The demands of life can be very overwhelming. It seems like a constant struggle to stay on top of things. You think if I just finish my to-do list then I will be happy. Unfortunately, You keep doing more and the to-do list is always getting longer. But what if the key to happiness wasn’t doing more – but actually doing less?
By doing less of these things, you will find that you will have so much more in your life.
What would change if you did less?
The Key to Doing Less
Blaming yourself for how things work out in your life is not helpful. When things go wrong we blame ourselves. Living with ADHD brings on a lot of feelings of self-doubt and self-blame. It often appears when we should ourselves.
I should be able to be on time for things
I should be able to keep my house organized
Instead of focusing on what you should do, have some self-compassion and figure out what you can do.
- I can change my expectations on what it means to have a clean house.
- I can ask for more help
- I can focus on less so I complete more
Having ADHD can bring on a lot of shame. We spend a lot of time trying to fit in and hiding how difficult things can be for us.
By learning more about how your ADHD impacts your life, you can develop strategies to help you manage the parts of your life where you are struggling. Also, accepting your ADHD and asking for help can be empowering instead of shameful.
Your brain is wired differently and comparing yourself to your neurotypical friends will only lead to feeling like a failure.
Tanya can keep her house organized, bake two dozen cupcakes and coach soccer. Why can’t I?
Some things are going to be harder for you because you have ADHD. Find strategies to help manage where you fall short but also acknowledge your strengths and the areas where you shine! Celebrate the wins no matter how small they are.
Tanya might be able to do all that basic stuff, but you are a badass at coming up with awesome out-of-the-box ideas that blow people away!
When we take on too much or put unrealistic expectations on ourselves, we feel guilty for not keeping up. We create an unreasonable to-do list to complete and set ourselves up for failure day after day. Raising kids and working a demanding job when struggling with ADHD make things so much harder.
Instead of feeling guilty for what we are not completing, we need to celebrate what we accomplished. Put fewer things on the list so every day is a win.
Guilt also comes when we consider meeting our own needs. We feel like it is our job to make others happy, to not disappoint, to say yes to all of the requests. However, every time you say yes to something because you feel guilty, you are saying no to something else. And that something else is probably way more important to you.
If you say yes to another volunteer commitment you are saying no to family time or much-needed time for self-care.
You might disappoint other people when you say no, but give yourself permission to let go of the guilt that you feel.
Perfectionism ties into all of the things listed above. We think that if we do it perfectly no one will see our flaws. It’s all or nothing. Perfection or a failure. That is why perfection is the mother of procrastination. If we can’t do it perfectly, why do it at all!
What would just okay look like in your life? Where can you have less of a demand for perfection in order to get more done?
I spent months avoiding the task of choosing a paint color for our living room. When I looked deeper into why I was avoiding this I realized it was because I was afraid the choice I made wouldn’t be perfect.
You will find that by changing your mindset and the unrealistic expectations that you set for yourself you will have a more manageable life. A life that is filled with time well spent instead of time completing a never-ending to-do list.
You will find you have more. More time to enjoy what you love. More time for your family. More time for you. And more time to discover the things that matter in your life.