Create external pressure or accountability

ADHD Business Tips - Create some external pressure or accountability

If you’re running a business with an ADHD brain or you struggle with executive dysfunction, it’s probably not unusual to find yourself procrastinating, struggling to stay on task, or feeling overwhelmed with your workload. But you’re likely also familiar with being able to smash out a full week’s work in a day when you’re facing a looming deadline, and your back is against the wall!

Ahh, the magic of hyperfocus!

External pressure, like being accountable to someone else such as a client or colleague, can force us to override our procrastination or task paralysis and get stuff done even in the most unfavourable circumstances. But, if you’re anything like me, you shy away from this kind of commitment because you’ve let yourself down so often in the past that you’re reluctant to make promises to anyone.

You’re certainly not alone in facing these challenges. But fear not, there’s a powerful tool that can help you stay on track and supercharge your productivity: adding external pressure or accountability.

The power of external pressure

Imagine this: You have a project deadline looming, and your client is eagerly awaiting the results. The pressure is on, and suddenly, your focus sharpens, your creativity flows, and you become a productivity machine. This is the magic of external pressure. When you know that someone is counting on you, whether it’s a client, partner, or even a friend, it can kick your ADHD brain into gear.

External pressure provides structure and boosts motivation, helping you overcome the typical ADHD challenges of distraction and procrastination. It creates a sense of urgency, which can be a powerful antidote to the lure of endless distractions.

Navigating the downsides

While external pressure can work wonders for your productivity, it’s essential to be aware of the potential downsides. Sometimes, it can trigger anxiety or a fear of failure, especially if you’re prone to perfectionism. The fear of letting someone down can be paralysing.

To overcome this, remember that perfection is not the goal; progress is. Communicate openly with the person holding you accountable. Share your challenges and limitations. Most people will be understanding and supportive, and this transparency can relieve some of the pressure.

Adding external pressure and accountability

Working alone as an entrepreneur with ADHD can be isolating, but there are creative ways to incorporate external pressure into your daily routine:

  1. Accountability Partners: Find a fellow entrepreneur or a friend who can serve as your accountability partner. You can set goals together and have regular check-ins to report your progress.
  1. Online Communities: Join online groups or forums where you can share your goals and updates. The support and encouragement from a community can be highly motivating. The Execute membership is great for this kind of support.
  1. Client Commitments: Make public commitments to your clients or customers. Share your project milestones and deadlines with them, so you’re not just accountable to yourself.
  1. Mastermind Groups: Consider joining a mastermind group where members hold each other accountable for their goals and actions. This can provide both a strong sense of community and external pressure.
  1. Use Technology: There are various apps and tools designed to create external pressure. You can set reminders, deadlines, and even use apps that donate to a charity you dislike if you fail to meet your goals.


Find an accountability buddy! If you haven’t already joined us, head over to the Next Level ADHD Entrepreneurs Facebook group and add a comment on the pinned accountability buddy post. Don’t forget to include your time zone and the kind of support you’d like!

External pressure or accountability can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs with ADHD brains. They provide the structure and motivation needed to increase productivity and overcome common challenges. While it’s essential to be mindful of the potential downsides, with the right support and strategies, you can leverage the power of external pressure to achieve your important goals and thrive in your business journey.

Tell me in the comments how you utilise external pressure in your day to day.

I’ll see you back here next week.

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