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Have you ever stared at a long list of tasks, feeling overwhelmed, beaten down and defeated only to end up getting nothing done and feeling like a productivity failure? Yeah, me too.
You might not know this yet, but, procrastination and feeling overwhelmed with daily demands is a common challenge, especially for individuals living with ADHD, Autism, Epilepsy or other neurodiverse conditions that can cause a person to be forgetful. While it might not seem like it yet, prioritizing tasks based on how hard they are can significantly impact what gets done and how efficiently it’s accomplished.
A Simple Guide to Activity Prioritization
Let’s delve into the world of activity prioritization and explore simple techniques that can revolutionize your daily productivity.
Understanding your natural cycle
Understanding your natural cycle is crucial. Everyone has certain times of the day when they are most productive, for me, it is just as the sun sets, my brain comes alive while for others, it’s early morning.
The use of visual planning, aids and identifying your busiest times of the can help you schedule the most demanding tasks when you’re naturally more focused and energetic all while reducing stress levels and being more productive with your day.
When Are You Most Active?
People with ADHD or Autism might experience fluctuating energy levels throughout the day. For some, it can be beneficial to track these patterns. For a week, try jotting down the times when you feel most alert and when you experience lulls in your attention. You might come to discover that post-lunch hours are low-energy times, while late afternoons are high-energy.
You could then use this insight to align your tasks with your energy levels and increase your productivity while not burning yourself out in the process.
How to Implement Activity Prioritization
Implementing visual aids, alerts and activity prioritization can be simplified into a few key steps:
- List Your Tasks: Begin by listing all the tasks you need to accomplish. Don’t worry about the order yet; just get everything down on paper or a digital tool.
- Categorize Activities by Urgency with Color: Divide your tasks into color categories based on urgency and importance. If you don’t want thing to be too complicated then you could employ a color system which would mark urgent tasks as red and the least urgent as green. You can make it as simple or complicated as you want
- Allocate Time Slots: Based on your most active periods, allocate time slots for each task. Assign more demanding tasks to your peak energy times.
- Prioritize hard tasks first: Getting hard tasks out of the way first allows you to step back, take a breathe and feel less overwhelmed and also reduce the chances you will end up procrastinating because you don’t want to do it.
- Use Visual Aids: For those who are forgetful or easily distracted, visual aids like colorful sticky notes, planners, or digital reminders like those provided by Thruday, Trello and Asana can be invaluable for neurodiverse productivity. Sometimes all we need is a little nudge in the right direction.
- Break Down Large Tasks: Large tasks can be overwhelming. Break them into smaller, manageable parts. This not only makes it easier to start but also provides a sense of accomplishment as each part is completed.
- Flexible Scheduling: Flexibility is key, especially for neurodiverse individuals. If a task isn’t working out at a scheduled time, give yourself the flexibility to adjust
- Review and Adjust: At the end of each day or week, review what you’ve accomplished and adjust your strategies as needed. Learning from what didn’t work is as important as knowing what did.
Other ideas to improve your productivity
Living with neurodiverse struggles can be a double edged sword. Sometimes I can hyper-focus and get 9 hours of work done in 3 hours and, other days, I can barely pull myself to do anything at all. Staying productive is about much more than just prioritizing tasks.
Here are some other ways coaching tips that can help you stay on track.
- Routine: Establishing a routine can provide a sense of stability and predictability, which is particularly beneficial for those with Autism or ADHD.
- Sensory Tools: Utilizing sensory tools like stress balls or fidget spinners during work can improve focus.
- Exercise and Breaks: Incorporate short breaks and physical activity into your day. This is not only good for your physical health but also helps in resetting your mental focus.
- Mindfulness and Meditation: I know, I know – you’ve heard it before. But honestly, practices like mindfulness and meditation can enhance concentration and reduce anxiety, aiding in better task management and lower stress levels across the board.
For those at the back
Activity prioritization is not a one-size-fits-all solution, especially for those who are neurodiverse. It requires an understanding of your unique patterns and adapting strategies accordingly. By recognizing your most active times, categorizing tasks, using visual aids such as colors and images while trying to stay flexible in your approach, you can enhance your daily productivity.
Remember, the key is to work with your natural tendencies, not against them. With these techniques, you can bend your day to be more productive and fulfilling.Tags: Education