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Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2 www.thrivewithadd.com Procrastination TransformationThe Secrets to Getting Started Developed by Bonnie Mincu, MA, MBA Senior Certified ADHD Coach MODULE 2

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Secrets to Getting Started

    www.thrivewithadd.com

    Procrastination Transformation™

    The Secrets to Getting Started

    Developed by

    Bonnie Mincu, MA, MBA Senior Certified ADHD Coach

    MODULE 2

  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Major reasons we don’t get started:

    Procrastination:

    • unmotivated, don’t “feel like” doing it

    Paralysis:

    • feeling mentally stuck, unable to move forward

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    RECAP of Module 1

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Concepts and Strategies Introduced

    Procrastination Transformation Key: Visual aid illustrating reasons we don’t get started

    • Download at http://www.thrivewithadd.com/key

    Simple Procrastination – avoiding task due to boredom and disinterest. Strategies primarily involve stimulation.

    Rituals– Set of actions repeated the same way regularly, intended to form an automatic habit

    Intention – A thought-out idea of what you intend to do, and the conditions that will most likely make it succeed

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    RECAP of Module 1

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    “Secrets” from Module 1

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    RECAP of Module 1

    Learn to identify exactly what’s stopping you from moving forward

    For simple procrastination, entertain your brain

    Perform rituals to create habits that make mundane tasks automatic

    Create full intentions to successfully start a task, and to track what derails you

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    “Complex” Procrastination When you’re not interested in task/project,

    and it isn’t simple!

    • Too many details

    • Requires too much concentration and focus

    • Must learn how to do something

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    Complex Projects

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    Break down

    large tasks or projects

    into the smallest of parts

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    Dealing with DETAILS: Why a problem for ADD/ ADHD?

    • Impatience – We exaggerate how much time it will take

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Dealing with DETAILS: Why a problem for ADD/ ADHD?

    • Impatience

    SUGGESTION:

    – Break down the task to simple steps

    – Time how long it takes to perform one or more steps.

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    Dealing with DETAILS: Why a problem for ADD/ ADHD?

    • Visual Overload – If your brain gets overwhelmed at what looks like

    “too much information” on a page, you may react with impatience, fear or anxiety.

    – You may falsely perceive complexity for something that’s really quite simple.

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    Dealing with DETAILS: Why a problem for ADD/ ADHD?

    • Visual Overload

    SUGGESTION:

    – Cover up the page or visual information

    – Uncover it slowly so that you process just one piece at a time

    • HINT: It helps if you print out the page

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    Dealing with DETAILS: Why a problem for ADD/ ADHD?

    • Thinking Non-Sequentially – ADD / ADHD people are more likely to think in a

    circular manner, rather than in a sequence. This is a problem when steps must be performed in a particular order.

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    Dealing with DETAILS: Why a problem for ADD/ ADHD?

    • Thinking Non-Sequentially

    SUGGESTION:

    – With step-by-step directions, follow the directions as given!

    • HINT: Print them out, cover up the page, and just uncover one at a time.

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    Dealing with DETAILS: Why a problem for ADD/ ADHD?

    • Missing directions or detail – The attention mechanisms may blink in and out,

    so you miss some bits of information

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    Dealing with DETAILS: Why a problem for ADD/ ADHD?

    • Missing directions or detail

    SUGGESTION:

    – Make sure the directions are clear to you

    – Read them one at a time, sequentially

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Intense Concentration required on Tedious Tasks

    • It’s hard enough to focus when you’re not

    interested…

    … much less focus intensely for long periods of time!

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Complex Projects

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    Don’t fight your attention span.

    Go with your own flow

    and try to enhance it

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    Intense Concentration required:

    • FLOW with your Attention Span – Don’t try to force it beyond its capacity to tolerate

    the task

    – Figure needed breaks into your planning

    – Learn what time of day you focus best on this work

    – Enhance your attention span if possible with exercise or meditation

    • HINT: Avoid meal of heavy carbs & protein before you have to concentrate

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    Learning Curve When you have no interest in

    learning the subject

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    Lean into the Learning Curve

    Treat the process like any other procrastination issue:

    - Break it down to its simplest parts

    - Focus on one piece at a time

    - Follow the directions in sequence

    - Don’t tax your attention span

    Set up stimulating conditions, if appropriate

  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    CASE STUDY: Invoicing

    Laura the attorney

    was months behind on

    invoicing her clients.

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    CASE STUDY: Invoicing

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    Although months of backlog is OVERWHELMING…

    The process of billing is just tedious: A procrastination issue

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    • Break the process down, step by step

    – What are all the action steps required to process one client’s bill for one month?

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    CASE STUDY: Invoicing

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    • Delegation – What could her assistant do?

    • Intention – Make appointments with

    herself to do billing

    • Time Tracking – See how long each step of the

    process really took

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    CASE STUDY: Invoicing

    Laura’s Plan:

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    • Ask for help

    – Don’t be afraid to let your assistant know you aren’t perfect

    • Develop time-tracking ritual

    – Set reminder to stop at end of morning and afternoon to track time, no matter what!

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    CASE STUDY: Invoicing

    LESSONS LEARNED

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    Mental PARALYSIS

    When you are not able to move forward

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    BLOCKED because

    Something else needs to come first

    OR

    Difficulty transitioning out of previous activity or thoughts

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    Blocked: Can’t find the Time

    • Common reasons why ADD people don’t find TIME to start

    – Overbooked, more than is realistic for anyone

    – Didn’t use calendar to schedule

    – Inability to plan realistically

    – Forgetting current commitments

    – Tendency to be a “pleaser”

    – Working inefficiently or drifting off-task

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    How to understand time

    • Learn your own relationship with time – Become aware of your current assumptions about time

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    How to understand time

    • Learn your own relationship with time – Become aware of your current assumptions about time

    • Understand that time is not infinite – How much time you have available is not necessarily

    relevant to how long something takes to do!

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    How to understand time

    • Learn your own relationship with time – Become aware of your current assumptions about time

    • Understand that time is not infinite – How much time you have available is not necessarily

    relevant to how long something takes to do!

    • Use something visual to show you what you need to do within a particular block of time – Calendar, daily planner, week at a glance

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    BLOCKED Can’t find the TIME

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    Develop a realistic sense of time.

    Become aware of how your time is spent

    and what you do to spend it.

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    Calendar / Planner

    • Enter tasks, Intentions and appointments into a Calendar / Planner

    – Trying to rely on memory will not earn you any extra credit in life!

    – It doesn’t matter what kind of calendar you use, as long as you can easily see what you have to do that day or week

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Calendar / Planner

    • Develop a ritual / habit to use the calendar

    – Entering things in a calendar is only useful if you look at it and use it for planning.

    • HINT: Treat the ritual as a daily INTENTION until the habit feels established

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    Timer to stay on track

    • Set a timer to sound or vibrate at regular intervals to keep you from “drifting” off-track

    …For example, every 15 minutes

    – Set for shorter time intervals in your DANGER ZONES when you’re more likely to drift

    • Online activity can lead to surfing

    • Any activity that bores you

    • Times of day (or times in your medication cycle) when you’re more unfocused

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Are you a PLEASER?

    • Are you a chronic volunteer?

    • Do you have trouble saying “NO”?

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    You may not have time for your own

    responsibilities because you’re too busy

    doing things for everyone else.

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    Are you a PLEASER?

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    Learn this magic phrase:

    “Let me check my

    schedule

    and get back to you!”

    Practice saying NO to someone

    about something at least once a day

    starting with baby steps

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    Blocked by “Dependencies” Something else is required first

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    Before you start, imagine yourself

    performing the task, step by step, to determine if something else is

    required first

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    What could be required first?

    • Must find or organize material or information

    – Pre-step: What really has to be done first. Plan on the pre-step in your schedule

    • ADDers’ need for pre-steps due to disorganization can make things take longer

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    What could be required first?

    • Need permission or information from another source

    – Manage expectations: Give a “heads up” to the other person in advance that you’ll need something

    • In projects of multiple steps, taking care of this kind of communication should be one of the first steps, no matter when the information might be needed in the process

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    What could be required first?

    • A prior step was needed before you can start

    – Visualize beginning the task. Imagine what it would take to begin.

    • If you are not able to begin under current conditions, there’s a prior step needed.

    – Sticky Note strategy: Write each step on a separate sticky note.

    • Move the notes around on a table or wall until you’ve worked out the order the steps have to be performed.

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    • Locked into a previous activity, you don’t stop in time to start the new one

    – Set a timer in advance, with several transitional warnings to give yourself space to pull out of the hyper-focus mode

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    Blocked by Hyper-focus

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    • Locked into a previous activity, you don’t stop in time to start the new one

    – Set a timer in advance, with several transitional warnings to give yourself space to pull out of the hyper-focus mode

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    Blocked by Hyper-focus

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    • Locked into your own thoughts, you lose track of time, or are unwilling to turn your attention to the task

    – Positive thoughts keep you locked in a daydream

    – Negative thoughts have you stuck in a swamp of rumination

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    Blocked by Hyper-focus

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    The 5 minute Rule of Rumination

    If you are dwelling unproductively on a particular thought pattern, assign that topic of thought a particular 5-minute time period. It must be the same time every day.

    Whenever that thought comes up at any other time, push it away, saying “STOP. It’s not your time.”

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    As you continue to push the thought away, it will gradually stop intruding so often.

  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Paralyzed by OVERWHELM

    The most common type of

    ADD-related paralysis

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    1. Recognize common triggers that bring on Overwhelm. • Think about what has made you overwhelmed

    in the past.

    • Identify what types of challenges are overwhelming to you.

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    Common overwhelm triggers: Activities that are -- or seem to be:

    • Large - a great deal to do or to learn.

    (Example: filling out several months of overdue expense reports)

    • Complicated or difficult- involving many steps.

    (Example: putting together a bicycle with a 10-page instruction manual)

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    …. Common overwhelm triggers

    • Ambiguous - unclear to you what has to be done or how to start.

    (Example: trying to figure out someone else's filing system)

    • Unpleasant - starting or performing the action makes you feel uncomfortable.

    (Example: Writing 96 "thank you" notes for wedding gifts you received six months ago.)

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    2. Identify overwhelm as soon as it descends upon you.

    Pay conscious attention to your feelings when you find yourself avoiding something.

    • Become very aware of what Overwhelm actually feels like, so you can instantly identify it and categorize it as resulting from a challenge that is large, complicated, ambiguous or unpleasant.

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  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    3. Schedule a time to think through the overwhelming project on paper.

    In order to break large, ambiguous or

    complicated projects down to manageable proportions…

    • Make an appointment with yourself to plan it out.

    • Treat the appointment seriously and put it in your calendar.

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    4. Break down the large project into small steps, using visual tools.

    • Techniques you can quickly sketch out on paper make it much easier to capture your whirling thoughts and turn them into a non-overwhelming plan.

    • Use Sticky Notes or Mind Map Technique

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    Shame's Role in Overwhelm

    Feelings of shame keep you locked in overwhelm.

    When you feel ashamed, you are afraid to let others know when you don't know what to do.

    - You ruminate about past failures

    - You avoid asking for help

    So you remain overwhelmed and paralyzed.

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    Consider each step completed a success.

    • Avoid "all or nothing" thinking

    - Think of your project in stages and small action steps.

    - Use a check-list of all the different steps and

    check off each area as you complete it.

    This will give you an on-going feeling of progress -- the opposite of paralysis!

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    Creating Full Intentions

    Create full Intentions to

    successfully start a task,

    and to track what derails you

  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    What to track in the Intention Log

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    ROADBLOCKS!

    You won’t need to do this forever!

    Just tracking your Intentions for a couple of weeks will make a big difference in understanding what solutions you’ll need

  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Summary of Module 2

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    1. Break down large tasks or projects into small

    parts.

    2. Don’t fight your attention span.

    3. Develop a realistic sense of time. Become

    aware of how your time is spent.

    4. Before you start, imagine yourself performing the task to determine if something is required first.

    5. Use a mindful process to understand your Overwhelm triggers, and an Intention approach to

    break through it.

  • Procrastination Transformation: Secrets to Getting Started MODULE 2

    Assignments (should you choose to accept them)

    • PRIMARY ASSIGNMENTS:

    “Time Sense” – As part of a few INTENTIONS, guess how long the intended

    task will take you. Time the task and compare your guess to reality. See if you sense any pattern to how “off” your guesses are. Multiply your future guesses by that number.

    – Use the Time Sense Tool as a guide. (Download it from Jigsaw Box)

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    Assignments (should you choose to accept them)

    • PRIMARY ASSIGNMENT #2:

    “Break it Down” – Practice breaking down a large project into small steps.

    Create Intentions for carrying out the steps.

    – Track what you’ve learned about your strategy, and what you would do differently next time.

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    • Dealing with shame and fear

    • Analyzing best, worst and most likely cases to happen

    • How to handle ambiguity, when things are not clear

    • Breaking the perfectionism trap

    • Quick breakthroughs for planning and prioritizing

    • Next steps…

    Procrastination Transformation™

    Coming up in MODULE 3…