So the discomfort of telling your partner no is real. And it is something to be tolerated in your body. For me. I like to remind myself that I’m very safe. I actually have a partner that’s very kind you Even though my body responds like, I’m going to get in trouble, he’s going to be so mad at me, you know, this is going to cause a fight. And nine and a half times out of 10, not what happens. And I assume that most of you are partnered with people who are also kind. And so just reminding yourself like, I am safe. It is okay for me to say no, right now. This goes back to trauma in childhood, most likely. So for me, as someone who’s a trauma informed Coach, I know that so many of us are reacting today, because of the way that we were treated as children. And that is the case for me. I was never allowed to tell anybody, no, like an authority, how I could never tell an authority. No, I didn’t have autonomy over my own body and what I wanted to do, and so that has, of course, carried over into how I interact in relationships now. And so being able to ground myself in I’m a grown ass adult, I am totally safe. And this person is a very kind person, even if he’s upset that I’m saying no, I’m not in actual danger. I guess it really is just about tolerating. It’s like a fight or flight response. At first, in my opinion, in my experience, being able to tell someone No, there is this flight or fight response.

Does that resonate with you guys? Yeah. Yeah, so Kobe says, I think that’s what’s interesting is I feel my whole body going into full fight or flight Exactly. And so then, of course, to solve that problem of your body being activated, you just say yes to them. And you put your own thing on the backburner? Because you’re trying to solve the problem of being in fight or flight like, Oh, this feels so uncomfortable. And like, I feel like I’m in legit danger. And so to solve that problem, I’m just gonna say yes. And so a lot of you are saying yes, because of that, like yes to things you don’t want to do, yes to requests from partners that you don’t actually even want to say yes to. And you’re saying no to yourself, and your own list and your own things that you want to be productive on. Because even though in the long run, it’s detrimental to your own dreams to your own goals. In the short term, it does solve the problem of your body being activated into fight or flight. So first of all, it’d be a great opportunity for you to practice this with a therapist. Second of all, what I like to do is remind myself that I am actually safe the reality is that I am safe. And even though my body is like reacting as if I’m not safe, I am actually safe. So if that’s the case for you, right, like you have to evaluate like, am I actually safe? So first of all, please take care of yourself and know whether or not you are but if you are safe, then reminding yourself and like self soothing is the way to be able to tolerate their discomfort with your no. I feel like that was very important.

So I’m just like, taking a breath. When I think about it, I like planning more than doing Yeah, join the club, Lisa, totally making a to do list planting, planting my garden and buying the plants but not actually planting. Yeah, researching obsessively online, but not actually doing the thing. Totally. This is all of us. Because the fantasy feels so much better than the actual reality of doing the thing. So you need to decide if you actually want the result or not. And building your desire for the result. Do you want those tomatoes? In July? Because if you stick with researching and planning, you’re not going to have tomatoes in July is that when tomatoes come? I have no idea. Do you want a zucchini to share with your neighbors? Do you have to think about the actual outcome and build your desire for that thing being produced? Because if you just keep researching you’re not going to have that thing. Brittany says Jersey tomatoes Yeah, I’m a Jersey girl. Former but you know I don’t I stop myself from trying to find the perfect planning and scheduling system.

Oh gosh, this is great. I currently have about five different things that I’m trying it so overwhelming but I cannot choose which one is the most important to me. Okay, you set a limit, and you just decide. I’m sorry. It is that simple. You tolerate how terrible it feels to just constrain down and pick one. There’s no other answer. That’s the answer. You just have to constrain and then feel like crap.

The reason why you don’t want to decide is because you don’t want to feel like crap. Because actually feels like crap to decide, actually feels like crap to produce. It actually feels just terrible to do these things. So I’m sorry, I wish I had more fun answers. How do you evaluate yucky feelings to know when you legitimately need to take a break between periods of massive action? Yeah, this is a question that comes up a lot like how do I know when I actually need a break? Or when I’m just trying to like self sabotage? I honestly, this is one of the hardest questions for me to answer. Because I just I struggle so much. First of all, I would never want to be someone who’s just like, never take a break. You don’t need a break breaks are stupid. I would also not want to be someone who’s like, make sure that you’re always like, over hydrating and sleeping 20 hours a day I’m living like, I just didn’t know the right answer.

Okay, I’m so sorry, Tanya. For me, personally, I tried to set a reasonable amount, which means I work about six hours a day. And I tried to just like, really make myself very productive within the boundary of those six hours. And then I’m like, it’s done. And I can take my break after. And that’s fine. If that makes sense. I don’t know it’s a stupid answer. Because I just don’t know what the answer is. Sorry. Oh, what is putting boundaries around yourself look like? I don’t have time to go into that. But it’s a fantastic question. It means setting limits. Saying no to yourself. About boundary is a line. It’s a property line where it’s like I will do this, but I will not do this. And so setting limits with yourself. It’s very important. Okay, I’m gonna take one more. I moved into my house nine years ago, I realized I needed help with interior design. I had to I didn’t like with the post I just totally gave up. That was six years ago. So I’ve been living in a house that has a hodgepodge of furniture. And I’ve been telling myself that hiring a new person would be too expensive. Now I realize this is a false economy. How do we split up the spheres we need help versus what we can accomplish on our on our own, okay.

I think this is just a self awareness thing, Erica f, where knowing what you’re good at, what you have capacity for and what you don’t have capacity for. And so I would really question and just really observe and evaluate like, what do I have capacity for truly? What do I need to hand off? Where are my gifts? Where are my deficits? If it hasn’t happened, after nine years, people we hired out if you will need permission, Permission granted. Okay, this is actually the last question so I have time to do it. One minute. What do you do if your massive action ends up being doing the dishes rather than the task on your schedule? That’s not actually massive action. That’s progressivity? Cara, love you. Okay, so if you’re not doing the thing on your schedule, then it’s not massive action. It’s progressivity. This has been lovely. I can’t wait to talk to you again. Hey, ADHD, or I see you I know exactly what it’s like to feel lost, confused, frustrated, and like no one out there really understands the way that your brain works. That’s why I created focused. Focused is my monthly coaching program where I lead you through a step by step process of understanding yourself feeling better and creating the life that you know you’re meant for. You’ll study be coached, grow, and make amazing changes alongside of other educated professional adults with ADHD from all over the world. Visit Ihaveadhd.com/focused to learn more

Are you sure? Take a deep breath and ground yourself in your body.
Yes, I want to cancel

I'd rather pause my membership.