ADHDers don’t just love novelty – they need novelty. If something isn’t interesting, or new, or about to burst into flames, it’s just not on the ADHDer radar.
So when boring tasks need to be tackled-folding laundry, sending thank you notes, responding to emails, paying bills-the neurodivergent ADHD mind says “No thank you. That is incredibly dull, so I’ll just ignore it.” Which can cause a whole big set of problems.
The solution is to turn boring jobs into…less boring jobs. Finding ways to have cleaning the kitchen become even the slightest bit enticing. Because once we start, we most likely will keep going, right?
There are many ways to add some spice to tedious chores. Put on music. Watch TV. Listen to an audiobook or podcast. Promise yourself you will work for five minutes and then take a break.
But there’s one hack that you, as a responsible adult type, are probably turning up your nose at. And you shouldn’t.
“Sure,” you say, “I gamify tasks for my kids all the time. They’re kids though!”
I’m here to say it-gamifying is for adults too. It is the secret sauce that makes an otherwise deadly dull task-dare I say it-fun. Which means you’re more likely to actually do it.
Here are a few ideas on how to gamify grown-up jobs:
Beat the Clock – Set a stopwatch, and see how long it takes you to empty that dishwasher. Write it down, and then see if you can beat it next time. Turn it into a family competition-give those kiddos a reason to help out with chores!
Snowball Fight – can be played alone, or with others. On small strips of paper, write down each task you need to accomplish that day. Crumple each up one, and throw them into the air! Then pick one up, and complete it. And another, and another.
Trashketball – works for anything involving paperwork. When you have read/dealt with any paper, crumple it up and try to toss it into your trash can from a distance. Keep track, and reward yourself after 5 baskets.
Card Catalog – For jobs with several steps, write each step on an index card. Then, write 1-5 prize cards that say “take a break” or “dance to one song” – whatever works for you. Insert the prize cards randomly into the deck, and when you hit one of those cards, follow the directions. The anticipation will keep you going! This is also a fun one for family chores.
“But wait,” you say, “I’m going to feel really silly doing this.”
Yup, you might. But you know what won’t feel silly? Getting things done. That’ll feel great. And I truly believe, we could all use a drop more silliness in our lives.
So get a little goofy. And get that stuff done.