How to Finish What You Start When You Have ADHD

Happy young woman enjoy finishing job on timeStarting a task or project and not seeing it all the way to the end is a classic ADHD trait. Most new projects seem exciting at the start, but then there is a danger period when the novelty has worn off and before the feeling of accomplishment kicks in.

As you are reading this, think of a project that you started but haven’t finished yet. Why did you stop?

Some common reasons are:
1) I wasn’t sure it would work out
2) No one around me thought it would work (don’t you hate nay sayers!)
3) I got overwhelmed
4) I got stuck, a problem came up and I wasn’t sure how to solve it
5) I got busy with other things and got side tracked

Questioning yourself is the number one reason why we don’t finish what we start. Plus, once we begin to question ourselves, we are much more vulnerable to letting one or more of the other points block our success.

Try these steps to finish what you start:

1) Pick one project and make a decision to finish what you started. It all starts with a decision!

2) Get really clear about what you have to do to finish the project. Write down, in bullet points, all the things you need to do in order to to finish. You might not know all the points now, but as you start working on the points you do know, the others will become clear.

3) Allocate time. A little bit every day is great to see and feel momentum.

4) Share your project with a friend who supports you. Don’t share it with people who aren’t as open minded as you.

5) Celebrate and have a reward for when you finish. Pick a reward that is really cool, something that will motivate you on days when working on the project doesn’t.

6) Success breeds success. At first finishing projects might seem strange if you aren’t used to that feeling. However, the more projects you finish, the more you will look forward to finishing the next one.

Jacqui Sinfield is an ADHD Coach and author. You can find more from her at

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