Task Initiation and ADHD

If you have ADHD, then there is no doubt you’ll be only too familiar with the topic of this article. People with ADHD, in all age groups, suffer many additional challenges. And one of those challenges is that it can be particularly difficult to simply get started! Task initiation is one of the hardest things for those with ADHD; after a task as has actually been begun, focus comes much easier.

One of the reasons for this is that the main negative symptom of ADHD is that sufferers can more easily become overwhelmed by their responsibilities. But what does this mean?

Being overwhelmed is the feeling of many different and important tasks assaulting you from all directions at once. The result? You end up skirting around several tasks, unable to properly prioritize them and, ultimately, failing to even get started. Of course, if you have ADHD, then you know this already.

But what can you do to alleviate this problem? It should never be forgotten that, ultimately, improving task initiation does require a degree of personal discipline.You need to try even when it doesn’t come naturally.

However, that’s not to say that you can’t approach the problem in an ADHD-specific way. and There are even some tools that can help you. The good folk at Next Level Daily even produce a daily planner for ADHD, for example.

A Question of Energy

There is a term, borrowed from physics lingo, which describes the phenomenon of being unable to start a task – inertia. In mechanics, inertia is the energy resistance that needs to be overcome before an object even moves at all. This is a very appropriate term for the problem because overcoming poor task initiation is all a matter of energy.

For those with ADHD, getting started simply takes more energy. That, at any rate, is the goal.

Ideally, task initiation should be followed not by inertia, but another physics term – momentum. After things get going, there areelements there to keep you focused on the task. Eventually, an energy injection is again required to stop the task or divert energy to another one. Becoming a pedantic perfectionist with a task is another thing which those with ADHD are prone to.

Tips for ADHD Task Initiation

There are several tips for ADHD task initiation butlet us start with one of the most fundamental.

Add More Energy

Well, of course! But how? In fact, it is all about figuring out what counts as energy. Interest in a task is certainly a form of it, and it will be easier to start a task whenthere is the prospect that you might enjoy it. You can also conceptualize it as a real challenge, and work towards the satisfaction of overcoming it.


If a task is set to begin at a very specific time and date, then it is much more likely that you will start it. It could wise to invest in an ADHD daily planner. Next Level Daily note that these are specifically designed to arrange information in a way that is more manageable for those with ADHD.

Use Urgency

One of the symptoms of ADHD is tendency to procrastinate. However, you can use this to your advantage. Sometimes a deadline the next day can provide the energy you need. But don’t just leave everything until this point, plan it that way and set tasks for completion the day before the due date, etc.

There is no doubt that starting tasks is harder for individuals with ADHD, but you are also spoiled for strategies and tools that can help.

Leave a Comment