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4 Tips for Delegating When You’re Broke

One of the classic tips for people with ADHD is to delegate. Countless self-help books, blogs and ADDitude articles advise ADHDers to free up time by delegating projects to others.

To-Do ListThis “productivity hack” has always struck me the wrong way, though. For many of us with ADHD, the problem isn’t that it hadn’t occurred to us that we could delegate work – it’s that we don’t have anyone to delegate to.

I mean, yeah, I bet hiring a housekeeper would help me cope with ADHD. But, you know … $$$.

So for those who are currently a little tight in the finances (hello, fellow bloggers!), here are some tips on how to delegate when you’re broke.

  • Delegate to technology: People and computers each have their own advantages. People are more fun at parties. On the other hand, computers are great at tedious tasks and don’t need to be compensated for their time. Computers can pay your bills for you every month. And they can do your household chores, because apparently self-operating vacuum cleaners are now a thing. Try making a comprehensive list of all the tasks you’d like to delegate – I’ll bet you good money that at least one of them can be automated.
  • Don’t delegate, relegate: I like to think of relegating as delegating for people who can’t afford to delegate. What I mean by “relegating” is simply not doing the task at all, or putting it off indefinitely (hey, if you have ADHD, you’re probably good at that). Go back to your comprehensive list of tasks you’d like to delegate and ask yourself whether each one is really necessarily in the first place, or whether it could at least be done less frequently.
  • Swap tasks: We all have certain things we’re really just not good at – things that fall in our blind spot. And we also have things we’re good at that other people aren’t good at. Look for opportunities to swap tasks with friends and colleagues – that is, to delegate tasks that are especially hard for you to them in exchange for helping them with something you’re good at.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Of course, it’s easier to delegate if you can just hire people to do all the things you don’t want to, but don’t underestimate how valuable help from friends and family can be. Because of the self-esteem issues that often come with ADHD, people with ADHD can be especially bad at asking for help. If you have a tendency to try to do everything yourself purely out of principle, recognize how this could be adding stress to your life.

Needless to say, there are other ways to delegate without spending money, but I’m not going to list them here. Why not? Because, dear reader, I’m going to delegate that task to you and ask you to add them in the comments below. 😉

Image: Flickr/Nikki Buitendijk

4 Tips for Delegating When You’re Broke

Neil Petersen

Neil Petersen writes regularly on education, learning disabilities and technology. He received his B.A. in 2014 and was diagnosed with ADHD at the beginning of his college studies. Neil also works for a music education non-profit and hopes to help create an education system that can better serve students with ADHD.

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APA Reference
Petersen, N. (2017). 4 Tips for Delegating When You’re Broke. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Jun 2017
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