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Distractions Help?

the wrong way ... maybe
… still works for me.

On Friday I was discussing how I use my distractions to keep me from being too … me.

I pointed out that when I am aware that I’m an overloaded circuit that has to do everything, I can usually hold off on doing everything until I’m distracted by something else.

But it has to be my distraction, it has to have happened to me.

It can have come from someone else, but that doesn’t work as well.



Well, I sort of know. If I’m doing something, immersed in it, and someone comes along with a distraction they think is important, they may be absolutely right.

But I’m still immersed in something I think is important. And there’s a very real part of my brain that is occupied with trying to keep track of all the different aspects of whatever I’m doing. And that part of my brain knows the rest of my brain and knows all too well that if I let you or anyone else distract me … I’ll lose all the things I’m trying to keep track of.

It’s like this

I’ve mentioned before that it’s like looking something up in a reference manual and finding that I need to know something else from that same manual, so I stick my finger in the part I’m reading and then look up the next thing.

But what if I need to refresh my memory about a third thing from that book, now I’ve got two fingers stuck in two different pages and I’m looking at a third page.

Eventually I’ve got five or six pages marked with my fingers. (Don’t laugh, this is exactly what I was like in college!)

Then …

Along comes someone and effectively knocks the book out of my hands.

When I’m concentrating on doing something and I’m completely immersed in it, that’s what someone trying to tell me to do something else feels like.

Admittedly …

… I’ve gotten better at keeping my “fingers in the pages” so to speak. Five decades of practice will help with that. But I haven’t gotten so much better at it that I don’t still feel like this is what happens.

It still seems like someone who is trying to change my course or perspective, is actually somehow making me have to start all over again from the beginning.


Now, here’s the problem with that, while I will remember all the things as I go along the second time I do whatever I was interrupted from, I will still have to go through each step in order, just to remember those things.

Contrast that with just letting me finish.

I mean, I already have trouble managing time, I don’t need someone else to help me make the time I’ve spent a waste.

But …

As I said before, I’ve had over five decades of experience at this ADHD thing. And I’m resigned to the fact that these things happen.

And I’ve become aware that retracing my steps is actually easier if I put off being angry about it until later.

And, it turns out that if I put off being angry or upset about it, when I have the leisure to entertain that anger, it has usually dissipated.

And that works just fine for me.

Distractions Help?

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 on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of 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 am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with 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. (2018). Distractions Help?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Apr 2018
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