ADHD Predominantly Inattentive and Getting Things Done | Pomodoro Technique

By | June 4, 2015


ADHD Predominantly Inattentive and Getting Things Done

Someone close to me was recently diagnosed as ADHD Predominantly Inattentive and I started to research this condition. Little did I know how many of the traits I would recognize. Today I’m pleased to bring you Tess Messer’s advice.

ADHD Predominantly Inattentive and Getting Things Done

By Tess Messer

Those of us with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive need all the help we can get for getting things done. There are many “Get Things Done” systems out there that involve complex strategies for organizing your thoughts and your tasks. I find these very worthwhile, very well thought out, very thorough but from the perspective of someone with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive, not very practical.

If I had the organizational skills to carry out the majority of GTD programs that require that skills such as processing my: thoughts, actions, projects, sub-projects, reference items and goals, I would not need a ‘Get Things Done’ program. I find that the best programs for ADHD Predominantly Inattentive can be explained in less than 5 minutes, require no Venn diagrams or complicated equipment and can be implemented immediately. I have found one such program in the Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro means tomato in Italian and I believe that the program’s designer first used a timer in the shape of a tomato to complete his program and thus the name.

The Pomodoro Technique requires nothing more than one piece of paper and a timer. You list your to-do list at the start of the day. You decide what to do first. You set the timer and work for one ‘Pomodoro’ which is a 25 minute increment. You must take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes and you must take a 30 minute break every 4 ‘Pomodoros’. There is a bit more to it than that as after a few days you evaluate your lists to see how long things take and it allows you to then set time goals based on the length of time it takes to get certain tasks done but pretty much that is it.

The system is free. It takes less than 5 minutes to understand and less than 30 minutes to read the entire technique from start to finish. I recommend that you take a look at it as I think that you will find it useful. A free tool that you can use to write your ‘to do’ list is called ‘Doitdoitdone’ and it works very well alongside the Pomodoro technique.

One last free tool that I have found helpful is a continuous reminder email system called Monkeyonyou. It sends continuous emails until a task is complete. This can be very obnoxious but it does get the job done in terms of not letting something that needs to be done fall through the cracks.

People with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive need to keep their ‘getting things done’ strategies simple. Any system that requires hours for set up or for understanding will not work for us. A simple system like the Pomodoro Technique, accompanied by some free online tools such as Doitdoitdone and Monkeyonyou, is perfect for those of us who need help accomplishing our tasks but do not have the patience or attention span to devote to more complicated task management systems.

For more information on Primarily Inattentive ADHD please visit Tess Messer at For Free a free online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tool visit:

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