3 Tips for a Productive Day

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Never let a diagnosis define you. Never let an ailment define you. Don’t let anyone or anything have the power to tell you who you are and dictate how you’re going to live your life.

I live with ADD. I have had it my whole life but was just diagnosed this year. I was actually relieved when I found out. Everything made so much sense all of a sudden and I didn’t feel like such a clouded, hyper, 12-things-going-at-once, inconsistent failure!

My head holds so many ideas, plans, goals… But I don’t always know how to get them out of my head and manifest them into the natural world. That’s why I love writing! Writing seems to take all the clutter and give it a place outside of my head. It’s like relieving pressure from a balloon that’s too full and about to pop.

ADD doesn’t define me. It’s just a little something extra that comes along with me. It doesn’t mean I can’t do what others do or accomplish what others can accomplish; it just means I have to work a little harder.

So I wanted to share three of my tips with you. Let’s not make excuses of why we can’t … Let’s make a plan for why we can! 

  1. Get up Early

For far too long I have woken up at the sound of an alarm clock and then hit snooze 15 bazillion times, pushing my luck until the VERY last minute, and then rushing out of bed to get out the door in time for work. It’s a terrible start to the day and it lasts throughout the whole day. I would get to the end of the week and be so frustrated that I was SO busy all week but didn’t really accomplish any of my personal goals or take steps to get me closer to my personal goals.

I realized the day was dragging me along. I would wake up and meet the day like a drill sergeant yelling at me, calling me a maggot, and pushing me along to the next task. People who have ADD are already sensitive to the fight or flight reaction and always feeling some state of anxiety. Not necessarily the debilitating anxiety that I battled in 2011 but just anxiety and anxiety is annoying. I didn’t want the day to tell me what to do anymore. I wanted to tell the day that it was THE day that the Lord had made and it was MY day to use to my advantage to further my goals, to further my dreams, and to further the Kingdom of God.

Getting up early allows me to have time to myself. I can reflect and spend time in the silence before everyone else wakes up and the demands of the world are at hand. It’s a sweet time and it sets the course of the whole day.

  1. Make A List
    I have to map out everything. I’m a kinesthetic learner, meaning I have to carry out a physical activity to learn instead of just listening or watching a demonstration. Pictured above is my day mapped out. It may seem silly but if I don’t make a road map for my morning I will literally roam around aimlessly and wonder why I came into the kitchen for the 4th time. I will leave and then come right back and forget why I’m there. It’s exhausting and frustrating and valuable time is lost. I map my routine out and check in frequently.

Remember activity is not necessarily productivity.

3. Set A Timer
My time management can be awful when I’m doing something fun or enjoyable! If you’ve ever met me for coffee you already know. A 2-hour hang can easily turn into a 6-hour hang! (What can I say? I’m like an instant party waiting to happen!) I have to set a timer.

During my workday I have a large to-do list on my desk (out of my peripheral) and I have a tiny sticky note in front of me (so I can constantly see it). I mark 2 things from the large list onto my little sticky note. I set a timer according to how long I think it should take to complete the task and bust out those 2 things.  Then I repeat. Yeah, I go through a lot of sticky notes! If I don’t do this I will try to accomplish every single thing on that BIG list and I wind up not completing anything and becoming extremely frustrated and overwhelmed.

These are just a few of the things that I do to help me move toward accomplishing my goals and to carry out the small tasks in my life so that I can spend time on the more enjoyable things. What is one step that you could take today to help you get closer to your goals? It doesn’t have to be a huge, ginormous, tear your muscle step … just one step. What is it for you? If you’re comfortable, share it in the comments as a statement of commitment. I’ll be cheering you on and praying for you.

Feel free to also share your tips for productivity! We’re all in this together!

The only thing that can hold you back is you. God has created you on purpose, with a purpose. God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you – and nothing or no one can change that.

You are loved.




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