ADHD and Days off: How to make the most of your time

In theory, a day off is the perfect time to get things done. You have the whole day to knock off the to-do list. You're not working, you're not going to class - your time is open. In practice, many adults with ADHD struggle to get anything done on days off.

An ADHD brain thrives on urgency, and days off don't give you that. A day off can feel endless, which can lead to procrastination and difficulty prioritizing your day. In fact, many adults with ADHD get far more done on a busy day than one where they have all the time in the world.

With family day coming up, we all have an extra day get things done - fun or otherwise. Here are five tips to help you make the most of your time:

  1. ADHD and days offPlan your day, even if all you want to do is fun stuff. It's easy to get stuck thinking: "I have all this time, I can get ___ done when I feel like it." Has that worked out well for you as a strategy you can rely on? Likely not. Instead, create a bit of structure in your day and set yourself up in a better way!

  2. Plan to get out of the house first thing. Plan something that will force your day to get started - like a brunch date, or an exercise class. Something official that you have to get up for.

  3. Use your time strategically. If you have somewhere you have to be, plan a task around that. Take advantage of the momentum you get from being out somewhere, and pair it up with something else that you need or want to do.

  4. If you're not interested in planning your day, at least plan some possibilities. Make a list of 2-3 potential tasks or activities to choose from, and plan to choose one no matter what. This gives you some structure, but not so much that you feel stifled.

  5. Finally, one option to consider is to give yourself permission to truly take the day off. Give yourself permission to let go of the to-do list and focus only on how you're feeling in the moment. Even if that means watching TV all day - fine. No guilt.


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