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Managing Multiple Tasks with ADHD

When you're looking at your to-do list and schedule, you might find it hard to juggle lots of tasks at once. For people with ADHD, it's even tougher to figure out which task to do first. And once you pick one, sticking with it until it's done can be a real challenge.

In this exercise, you'll learn simple ways to pick which tasks are most important. There are tricks to help people with ADHD organize their tasks better, even though it's usually tough for them to do.


Master List Versus Daily List

It's really helpful to have two types of lists: a "master list" where you put down all the tasks you need to do in general, and a "daily list" where you list the tasks you want to get done on a specific day. You can organize your lists into sections like home projects and work projects if you want.

All tasks should stay on the master list until you finish them. If you don't finish a task on your daily list, just move it to the next day's list. Many apps and tools can automatically move tasks to the next day if you haven't finished them. You can also do this with a paper list by rewriting the task for the next day.



When you have a bunch of tasks to do, it's crucial to prioritize them properly to make sure the most important ones get done. One effective way to do this is by giving each task a rating.

Sometimes, people tend to do the easier tasks first because it feels good to check them off the list. But often, these easy tasks aren't the most important ones. This can be a problem because it gives us a false sense of accomplishment. We might feel like we're getting things done, but we're not really making progress on our important goals.


The A, B, C's

Make a list of tasks to be done, then assign an "A," "B," or "C" rating to each task:

  • "A" Tasks: Tasks of highest importance, must be completed in the short term (like today or tomorrow).

  • "B" Tasks: Lower-importance, longer-term tasks. Some portions should be completed in the short term, but other portions may take longer.

  • "C" Tasks: Tasks of lowest importance. They may be more attractive and easier to do, but they are not as important.

Remember not to rate too many items as "A"!

This rating system can be used for both the master list and the daily list. For the master list, it helps decide which items are most important for that day's list. For the daily list, it guides you in deciding the order of tasks.

It's important to note that priority ratings can change. For instance, a task initially rated as "C" because it's due far in the future may later become a "B" or even an "A" as the deadline approaches. External events may also prompt you to modify your ratings, such as an email from your boss about a report you were supposed to write.

Now, you can add this new technique to your arsenal for managing ADHD symptoms. Alongside creating a daily to-do list, start assigning each task a rating of "A," "B," or "C." It's crucial to tackle all the "A" tasks before moving on to any "B" tasks. This might be challenging, but it's incredibly important! It ensures that you prioritize and complete the tasks that truly matter to you.

Make this technique a daily habit. Take a moment to pause and evaluate what needs to be done, carefully deciding the order of tasks. With regular practice, you'll ensure that the most important tasks are consistently completed.


Potential Pitfalls

It might feel like a lot to take on, but don't let that discourage you! Learning new skills takes time, and forming habits is no different. As you get more used to using your task list, you'll start to understand what's realistic for you to accomplish in a day.

If you find yourself not completing all the tasks on your list, don't worry. Just re-rate them the next day and keep going. In later articles, we'll explore problem-solving techniques if you consistently struggle to finish the most important tasks.

Right now, the goal is to simply get into the habit of using your task list. It's all about taking small steps toward improvement.


Good luck!

In wrapping up, adopting the habit of rating tasks as "A," "B," or "C" can truly empower those navigating ADHD to take charge of their daily schedules. Though it may seem daunting at first, incorporating this technique into your routine offers the opportunity to cultivate a more organized and productive lifestyle. Remember, growth is a journey, so be patient and kind to yourself as you work towards making this strategy a natural part of your daily routine.

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