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ADHD Adults

Anxiety Attempting To Complete Task


I have chosen not to take medication and use natural ways to help my symptoms. 

One of the ways I have chosen is Google Task and Calendar. First and foremost please recommend how you use Google. Do you block off various times for every activity from brushing your teeth to picking up kids? Do you use the task most? I want to know what do calendars work best for vs task?

I would also like to know why I feel strong anxiety when I look at my list and feel frustrated when I get ready to complete a task. It is almost as if looking at the list is overwhelming.

Has anyone else experienced this? What are your suggestions?



Looking at the list IS overwhelming, unfortunately. I haven’t tried google calendar yet, but maybe you could apply the following idea to the higher tech method. One way to handle lists is to take some index cards and write only 2 to 4 things on each card. Then pick only one card from them and go do those couple of tasks. When done you can take a break or if you’re motivated by accomplish those first few tasks you might want to pull another card.

Posted by chillyla on Nov 11, 2013 at 3:33am

Chill that’s a great idea, thank you for sharing.  I bought index cards about a month ago because they came in rainbows colors, no other reason.  Now I can use them, making a note right now so I remember to use them hahaa wink  Thank you again

Posted by BexIssues on Nov 11, 2013 at 3:42am

Big lists are overwhelming.

I use colournote to make specific mini lists that i can refer to as i need rather than haveing a big huge list staring me in the eye goading me.

I have a housekeeping list for each day with specific daily tasks for that day. Little jobs i can tick off for for satisfaction. Not time specific.

Then i lists for work, brownie guides and uni. Just little todos.
I also use colournote for myshopping list.

For appontments i use the calender on my phone. So anything time specific is on there with an alarm to give me an appropriate heads up. I dont list these things as my phone will bing bong to remind me. Everything from dentist to buy a birthday card. If i cantdo it there and then i snooze it until i do.

Posted by TheLadyNC on Nov 11, 2013 at 4:06am

Just checked is Jorte i use on my phone as i can set it up exactly as i want it, plus i can add pictures to each job. ツ

Posted by TheLadyNC on Nov 11, 2013 at 4:08am

I use MS Outlook calendar and tied to my iphone.  I do put in alarms to when I have to pick up my kid from school, doctors appointments,  If I did not have that alarm, I may be on a task at work that keeps me so focused I loose all track of time.  To keep myself from feeling overwhelmed by my huge task list, I use a white board next to my desk where I just list 4 or 5 tasks that I will complete before lunch.  After lunch I update my whiteboard with another 4 tasks to do before quitting time.  So I’m not working off a long task list,  Just 4 tasks at a time.

Posted by spage_hasADD on Nov 11, 2013 at 9:25am

On there is a link to the Cozi calendar. I think it’s great because I can put my appointments & other dates on there.
It also has the flylady stuff on there so I know what part of the house to work on that day. It looks like it will help keep life organized. I am just getting started with it, but already I like it. same with I really love her.

Posted by missmix48 on Nov 11, 2013 at 10:52am

Ivorygirl, I’m in my 40s and new to the ADD scene.  But the ADD patterns have been there my whole life. 
I get frustrated when I’m close to completing a task too.  I think some of it might come from perfectionist tendencies, which makes things worse - not only is it hard to stay focused, but it’s easy to get caught in the loop of making it better. 

For me,  the overwhelming feeling comes from thinking of the huge amount of effort it took to get just a few things (or one thing) done, then extrapolating how long it will take to get the whole list done.  It’s hard to stay motivated if I look at the whole list every day.

So here’s what I’m trying now:
1)  I have lists of what to do for routine stuff, like morning routine (skin care, dress, breakfast, cleanup breakfast, pickup kitchen, run dishwasher, brush teeth . . .).  Flylady has nice techniqe for your first month getting going on building routines like this.

2) Plan a week at a time.  I have one week calender (I use Excel, but you could use Google calendar. 

First I get all the stuff already scheduled (appointments, taking kids places, etc) on the calendar. 

Next I add blocks of time for routine stuff.  I put a block for “morning routine” in for 90min, since that’s how long it takes to do that routine.  I started with an hour for morning routine but I learned that wasn’t enough time.  I’ve noticed that I am terrible at predicting how long things take. 

After ‘morning routine’ I put in blocks of 90 min separated by breaks of 1/2 hour.  Two in morning, two in afternoon = 8hrs.  90 min chunk size seems about right; that’s my chunk size.  Every day has these. 

At the beginning of the week I pick which things I want to get done and bust them into 90 min chunks and spread them through the week on my calendar. 

I set alarms on my phone every 1/2 hour to remind me to check if I’m still doing what I’m supposed to be doing.  It’s easy to become distracted and wind up reading about ADD or news or how to build a sail for a canoe or a recipe for an apple/carrot salad or ... (you know). 

A lot of days go off plan: unexpeted things come up, something takes longer etc.  I can tell that this won’t work really well, but it’s better than I used to do.  Hope this helps.  Hang in there.

Posted by TD on Nov 11, 2013 at 9:06pm

Among the websites that help me are, also an app, which displays one task at a time.  Also, which satisfyingly lets me move tasks as pastel rectangles into an in progress column.  Finally, be rigorous about what’s important, what’s urgent, what’s a goal rather than an action and what’s only “nice to do” (keep track of those elsewhere).  And look into David Allen’s idea of “next action”...what would you look like doing the very next thing you need to do and list only that…not the desired goal…on your list…e.g., not “find an apartment” but “look at the rental ads in today’s paper.”

Posted by seeker on Nov 13, 2013 at 5:53pm

Pomodoro method also helps because it builds in breaks and reward times.

Posted by seeker on Nov 13, 2013 at 5:54pm

For individual tasks I DO use a timer for EVERYTHING! I do not time each individual task, but I use it as a reference. For example, if I start online clothes shopping, I can end up online for hours! I’ll set my for fifteen minutes, and if I start building a shopping cart, I’ll review it after fifteen and decide if I want to give myself another five minutes or not…and then sit on it for a day before revisiting it to make the purchase! Additionally, I set my timer for a half hour before getting in the shower- the amount of time I prefer to allow myself to get all my grooming/dressing done before work and I check the timer on my way out of the shower to see how much time I have left for other tasks. Seeing the number of minutes I have left is more concrete for me than seeing a general time on a clock. This way, I know that if I was planning on shaving my legs but I spaced out in the shower, I may have to reschedule that for later in the afternoon in lieu of other pressing matters like brushing my teeth! Yea, as I’m sure you can imagine based on this explanation, I can be an under productive mess in the mornings if I don’t keep tabs on myself! Ha…but usually just knowing the timer is set is enough to keep me focused because the simple act of setting the timer helps me remember that I have limited time.

Posted by jessiela on Nov 14, 2013 at 8:54pm

Thank you guys! I appreciate all of your feedback. I had to figure out how to get back to the post! I am now using Google Calendars and task efficiently. I had no idea that you could place them into sub task. The note cards are a great idea.

Posted by Ivorygirl88 on Nov 17, 2013 at 1:53am

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