Halfway through a task, dropping out of gear completely?

Just doing some organising/decluttering… I am using the 25 minute timer method as advised by Jessica.

I seem to hit a block some way into the task. It’s like my motivation just drops out of gear and there’s nothing there, I literally stand and stare. It takes a little effort to get out of this state and then I feel depressed or shamed or just bad like I let someone down.

It’s slowing me up big time and I’m not able to clear the work I need to do.

Any advice my fellows?


Have you watched the wall of awful video yet ? If not highly recommend cause it sounds like you might be hitting your wall with this task.


I certainly recognize the feeling. Can you usually do 10 minutes before running into it? If so I would recommend changing from 25min to 10 (or 15, whatever time seems to work for you). Maybe a different rhythm would be better for you for this task


This happens to me too. I have just discovered that I have ADHD as a 35 year old, and I can remember realizing I was losing focus on tasks as early as 5 or 6 years old, but not understanding why.

I haven’t tried the timer method yet, but, as I’m about to do a lot of decluttering in the coming weeks, I am going to give it a try! I find that bouncing between tasks is usually helpful for me. I sometimes start putting dishes away, leave that task and put laundry in, dust something, return to dishes, etc. It probably would make so many people feel disorganized to do that, but my brain really likes it!

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One word…

Also, it is not applied to everyone… But I find not caring about what people think helps.
Do what you want with your life. That way you are more free to take up things you know you need.

Also music. :slight_smile:

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I might consider doing even smaller chunks. Maybe 5-10 minutes.

I do often lose drive or focus halfway through a task. I find it has to do with the hyperfocus and motivation burst that I sometimes get. For me, I try to help counter the blah by listening to music, making the task variable (i.e. having multiple things to do instead of just one), and also rewarding myself when it gets done. For example, I may need to clean the litter boxes, put away the dishes, and also take out the trash. I can do them in any order, so when I get bored of one I can do the other. But when I get all of them done, I can sit back and relax on my computer, watch something on Netflix/Prime, or even just have a snack.

Mundane tasks are especially hard. So if there’s a way to spice them up, great. If not, other things to try might be doing a quick walk or exercise before you start, asking for help doing certain tasks, talking to someone on the phone while working, or even scheduling a block of time where you have a few hours to do the task. Whatever the case, what you experience is normal. Don’t give up!


Its not going well. I will try shortening the time. Seemto have zero motivation


I’m sorry, that’s really frustrating. :sweat: A couple things that work for me:

  1. Pick a smaller space. For organizing/decluttering, the bigger the area, the more likely I am to get overwhelmed. So instead of the downstairs, I choose a room. Instead of saying “the kitchen” or “the office” I break it down even more. My kitchen has 5 sections of counter, the sink, and the stove. That’s 7 countertop spaces I can break it down into.

  2. Small rewards. If I finish the first section of counter I may let myself get a glass of milk. For the second section I get a cookie and get to dunk it. Maybe for section 3 I take a picture for my husband “Hey look! 3 down!” and he’s really good about celebrating with me and saying good job, which is a great reward. :wink:

  3. Accountability. If you have a friend who can come over to be with you while you clean, great! But since that’s not normally an option, sometimes I’ll facetime with my mom or a friend especially while I’m getting started. I’ll tell them what I’m doing and talk to them while I organize into piles.

  4. Keep yourself there. Minimizing distractions is essential, but I often motivate myself to sort papers or wash the dishes by setting my computer somewhere nearby where I can watch a favorite show while I work. I tell myself I can’t move the computer from the window ledge behind the sink until the dishes are completely done and the sink is clean. I put one stack of papers that I’m sorting on top of my laptop’s keyboard so I can’t do anything else on it until the stack is gone. I also try to set it somewhere I have to be standing to see it so I don’t sit down to watch, that is more likely to suck me into nothingness than standing is.

  5. Don’t beat yourself up. If today did not go well, take a deep breath, strategize for how you can break it down, reward yourself, stay accountable, and keep yourself there tomorrow. Make a good plan and TRIPLE THE TIME you think it will take to finish anything. I normally don’t try to finish a big problem in one day, I’ll give it a weekend or two and understand it may take longer than I expect, but also tell myself it WILL get done. <3

Good luck!


Thank you for the comprehensive plan. I think the tip in No.5 TRIPLE THE TIME is something really useful, I make poor hazy estimates of what something will take and then ‘oh no its not finished by lunchtime, its a disaster’ happens. I live quite far north and its very dark most of the time at the moment so thats not helping motivation either. I will put your suggestions to work and see what works. Best wishes.