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Why I Can’t Think Straight; ADHD Brain Revving

What do I do next?
What do I do next?

Perhaps that title should read “Why I can’t think at all?” … forget “straight.”

When I get up in the morning, my normal state of mind is rather a tornado. If I’ve got some stressful issues in my day, that normal state can be turned way up. Mostly, the tornadoes are focused when I’ve got things to deal with.

Sunday was like that for me. If you read Mondays post, you’ll know that I over extended myself, meh … a little. That was okay. Like I said, having things to deal with helps me focus.

It’s like deadlines

It’s very much like deadlines. I need to be up against them in order to get things done. You may find this to be true also. When there isn’t enough remaining time for a norman (a so-called normal human) to get the job done, that’s when I pull it off.

I’ll be quite aware that I didn’t do as good a job of it as I would have if I’d been able to focus on it earlier, doing every part of it to the best of my ability. But I’m also almost always amazed at how much less a task it was then I had imagined it to be.

What’s all this about?

I’m writing this on Tuesday. Sunday was the Big Show, Monday was the morning after. The morning after, that sounds about right. I was out of deadlines, out of stress. I had the same hundred tasks to complete that I had on Sunday. You know the ones. They got set aside, there was no compelling reason to do them. After all, I didn’t do them on Sunday and the world survived, I survived.

These tasks didn’t get done and still aren’t done for these 3 reasons:

  1. Lack of deadlines. These are the little things, laundry, dishes, self imposed writing requirements. I will not get fired for missing these. I’ll just be up to my neck in dirty dishes and dish cloths, undone prose and unwashed pyjamas, roasting pans and … well you get the picture.
  2. Lack of self esteem. These tasks will benefit me, but only me, no one else. And frankly, I have a hard time believing I’m worth the effort.
  3. Lack of clarity. Fog, or ADHD brain paralysis is caused by our poor perception of time, our inability to prioritize and our easily distracted attentions. We look at our to-do list and try to figure out what to do first based on what is the most important, what will take the least time, and what grabs our attention first. These three criteria
    As good a way as any, I guess
    As good a way as any, I guess …

    rarely offer the same sequence of duties and yet each criterion has merit. We rev up our brains and let the drive train spin. We go in circles while our transmissions are jammed in a non-gear somewhere between fourth and four-wheel-drive-reverse.

So what do we do about it? Given that our minds love adventure, I’m going to put my list on the basement door and throw a dart at it. What ever I hit is what I’ll do. It would seem to be possibly the worst approach to prioritizing my tasks, but it isn’t, the worst approach is to sit here idling and unable to initiate.

Here goes, and the winner is … damn! Clean up the kitchen. Best two out of three? … just kidding.

Why I Can’t Think Straight; ADHD Brain Revving

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2013). Why I Can’t Think Straight; ADHD Brain Revving. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from


Last updated: 12 Mar 2013
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