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ADHD, ALL Or Nothing

So easy to find trouble ...
So easy to find trouble …

It’s 7:30 PM on a Thursday night. I’m at a meeting. It’s a group that I enjoy. And we have a project on the go.

I won’t bore you with the details of the project, but suffice it to say that the project is in its infancy. We have miles to go. We may not even pull it off. It’s pretty ambitious.

It’s so early in its life and so ambitious, in fact, that we’re just getting started breaking down the different tasks that will need to be done.

And, God help me, I want to volunteer for all of them. But I also want to volunteer for none of them. That is, I don’t want to volunteer for any of them.

How does that work?

Well, I have ADHD. So I’m not good at restraining my enthusiasm. Every task that we’ve discussed so far I’m wanting to do. I’m imagining it getting done so well, imagining each task catapulting our project forward and inspiring the next step.

There is something in the ADHD mind that, when we focus (or hyperfocus if you will) we become overly engaged, passionate, driven.

And that’s okay

Working on things that we are passionate about is what is best for us. It keeps us on the ball, makes our work better, keeps us going to work.

But when you’re doing the big project …

Exactly. This isn’t work. Oh, I didn’t tell you that. Well, it is work, it’s my writers group, but it’s not “work” work.

Having said that it isn’t work, I should also say that this project is very important to me. And I don’t want to see it derailed for any reason that might be my fault.

And how could I be at fault?

Here’s a problem. My passion, the thing that is making me want to volunteer for every job on the list, isn’t enough to make me able to manage every task. And as passionate as I may be, that won’t stop me from procrastinating, especially if I take on too many tasks.

That ADHD drive to please, to prove myself, to do things so well will also make me postpone so that I can do my best, gather what I need, do as much research as I need to do.

And suddenly there will be no time left. The tasks will need doing and the time won’t be there.

So rather than let the group down …

I’ve kept my hand down when volunteers were being asked for. And I only consented to do what I was asked specifically to do. Hopefully this will translate to me doing the best I can do.

So what is the project?

Well, that’s still a secret, but I can tell you that it involves writing. And since I’ll be working on it, there will be opportunities for ADHD to make things … shall we say, interesting?

ADHD, ALL Or Nothing

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2016). ADHD, ALL Or Nothing. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 17, 2019, from


Last updated: 12 Feb 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Feb 2016
Published on All rights reserved.