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How to Push Through Tough Tasks - ADHD Skills Part 2

9 min
Average Score

Dr. Tracey Marks

Psychiatrist, Author, Mental Health Educator

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In the competitive world of sales, productivity is a top priority. Sales representatives, regardless of their professional background, need to stay organized, manage tasks efficiently, and prioritize effectively to achieve their goals. This session explores valuable strategies for sales reps, including those dealing with ADHD, to enhance their productivity. We'll also discuss the importance of task prioritization in maximizing efficiency.

Overcoming Procrastination: A Common Challenge

Understanding Aversive Tasks

Procrastination is a formidable adversary, especially for individuals with ADHD. Dr. Tracey Marks explains that procrastination often stems from facing aversive tasks—tasks that seem too overwhelming or unpleasant to initiate. These tasks can appear daunting due to their complexity, perceived lengthiness, or the number of steps involved.

Breaking Tasks into Smaller Steps

To tackle aversive tasks effectively, it's essential to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. Dr. Marks suggests referring to her previous video on this topic for a detailed guide. Breaking down tasks simplifies the process and makes it easier to get started.

Pairing Tasks with Rewards

One effective strategy is to pair aversive tasks with rewarding activities. These rewards serve as motivation to complete the task. Dr. Marks recommends creating a list of enjoyable activities that you can turn to when faced with an unpleasant task. These could include watching TV, taking a walk, chatting with friends, or listening to a fascinating podcast episode. The key is to avoid associating rewards with food, as this can lead to emotional eating.

Tracking Time and Planning

Maintaining a time log and scheduling tasks in your planner are crucial components of effective time management. If you add a reward at the end of a task, remember to include it in your time log. Additionally, consider scheduling unpleasant tasks around natural breaks or pairing them with enjoyable activities that occur during the day.

Creating a Comfortable Environment

Sometimes, aversive tasks require a conducive environment to make them more tolerable. Instead of forcing yourself to work in an uncomfortable setting, find ways to create a soothing environment. For example, complete a task outdoors or in a cozy chair to make the experience more pleasant.

Prioritizing Tasks: Stephen Covey's Approach

Understanding the Urgency-Importance Matrix

Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" introduced a valuable approach to task prioritization. This method categorizes tasks based on their level of urgency and importance:

  • Important and Urgent: Tasks that require immediate attention due to inflexible deadlines, such as job-related responsibilities.
  • Important but Not Urgent: Tasks that are essential but do not have immediate deadlines, like exercising or grocery shopping for healthier meals.
  • Not Important but Urgent: Tasks that become urgent due to external factors, often driven by others' timelines.
  • Not Important and Not Urgent: Lower-priority tasks, often appealing or enjoyable, but not critical.

Avoiding the Urgency Trap

Many individuals prioritize urgent tasks over important ones, even when they're less critical. This can create a constant state of urgency and inefficiency. To prevent this, it's essential to recognize the difference between urgency and importance and allocate your time accordingly.

Boosting productivity as a sales representative is crucial for success. Whether you're managing ADHD or simply seeking ways to enhance your efficiency, the strategies discussed in this session can make a significant difference.

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