Inattentive ADHD Getting Things Done

inattentive adhd timer

Those of us with Inattentive ADHD need all the help we can get for getting things done.  There are many "Get Things Done" systems out there that involve complex strategies for organizing your thoughts and your tasks.  I find these very worthwhile, very well thought out, very thorough but from the perspective of someone with Inattentive ADD, not very practical.

If I had the organizational skills to carry out David Allen's GTD program of processing my thoughts, actions, projects, sub-projects, reference items and goals, I would not need a 'Get Things Done' program.  I find that the best programs for the Inattentive can be explained in less than 5 minutes, require no Venn diagrams or complicated equipment and can be implemented immediately.  I have found one such program in the Pomodoro Technique.  Pomodoro means tomato in Italian and I believe that the program's designer first used a timer in the shape of a tomato to complete his program and thus the name.

The Pomodoro Technique requires nothing more than one piece of paper and a timer.  You list your do list at the start of the day.  You decide what to do first. You set the timer and work for one 'Pomodoro' which is a 25 minute increment.  You must take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes and you must take a 30 minute break every 4 'Pomodoros'.  There is a bit more to it than that as after a few days you evaluate your lists to see how long things take and it allows you to then set time goals based on the length of time it takes to get certain tasks done but pretty much that is it.

The system is free.  It takes less than 5 minutes to understand and less than 30 minutes to read the entire technique from start to finish. I recommend that you take a look at it as I think that you will find it useful.  A free tool that you can use to write your ‘to do’ list is called 'Doitdoitdone' and it works very well alongside the Pomodoro technique.

One last free tool that I have found helpful is a continuous reminder email system called Monkeyonyou.  It sends continuous emails until a task is complete.  This can be very obnoxious but it does get the job done in terms of not letting something that needs to be done fall through the cracks.

People with Inattentive ADHD need to keep their 'getting things done' strategies simple.  Any system that requires hours for set up or for understanding will not work for us.  A simple system like the Pomodoro Technique, accompanied by some free online tools such as Doitdoitdone and Monkeyonyou, is perfect for those of us who need help accomplishing our tasks but do not have the patience or attention span to devote to more complicated task management systems.


  1. Made me smile!

    I have been considering to implement David Allen's GTD for... about 8 months. But I didn't get around to it! Too overwhelming, just the thought of it.

    When I discovered the Pomodoro technique I thought "this is it". I implemented it the same day.

    The bad news is I don't implement it every day, nor the whole day when I do. Too threatening to strap myself in that 25-minute straight-jacket and yet so empowering when I do use it, keeps distractions away for another 25 minutes, focuses my attention with the thought that I only have to commit for a short time.

    I would like to talk with other procrastinating ADD people... anybody out there?

  2. Hey, Thanks for your comments. Try the forum for conversation and questions. Thanks again!!


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