The Finish It Rule

This is what I call the “Finish It Rule’’

It’s a common thing with Adult ADHD. For me, it’s about 75%. I get the thing launched…it’s going well enough to exist, but it’s not really polished. So, what I did is, I recently hired someone, and their only job is to finish all the stuff that I don’t finish.

They’re happy, because they’re learning about all the really cool, creative things that I’m doing, and how to pull things like this together. This person is very, very organized, very meticulous, doesn’t have Adult ADHD like me, and is very good at just sitting down and focusing on something until it’s done, regardless. I’ll tell you, he’s one of the most valuable people in my company. I can’t believe how well it’s working. He’s finishing all the stuff that I’ve left unfinished.

I’d like to bring up another point here, which is something people with Adult ADHD need to ask themselves: “Does everything actually have to get done?” “Does everything you start have to end up finished?”…

Answer: The direct answer to that is, “No. It absolutely does not.” It’s okay to leave some things unfinished if it’s not going to impact you financially, spiritually, emotionally or mentally in a way that’s very negative. How many times have you heard, “You’ve got to finish what you start”? We hear it from parents, teachers, everybody. They are usually really focused people without Adult ADHD, who only start one project at a time.

If you are a highly creative person with Adult ADHD you automatically start multiple projects at a time, and you should set an expectation for yourself that not all of your projects are going to be finished… or be amazingly successful. But some will — and in the end that’s all anyone can say — Adult ADHD or no Adult ADHD.

When to Drop a Project

Here’s the other side of that question. If you’re at 85% done and you just can’t finish a project, you’ve got to ask yourself:

“Is this project worth finishing?”

Answer: If you say, “No,” drop it. Immediately.

Answer: Yes. If you say, “Yes. It is worth finishing. I’m just having trouble with this last 15%,” you know what you do? Of course, you use all the Adult ADHD focus principles that we’ve talked about before…

Find out if there is someone without Adult ADHD, who can help you finish it. Or, if you’re the only one who can do it, you use all of the other tricks and techniques:

  • Involve all your senses.
  • Set a deadline for yourself with rewards.
  • Set timers.
  • Do mini-deadlines.
  • Chunk It – (break everything “bite-size” chunks)

In fact, all those things we just mentioned–using senses, mini-deadlines, and timers, are great techniques for focusing with Adult ADHD.