From Procrastination to Productivity: ADHD Chores

Challenges of ADHD Chores

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. One of the challenges faced by people with ADHD is difficulty in managing daily chores or housework and tasks such as making the house clean. Procrastination often becomes a significant obstacle, leading to frustration and a sense of being overwhelmed. 

Cleaning with ADHD can have a significant impact on daily life. Adults with ADHD often struggle with maintaining focus, staying organized, and finding motivation to complete cleaning tasks like household chores. This can result in a cluttered living space, increased stress, and difficulty in finding important items. It can be challenging for adults with ADHD to establish and maintain cleaning routines, leading to a cycle of procrastination, easily get overwhelmed with situations, and frustration. However, by implementing strategies such as breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, using visual cues and reminders, and creating structured cleaning schedules, individuals with ADHD can overcome these obstacles and create a cleaner, more organized environment that supports their overall well-being.

Understanding ADHD and Chores

Having an ADHD brain is characterized by symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These symptoms can make it challenging for individuals to stay focused, prioritize tasks, and follow through with completing them. Chores, which are routine cleaning tasks necessary for maintaining a clean and organized living space, can be particularly challenging for individuals with ADHD. 

Procrastination often arises from difficulties in initiating tasks or sustaining attention. The fear of boredom, the overwhelming nature of the task, or the lack of immediate gratification can all contribute to delaying chores. However, it is crucial to recognize that procrastination only amplifies stress and leads to a higher workload in the long run.

Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination: ADHD Chores

Break Tasks into Smaller Steps: Breaking tasks into smaller steps involves dividing a larger chore into more manageable subtasks. For example, if your chore is to clean the entire living room, you can break it down into steps such as picking up clutter, dusting surfaces, vacuuming the floor, and organizing the shelves. By breaking tasks into smaller steps, you make them less overwhelming and easier to start. It also allows you to focus on one task at a time, which can improve your concentration and motivation.

Create a Schedule: Establishing a routine and creating a cleaning schedule is crucial for many people with ADHD. Start by identifying which chores need to be done regularly and allocate specific days and times for each task. For example, you can designate Monday evenings for laundry and deep cleaning, Wednesday mornings for decluttering, dry erase board and cleaning the bathroom, and so on. By following a schedule consistently or creating a routine, you create a sense of structure and predictability, making it easier to remember and complete chores at a specific time.

Set Clear Goals: Setting clear goals involves defining what you want to achieve with each chore session. Instead of having a vague idea of what needs to be done so you don’t feel overwhelmed, be specific and write down the tasks or prepare a checklist of things you want to accomplish. For instance, if your goal is to clean the kitchen and get it done by noon, you can list tasks such as washing dishes, wiping countertops, cleaning the stove, checking the hamper, and organizing the pantry. Having clear goals helps you stay focused and provides a sense of direction, making it easier to prioritize tasks and track progress.

Use Timers and Alarms: Timers and alarms are effective tools for managing time and staying on track with chores. Set a timer for each task or allocate a specific amount of time for each chore session. For example, if you decide to spend 20 minutes cleaning the bedroom, set a timer for that duration. The sense of urgency created by the timer helps you stay focused and motivated, as you know you have a set time to complete the task. Alarms can also be used as reminders to start or finish a chore, ensuring you stay on schedule.

Implement Rewards and Incentives: Motivation is key to overcoming procrastination. Implementing rewards and incentives can help make chores more enjoyable and provide a sense of accomplishment. After completing a task or reaching a milestone, reward yourself with something you enjoy, such as watching an episode of your favorite TV show, treating yourself to a snack, or taking a short break to engage in a preferred activity. The reward serves as positive reinforcement, creating a positive association with completing chores and motivating you to stay productive.

Minimize Distractions: Distractions can hinder productivity and make it difficult to focus on chores. Minimizing distractions involves creating an environment that supports concentration and reduces interruptions. Turn off notifications on electronic devices, find a quiet space to work, and remove any unnecessary clutter that may divert your attention. By minimizing distractions, you create a conducive environment for productivity and increase your chances of completing tasks efficiently.

Utilize Visual Aids: Visual aids are powerful tools for individuals with ADHD. Use tools such as to-do lists, chore charts, calendars, or whiteboards to visually represent tasks and deadlines. Write down your chores for the day or week, and place the list where you can easily see it. Color-code tasks based on priority or urgency to help you prioritize and plan effectively. Visual aids serve as reminders, provide a clear overview of what needs to be done, and help you stay organized and focused.

Delegate Tasks: Don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed. Delegating tasks involves sharing the workload with family members, roommates, or friends. Identify tasks that can be shared, such as cleaning common areas or organizing belongings, and assign them to others. For example, you can ask someone else to vacuum while you focus on dusting. Sharing the workload reduces the burden on you and allows for more efficient completion of chores.

Utilize Technology: Technology can be a valuable tool for organization and productivity. Take advantage of task management apps, reminder apps, or time-tracking tools that can assist you in staying organized and on track with chores. Experiment with different apps to find the one that suits your needs and preferences. These tools can help you create task lists, set reminders, establish recurring tasks, and track your progress, ensuring you stay productive and accountable.

Practice Mindfulness Techniques: Mindfulness techniques can help individuals with ADHD improve focus, reduce stress, and increase self-awareness. Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine to enhance your overall productivity. For example, before starting a chore, take a few moments to engage in deep breathing exercises or meditation. This helps calm the mind, increase present-moment awareness, and improve your ability to stay focused on the task at hand.

Seek Professional Support: If ADHD symptoms significantly impact daily functioning and chores remain a persistent challenge, consider seeking professional support. ADHD may need coaches, therapists, or support groups that can provide guidance, tools, and strategies tailored to your individual needs. They can help you develop personalized techniques to overcome procrastination, manage time effectively, and enhance productivity in all aspects of life. Professional support can provide valuable insights and support systems to help you navigate the challenges of living with ADHD and improve your overall well-being.


Procrastination and difficulty managing chores are common challenges faced by individuals diagnosed with ADHD. However, with the right strategies and techniques, it is possible to transform procrastination into productivity. Breaking tasks into smaller steps, creating schedules by using a cleaning chart, setting clear goals, make cleaning a habit, and utilizing rewards can help overcome procrastination. Additionally, employing visual aids, delegating tasks, utilizing technology, practicing mindfulness techniques, and seeking professional support can enhance overall productivity and organization. By implementing these strategies, adult ADHD can effectively manage their chores and lead a more productive and organized life.

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