getting things done / feeling Overwhelmed


Hello Brains and Haerts,

I need new ideas…

So im trying to get my shit together.
Since i currently do not have a job, im kinda in charge of the Household.
So i thought that, since todolists just end up being igniored or flat out deleted, because the stuff on them is kinda the same every day and its just so much, id try my hand at calendarblocking.
Basically blocking off timeslots out of my day to accomplish stuff.

Great idea, just that now im constantly pissed at my calendar, cant get tasks started because i end up being distracted, the tasks are as repettitive as they were on the todolist ( I just dont get why cleaning the kitchen needs to be done every day, its not like anyone gives a fuck)

Though it looks like things that take less than 20 minutes to complete are fine

Even the Tasks that lead to a goal i set for myself end up being pushed off, deleted or igniored.
Plus my motivation is on the downwards Spiral again.

Any=one has any Idea how i could get it together without feeling either like a “good for nothing Failiure” or “Life just sucks, deal with it”

Cause if i do the later, i will end up wanting to jump from far too high places.

Good thing there is an edit button, for us that send out posts before we finished writing (or even thinking them)



I’d say that if your chores list is causing you too much stress, it’s time for something to change.

Talk to your partner and see if there is a way around it. I agree, you don’t need to clean out your kitchen from top to bottom every single day, especially if it’s reducing your quality of life.

I’ve heard that with ADHD brains, the harder you try to motivate yourself for a task you hate, the more your pre-frontal cortex actually shuts down, making everything much harder.

Somebody mentioned gamification in another thread.

Maybe make a game of it all, with rewards for completion. Each individual step completed is an achievement, with the kitchen being the “end of level boss” that needs to be defeated… An evil bastard who needs to be taught a kesson,

Hang in there brother!


Chores are difficult. They either don’t get done because boring and then they pile up until they’re overwhelming or they take too long because you’re clearing up your room and you find that thing that you’ve been looking for so you use the thing for a while…

I agree that you don’t have to clean the kitchen every day. You don’t even have to do the dishes every day. Me, I’m happy to put them into the sink so whatever water I use during the day gets to soak them a little (the trick is to take them out eventually, too) and only really do the dishes when I run out of cereal bowls or spoons. (Both of which I have a very limited amount of, for exactly that reason, and also I broke quite a few.)

Recently, I got into the habit of doing the dishes while I’m cooking. It makes both tasks more interesting. Cleaning my room goes well with listening to podcasts. I haven’t found anything to liven up cleaning the bathroom yet, sadly.

If up-to-20 minute chores work for you, try breaking down the chores into 20 minute mini-chores. Like, if clearing up a room and vacuuming it takes too long, see them as independent tasks. (Uh, maybe that’s a bad example because you’ll need to get stuff from the floor before vacuuming…) Keep a close eye on what works for you and try to apply that. And don’t listen when anybody complains about the chores that haven’t been done.


I agree, I’ve found calendar blocking and to do lists difficult to follow. Some calendar blocking works ok, but too many areas blocked out mean I just don’t get stuff done, because I frequently don’t start tasks when I expect to.

Cleaning is a horror show for me. My house is probably disgusting by many people standards. I mean, it’s not hoarder/squatter bad, but I know people who would come in and say “How do you live like this?” I definitely don’t clean kitchen or bathroom every day. Maybe weekly. Part of that is I am a single mom and I work full time, too. Sometimes I just make myself clean SOMETHING for 15 minutes after the kid goes to bed. So, yeah, I get it, totally.

Some stuff I’ve done:

If it’s during the day, I like to put on music/podcast/audiobook I like while cleaning. This often makes the task less onerous.

I also try to break my big tasks into smaller chunks to work on one at a time, then take a break. (Like for the kitchen: Do dishes, take a break, clear/wipe counter, take a break, Clean stove, take a break, sweep floor, take a break, mop floor, take a break.)

Another thing I’ve used is the Pomodoro Technique. which is another version of chunking your time. It involves using and actual timer. There’s lots of info online, but basically, you use a timer to do 25 mins of work, break for 5, and repeat 3 more times. Then take a longer break, like 30 mins. The key is to set a timer for every increment. A really annoying egg timer works great.

I agree with @Smoj that you might want to talk with your partner too. I mean, housekeeping and other executive function stuff is probably the absolute worst job someone with ADHD can be saddled with. When I was married, I took care of the finances more, because it was interesting, and he did laundry and dishes.

Above all, don’t flog yourself. You know this is hard stuff for you. Celebrate what you get done. Try not to get mad at yourself when you don’t.

P.S. even as I write this I feel like a hypocrite, because I don’t use these techniques as often as I should. But you know what, no one does!!! Sometimes I just have to stop, admit I’ve let stuff go, and just start fresh. The past is the past, today I’m going to refocus on my productivity techniques.


Gonna try the pomodoro stuff.
Btw, i take care of finances too and try my best to keep us afloat and pay bills in time.

My wife says, and i Quote" Paying bills is 10 minutes of work, from your cell"

Ehe is right, but making it so i can actually pay most things, even when in a pinch, takes the whole damn month


If it’s a super mindless task find something to do with your brain: listen to music and sing/ dance along, podcast, audiobook, put a video on in the background, TV, call a friend and put them on speaker phone, day dream, plan your day/week, fantasize about dream vacations etc.

Also, sometimes I get lucky and hyperfocus on chores. Usually when I have a deadline and I’m running around trying to finish everything really fast. So maybe race yourself? Foster urgency or competitiveness in yourself towards the chore.

Have you seen the How to ADHD video on habit formation? It’s super helpful. Per that video’s advice: reward yourself when you finish a task. And try to find a consistent cue to start a task.


In my opinion this displays a fundamental misunderstanding of all that ges into bill paying. Tracking daily balances, juggling what gets paid when. Yeah, the actual payment is quick, but the prep and maintenance work is complex.


I found chunking tasks really helpful, and making them part of my day.
So cleaning the bathroom I do in chunks when I use it during the day.
Get up, use toilet, put cleaner down it.
Next time use toilet, scrub toilet.
Next time wipe outside of toilet.
Next time scrub and wipe sink.
Next time spray cleaner in shower etc

You get the picture…link it to something you do regularly in that room, just make a rule you do a 2-5min task each time.

Also, only certain tasks need doing daily. So make sure those are in your routine as your first habits to keep hot on and forget the rest.

Have fun making up your routines by thinking up what your home needs for each room to keep clean and functioning well, and then how you can do that in 2-5mins chunks.

Take on tiny amounts and ace those tasks. Then once your routine is fun not stressful, tackle a bigger commitment.

You can do it!


Hi there! I was (honestly still am) completely overwhelmed by my room - it’s a mess, it’s a mess of a mess, something exploded (my laundry, my dishes, all the half done tasks everywhere on all surfaces, you get the idea) what has helped for me is making the tasks smaller, smaller even smaller, shorter, and make them sequential. So:

  • Gather all the sweaters that need to go into the laundry.
  • Put them in the laundry.
  • Gather all plates and bowls that need washing.
  • Wash them.
  • Have some tea.
  • Gather all blue clothes.
  • Take out sweaters, put in blue clothes.
  • Hang sweaters.

For me, when I do it like this, making a to do list works because I continuously am ticking off boxes, which keeps my motivation/momentum going for long enough that I’m already doing the next task before I really get stuck in executive dysfunction, and then finishing the task is a small enough effort and the ticking off motivates me to actually finish it.

I also really like what latediagnosis said, about sticking chores to things you regularly do in the relevant room. I may try that with cleaning stuff in the future.

Good luck!


Wow. I really like this idea. I’ll have to try it.


For me, even coming back from work to find a bunch of rain soaked bills in my letter box is enough of a challenge. I have a bad habit of chucking the envelopes into a corner, and never even opening them. Just opening the mail can be too hard. How is that even possible?


Oh, I actually FORGET to check the mail for a week at a time. I hate sorting the junk from the real mail. And I’m usually rushing to another activity, so I don’t actually DEAL with the real items, like medical bills, I just set them aside in a “to do” pile and forget about them. I probably have 6 different “to do” piles in various places? Because most of my repeating bills are on autopay, the only bills i get in the mail are one-offs, which makes them easier to forget.


Yep. My pile is neatly marked “to not do”. Actually sometimes I’m OK at it. But then I slip and it gets out of hand.


Before going digital, I had two piles of to-dos: One on the desk for the stuff I planned to get to eventually (and sometimes actually did); and one on the floor with the stuff that had fallen down from the desk pile and just stayed there because there was no point in pretending I’d get to it and putting it back.

That system actually worked quite nicely for a while!


I love the advice given in the book “Order From Chaos” by: Jaclyn Paul.
“-Let go of lofty goals that sound impressive to tell your friends. They’ll only chip away at your self-esteem when you fail to achieve them.
-Set tiny daily goals that require almost no effort. For example, pick up one item from your living room and put it away.
-When you do experience success, savor it! But don’t assume life will be easy from then on or allow yourself to feel discouraged when you mess up again. Life happens.”
She also talks about how getting started is often the hardest part, if the task is simple you are less likely to avoid it. Often once you get started you will want to keep going. Sometimes you won’t, and that is okay too.