I’ve been thinking about my “busyness” a lot lately. Mostly it’s because I’ve been very busy lately. But additionally it’s because sometimes being busy overwhelms me and sometimes it just doesn’t.
And I’d kind of like to know why. So I’ve been pondering my busyness, breaking it down, examining it when it whelms me and when it doesn’t.
And I may have figured part of it out.
What I’ve divined …
When I’m really busy with multiple things, there’s a better chance I’m going to get overwhelmed. And I don’t think it’s just that there are so many things to do.
If I have lots to do, but it’s all good stuff, things I enjoy, performing for instance, I don’t feel so anxious.
But that’s not everything
Not everything that needs doing is good stuff. Important and enjoyable don’t always line up in ranks.
And the important stuff is the stuff that usually overwhelms me.
Not that I feel incapable
No, no. I can meet an important task head on and handle it. Even if I don’t enjoy it, I’ll take care of it. I’ve been working too long on this to be letting most of the big things get out of hand.
The overwhelming occurs when I have a bunch of important things, things that I’m not necessarily attracted to, to do. And it occurs when I list them off in my mind, over and over.
Oh the suspense
You see, I’m not overwhelmed by what has to be done, but rather by the thought that I will forget one of those things.
And it isn’t all that funny when that happens. Well, it isn’t funny at the time. I’ve had the experience of lying in bed going over all the things I’d gotten done in a busy day and realizing I had missed something really important.
And I’ve also …
I also remember working into the wee small hours of the morning because I’d said I would have something done and I’d always had something more important to do ahead of that thing.
And it often turned out that the “more important thing” was the beginning of distractions, so I’d do the more important thing and the next thing that came up and a few others. And all the while the really important things would be shoved back on the list, until I had too much left to get it all done.
And the overwhelming adds up
The overwhelming starts out as something manageable. “Oh yeah, I still have this to do. And that also. But I still have time if nothing else comes up.”
Then it gets a little wild. “Why did I take the time to do that. I could have done it tomorrow. For that matter, it could have gone undone. It’s not that important.”
But wait … it gets worse
Because something always comes up. If it isn’t trouble, then it’s something that has a good chance of causing trouble if left unattended to.
And then the anxiety of being overwhelmed sets in. And soon I’m working harder on my excuses for not getting things done than I am on getting them done.
But in the end …
It gets done or it doesn’t. I have excuses or I don’t. I’m in trouble or I’m not. It’s a bad situation … or it isn’t. Sometimes the anxiety was actually the worst of it.
And in the end, my real lesson to take away is that the anxiety of being overwhelmed is sometimes more detrimental than the things that overwhelmed me.
And the lesson is to keep working on not letting ADHD anxiety and ADHD overwhelm wear me down.
Babcock, K. (2017). Overwhelm Me!. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 24, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2017/05/overwhelm-me/