Time Management, Procrastination, And ADHD

A few people on here have mentioned ADHD and general distractability, so thought I’d start a new thread to share ideas and discuss how this affects magick.

First off, time management, and being distracted by urgent “shiny things” - here’s some stuff I typed in a reply (moved over here for on-topicalness):

What I was talking about, was how we often let the Urgent get in the way of the Important. Here’s the method I use, with considerable success:

Basically, things in our life fall into 4 categories:

Important And Urgent: crises, deadlines, all the things that if they’re not dealt with today (the “urgent” part) will cause loss, fuckups of some kind, or otherwise damage your peace of mind, health, income, etc.

Urgent, Not Important: this one’s most people’s killer because they confuse it with U&I (above) and end up responding to facebook posts, e-mails and so on that are NOT Important to your overall life plan or goals, but which claim your attention and give off this vibe of needing attention NOW.

This category is the dark vortex of doom that magicians SHOULD be afraid of!! :slight_smile:

Important, Not Urgent: things like exercise that you justify constantly delaying, because your head won’t fall off if you fail to work out today, etc.

This section is where the powerhouses that make other people truly successful lurk: writing books, starting to meditate, eating healthfully, planning ahead, saving a % of your income - everything you KNOW will improve your life if done, and yet keep putting off because it doesn’t have that spice of being Urgent.

Neither Important Nor Urgent: this is for timewasters and trivia, that will cause no losses whatsoever if you never return to doing them.

Knowing how to categorise things is critical!

As is having a list of the U&I things for that day, followed closely by striking off at least a few Important, Not Urgent things, daily or at least regularly, so the list of things you know you NEED to do, and haven’t yet got round to, starts to shrink.

And sooner or later when you feel the benefits, they’ll become U&I because you’ll know there’s a tangible loss to you in every day when they don’t happen.

You can bastardise another (and compatible) time-management system called Get Things Done (GTD) by making a list of the Important, Not Urgent stuff, e.g., “Exercise more” has the Important, Not Urgent action of “start walking 4 miles a day” as an example.

Then, using GTD, the item to go in the Important part of your day’s “To Do” list is the Next Action needed - could be “Look for walking shoes” or “Lookup safest routes online” or whatever else is the single next action - not chain of actions or desired goal, just “What’s NEXT” to break down those big intimidating goals into easy chunks.

The book The Now Habit also has a concept of breaking down tasks we procrastinate on by NOT focusing on the bigger picture, or on completing the task - only keep asking ourselves “What’s next?” so all these amazing books totally fit together.

Having just one simple do-able task written down helps to bring them up to a conscious level of urgency, because we actually get a minor mental buzz from crossing things off a list, which is why reading a ton of funny but pointless web pages feels rewarding, in the way a huge goal like “Get really fit” does not. It’s a way to trick your psyche into getting that same reward thrill.

Crossing things off that are written down is more satisfying than deleting some pixels, so do consider a paper-based list or planner system, our brains react differently to a physical obsject and dimensions in space that it takes up, then they do to even the most well-kept spreadsheet (both are fine, if you don’t find this burdensome).

I’ve used this to achieve some seriously awesome things, so it’s really a good workable system in my experience.

There’s always a small achievable action you need to take next on any major goal, and getting it on a list and ploughing through, whilst knowing anything that’s Urgent, Not Important is your enemy, is the key to powering through things you were getting continually distracted from.

There’s a great video series about time management and how to stop drifting through life (not saying you’re doing this!) here: [url=http://michaelhyatt.com/three-powerful-questions-video.html]Why Now’s the Time to Stop Drifting and Design Your Best Year Ever | Full Focus

I’ll post some more on here later about ADHD-compatible techniques some people use. :slight_smile:


10/10 post, a prime example of the little gold nuggets on this site.



The next bit I wanted to post was a link to a blog by a guy with ADHD where he talks about this kind of thing - he’s heavily into his meds, whereas I’m skeptical about all psych meds, but I’m not living his life so just throwing that in as a comment - anyway other than that, he writes good stuff IMO: this is his post about having adult ADHD and using the Getting Things Done system.

He links to a bunch of other blogs about this and I’m reading through them now to see if there’s anything I can learn from - I don’t have ADHD but like everyone else, I sometimes find I get distracted, or delay things for no apparent reason. :\


Setting a notif aside to make a comment in a bit.


Bumping this because we have many new members facing these same (eminently fixable) issues with their life as well as magickal ascent. :+1:

I also copy below a reply I made in another topic to a member asking for demonic help in overcoming procratination, in case it’s useful:


I clicked on this by accident but it was really helpful. I have the opposite problem of procrastinating where I over stress myself and this was a good check so thank you


things that helped me: using sigil magick for the various issues (motivation, focus, etc) while observing planetary days and hours, ketogenic diet, daily meditation (1 hour per day did wonders for me)


Bumping this with a post from 2014, because I woke feeling crappy and used all these methods to sort things out, get REAL answers to the problems I hadn’t identified, had 2 absolutely life-changing realisations along the way, and generally sorted my shit out:

Also relevant, from my general toolkit of how to unfuck things:


Everything is just so fucking shiny lately…
Those little circles I was running around in are so big now…
I keep waking up in the tread mill…

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Oh! Never thought of that!! Have done them?

New Year & New Decade Incoming!

If you’re a lover of time-management and organisation tools, the posts above may have some useful ideas.

And for 2020, I’ve started to really rely on a Wall Calendar (there are some great free options here including an astro calendar and templates, https://www.calendarlabs.com/ and this awesome site has more: Advanced Calendar Creator).

The change to wall planners came about because I recently started using stickers as rewards on my wall calendar, for days when I accomplish things that are not innately enjoyable: there is a valid point to be made here about the dire state of modern adults leaning on kindergarten tools to get through the day, etc., and I got nothing to say to refute that. :man_shrugging:

But despite that, I’m going to keep working with it and expanding it, because it’s effective, I enjoy adding my stickers and looking back on ones “awarded” from previous weeks, they’re dirt cheap online, have zero carbs :laughing: and yet they feel like a real treat, and as some immortal sage once said:

If it’s crazy, but it works, it isn’t crazy. :star2: :smiley:

Meditation stars, or yoga sparkles for days you hit the mat? Smiley faces for clearing through a job you’ve been putting off?

The only thing more stupid than this is not trying a fun and safe tool that might help you make the progress you desire! :stuck_out_tongue:


You should write a personal development book


I’m stealing your definition to coach my team. Especially that Important and Urgent / Urgent, Not Important definition. We struggle a lot with that (even though my response has nothing to do with magic) and I’ve never heard it defined this way. Love it.

Came for magic, got some much-needed life coaching.

Always enlightened by some of these absolute JEWELS of the forum.


Bumping Because I got shit to get done this year


How do I stop procrastinating making this list? :thinking: But seriously, thank you, this is very helpful and I’m so grateful for everything that you do.

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Bumping for anyone who may find this useful! :sunny:


Thank you :purple_heart: /srs

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Something I’ve been getting some use from is a FIFTH category, “Very Important” - that’s for things which are about to move into the firefighting “Urgent & Important” quadrant, which is only for things which cause a loss or some damage if not handled right away.

For example, say you have a bill due Friday, and today’s Wednesday evening, you can’t really let that sit in “Important, Not Urgent” under “buy calisthenics book” etc., so as a guideline it’s for anything which is going to become U&I within the next 2 days, BUT which can safely wait one day longer, if strictly necessary. :thinking:

That might be a step too far for some people right at the outset, but I think once you get used to the “Eisenhower Matrix” in general, that fifth category might be something you can work in without going crazy. :smiley:


Much appreciated @Lady_Eva, this is actually something I do need in my life. My bedroom looks better than last night, but both it and my life need serious anti ADHD tendencies, per one of my goals for the October Lounge event. :slight_smile:

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Combined quadrants and SMART goals … interesting.

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