Home » Blogs » ADHD Man of Distraction » Finishing Up With ADHD, What Keeps Us From Completion

Finishing Up With ADHD, What Keeps Us From Completion

A sign I seldom see ...
A sign I seldom see …

How many projects have you started in your life? And how many have you finished?

That’s a heart wrenching pair of questions, isn’t it? You know I’m one of your biggest supporters, one of your most dedicated fans, and I haven’t got any wise words for you to make you feel any better. I’ve got my own list of unfinished things to keep me from rising above the flock of incompletes.

And though I’m determined to make myself feel a bit better, sadly, my best news is that I actually can finish things. You see, I have no trouble finishing up tasks at work, but when I’m done working I don’t do so well.

I hear myself saying things that ADHDers usually hear from others. “See, if you concentrate you can do it …” “All you have to do is focus. You’ve been told this all along.”


Okay, it is that easy and it isn’t. Yes, all I have to do is focus. But that’s not going to happen any time soon. If I am at work, there are few, if any distractions. When I’m not working, I’m surrounded by distractions. When I’m at work my mind is kept busy with the challenges of my job. Okay, sometimes it isn’t that challenging, but I can always look ahead, keep ahead of the game, anticipate the next step.

Where am I?

When I’m not at work, I’m usually doing a hundred things. Why is it so easy in one place and so difficult in the other?

Part of it could be that there are a hundred things to do when I’m not at work. Hell, there are a hundred things that need doing in every room of my house. Not so at work.

So part of not finishing things is that, when I’m not at work, I’m doing too many of them. But when I’m not at work and I’m doing just one thing, why don’t I finish it. Why is my laundry never put away? Why are my clean dishes still in the dishwasher? Why am I reading six different books?

Yeah! What’s up with that?

Sometimes I get stopped in the middle of a project. I need a part for the lawn mower, or I have to wait for the dishwasher to finish up before I can run the washing machine (I get my water from a well, you either understand that issue or you don’t want to know about it).

Please remain focused until you come to a complete stop!

Once stopped, the job goes on a list of required activities and then is in the limbo of priority assignment. Is laundry more important than paying bills? Maybe. Do I have clean clothes to wear? Are the bills due in a week? Are they already overdue? If they’re already overdue, is another couple of hours … or days going to make a difference?

And then …

There’s another issue I’ve stumbled across recently. It might be that I’m stopped from completing some tasks, bigger ones, because I know what kind of flux I end up in when I finish a bigger project. Going from busy and mentally occupied to looking for something to do, leaves me lost, scattered and at odds with myself.

That falls under the category of transitioning, and I don’t do that with any great competence. I can vouch for the efficacy of aversion therapy, I probably have an aversion to project completion because of that sense of loss and confusion that ensues.

So it seems that there are valid reasons for the problem. But I still don’t feel any better about it, do you?

Finishing Up With ADHD, What Keeps Us From Completion

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

2 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2013). Finishing Up With ADHD, What Keeps Us From Completion. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2018, from


Last updated: 5 Jun 2013
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jun 2013
Published on All rights reserved.