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I suffer from adult ADHD. Sometimes I get bored with projects or work items assigned to me at work because they aren't particularly interesting. I end up inventing more interesting work and working on that instead, not getting my assignments done on time. I do end up making useful software, but not what I committed to making.

I know that I need to "suck it up" and "just do it", however the ADHD makes it difficult for me to choose what to think about. As a result, I get distracted often and don't deliver on time.

Are there any techniques I should try to help stay on task, especially when there is more fun work I could be doing?

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marked as duplicate by gnat, MichaelT, Bart van Ingen Schenau, BЈовић, jmo21 Aug 3 '13 at 14:43

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How about a Todo list. On screen/Paper/whiteboard – Poul7 Aug 3 '13 at 8:27
Divide and conquer: start scrumming with yourself as the entire team? It could satisfy some aspects of your ADHD as scrumming favours small items to work on and you can orchestrate how often you get to shift your attention by controlling the size of the items you work on. – Marjan Venema Aug 3 '13 at 10:01
I suffer from adult ADHD -> I have the exact same problem. Sometimes when I'm working I get distracted, and there goes a car! I really like red cars, but I don't know what to have for lunch. Maybe tomorrow I'll take up jogging. What was I talking about? – ThinkingMedia Aug 3 '13 at 12:33

2 Answers 2

I'd suggest to ask someone to be your mentor that could check what have you done this day/week. We should not be very involved in your development or quite familiar with the product.

He can just ask you few questions about your work during 5-minute session: - What have you done since last check? - Are you satisfied with the result? - How can you improve the result next time.

The idea is that you wont probably lie to him (and to yourself at the same time). That leads to this: - you'll try to work better to have something to report (something real, that you can be proud of to tell about it) - you' be honest with other person (and at the same time with yourself).

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The thing about ADHD is that it's easy to get distracted and interrupted. So the hack is to use that to bring yourself back to what you should be working on. I set a timer to go off every hour during my work sessions that brings up a message that says "What are you supposed to be working on right now?". It doesn't always help, but lots of times it does. It will never help if I'm just willful enough to say "FU" to myself and go back to doing what is fun, though. Yeah, that happens, too.

There's no one thing that will work for everyone, all the time. There's no one thing that will work for me, all the time. Probably same for you.

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