As someone with ADHD, I’m no stranger to being distracted. And you’d not think that would be something I’d consider a benefit.
But the truth is, that perseverance is the far more noxious symptom for me these days. I hate when I have time on my hands and it disappears with me down some rabbit hole of “hyper-focus.”
I’m talking about the nasty click-bait primarily. But other things can hold my eyes like hawsers hold ships to the quayside.
It gets me every time
So when I’m supposed to have free time, nothing annoys me more than to have it come to an end and leave me feeling like I wasted that time doing something that benefited no one, not even myself.
Now usually when I have free time, I know exactly what I want to do with it, and that might not really be the definition of free time.
But for me, free time is time when I can choose from the list of things I’d like to do, without having to worry about the list of things that have to be done.
I never actually have idle time
The closest I get to idling is when I read, and because that is so close to being idle, I feel a little guilty about doing that so free time is rarely spent at that pursuit.
And heaven help me if I need to do something on the computer that is from the “would like to do” list, because it isn’t long before I’m down that FacebookYoutubeClickbaitTwitter rabbit hole full of hell and twenty photos captured just at the right/wrong moment ….
Practice makes distracted
So I try to keep distracting myself with the excitement of the thing I’m supposed to be doing, since I can’t point out to myself that the need is imperative, not like I could if the thing I am doing were on the “should have been done last week” list.
And I try to keep from disappearing into that trance like state where I just stare at whatever holds me spellbound.
Close your mouth …
Yep, I hate the look I have when I’m captured by the TV and I’m stuck watching something I cannot even claim to like because there is flickering light and movement. And I need to say right here that my so-called hyper-focus is rarely on what I need to focus on and never in my control.
When I’m in control, I’m not hyper-focusing. When I’m in control, it’s a kind of half control, like riding a runaway horse that occasionally responds to my shouts or my attempts to steer. The closest thing to control that I have is when I keep reminding myself to check to see if I’m on task.
And as annoying as that is to have to do when I’m doing something important, it’s way more annoying to have to keep checking in on myself when I’m supposed to be having fun or doing something I want to do. Like, waaay more.
Babcock, K. (2017). Seeking Distraction. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 22, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2017/04/seeking-distraction/