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With great tips for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or if you are still using the old name, attention deficit disorder.

Just Do Something

Posted from Just Do Something

Many people with ADD / ADHD develop certain behavioral deficits. Unlike ADD itself, these issues are learned behaviors, often caused by dealing with ADD, but they are not biological, like ADHD is. One of the common problems is procrastination.

Procrastination in people with ADD often develops from the constant switching of priorities in the executive center of the brain in response to unfocused brain activity. In some people, this can develop into a form of perfectionism where the brain can’t decide what activity to pursue because it knows that there is every possibility that it will not be pursued to the end. Add that to the fact that most ADHD folks have a to do list a mile long, and a full calendar, in order to keep everything straight, and there is a very real issue with what is the “right thing” to be doing right at this moment.

Just Keep Doing

As a father of younger kids, I have a certain fondness for the movie Finding Nemo. In it, a fish named Dory, who has short-term memory problems, gets through life by repeating the mantra, “Just keep swimming.” It’s another way of saying just keep going, but for fish. The best part, is she sings it. I’ll let you Google up a YouTube video to get the tune if you don’t already know it.

dory just keep doing
“Just do something. Just do something.”

As it turns out, one of the best ways to fight procrastination, is to get started. This is a no-brainer, but when you deal with a non-optimal executive function in the brain, it can be easier said that done, especially, when you aren’t sure which of your important to-do tasks is the “best” on to start on. Even worse, this can lead to self-punishment or self-hate when you look back on your day, and instead of being proud that you accomplished some things, you beat yourself up because you didn’t do the right things (or enough things but that’s a another issue for a another time.)

You may be able to find some success by modifying Dory’s mantra a little bit and sing along in your head, “Just do something. Just do something.”

Now, it doesn’t fit the song, but the whole idea is to just do something important, or something that matters, or something that needs done. It doesn’t matter which. As long as what you are doing is not goofing off, or wasting time, you are winning. I’m sure you’ve noticed in your own brain that once you get started on doing a task, any task, that continuing forward becomes much easier than starting. This is a function of the process that sometimes leads to hyper-focus. If you can harness that momentum to move on to the next task, it’s that much better.

As it turns out, for most people –with or without ADD– it is impossible to do all of the important, must do, or needs done tasks in any one block of time. The key, is to not let those tasks build up to the point where not doing them affects your life, or to the point where the maximum tasks you can do is still not enough to move forward.

So, if you need to do laundry, write a paper, submit your time sheet, schedule the cat’s vet appointment, find your tax forms, and hunt for some new freelance writing clients, there is really no way you are going to sit down and do all of those things at once. (If you can, please do and stop reading this :)

What you need is to do SOME of those tasks so that the next time you sit down, you can do some of the others, plus whatever has come up since then. The key is to realize that doing ANY of those tasks is better than consternation about which tasks to do. Disaster comes from spinning your wheels so long that you only do one, or none of those tasks when you have the chance. To avoid that, just do something, just do something.

By just picking one of those activities and getting started, you’ll get momentum to no only possibly complete that task, but hopefully enough to keep going onto the next task as well. If you do three things off that list, your list is smaller for next time, no matter what those three things were.

 

Original content from among the many ADD tips and tricks at ADDessories.com

Beat ADD Procrastination by Just Beginning

Posted from Beat ADD Procrastination by Just Beginning

I’m currently reading a book called Do The Work. It moves fast. It makes sense. I’m really liking it so far, so much so, in fact, that I’m already taking its first major advice by stopping reading, and just beginning.

The idea –and it’s one I’ve long held on my own– is that, it is too easy to let resistance build up to any particular task, and that you will be much further ahead if you just begin… right now, without any preparation or planning, before you can find a reason to stop or back out.

(And it wasn’t easy, let me tell you. First, I noticed that the WordPress version needed updated, and so did the plugins, and the theme. Then, there were comments to approve, and then my main –and soon to be explored on this blog– type of procrastination kicked in, the “We have something we have to do in 3 hours, are you SURE this is the thing we should be working on”…. well, you get the idea.)

For example, I have on multiple occasions plotted out a long detailed publishing calendar for this ADHD blog of mine, but… I’ve never managed to get started on actually following that calendar.

start now procrastination

Another example is, one of my major frustrations with ADD / ADHD is that I’ve spent a lifetime developing an almost terminal case of procrastination. As you can imagine, this is a focus of much of my research and effort when it comes to finding ways to live with ADD. However, you’ll notice there aren’t necessarily that many articles here about it. Why? Because instead of just writing an article about procrastination, I plot one out. You know, not some 300 word, 500 word, or even 5,000 word word article, but the end all, be all, of all procrastination articles ever written. But… I never finish the outline, let alone write the article.

The idea, at least so far, in the Do The Work book is that there is a thing called Resistance. This, of course, is not new, but if you start thinking of Resistance as a thing that is actively working against you, not because it’s malevolent, but because that’s just what it does (like gravity) then you can start steeling yourself against its force. You know it’s coming. You can feel it when it is acting on you, and so on.

The idea, is that if you just get going, then the energy of your soul and the universe get going too. That, over time, it will build up to overcome Resistance. But, to make it work, you have to start beginning, right away.

Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

-Goethe

And, so here we are, with a throw-away, not worthy, no one will ever read this, non-magnum opus, article about procrastination and a potentially helpful book.

Oh, and those criticisms there in the previous paragraph, those are some of Resistance’s tools. By believing those things, this never gets published, I never get started, and Resistance wins… well, not today.

 

Original content from among the many ADD tips and tricks at ADDessories.com

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