Having ADHD means that a lot of things go unfinished. That’s called procrastination.
And I’ve gotten good at three different ways of handling those things.
And it occurred to me that I could let people know about these three ways and help them to have the advantages that I’ve acquired in my life.
I could share these coping mechanisms.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for the project and for yourself, is to take it apart and put it away.
That might mean throwing it out. And yes, that’s hard for us to do. It means we have to admit that we have invested time in something that probably wasn’t worth the investment.
And even if we don’t throw it out, taking it apart means we have to accept that the work we’ve done so far was for nothing.
Or do we?
I’ve started to tell myself that half done projects are “good practice.”
And it works. Not only does it work, but it turns out to be true.
Redoing something not only is faster the second time, but it provides me with the opportunity to become more familiar with the project and often to find better ways of doing it.
The second coping method I’ve come up with is accepting that something is going to take a lot longer than I had first anticipated.
And if it is important, I must then accept also that the project will be ongoing and possibly in the way for a while.
And that acceptance is very important
The project being in the way means that it cannot slip out of my mind.
And the acceptance means that it doesn’t stress me as much as if I don’t actively accept what has happened.
And less stress is a good thing. Stress can make it difficult to return to the project. In true ADHD fashion, it can feel easier and healthier to ignore something that is causing stress, even as it causes us stress.
And thirdly …
It is entirely possible for many of us to accept that something didn’t get done and just leave it where it fell until we are shamed into getting rid of it.
Some things don’t cause me any stress at all.
Some of my projects have ended up figuratively being coat racks made from auto parts. Some of them have ended up being turned into something as good as or better than they were supposed to be, but clearly not what they started out to be simply because I didn’t care enough to finish the original project or put it away when that happened.
What? A fourth way?
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Well, I suppose I could just finish what I started.
And hey, sometimes I do.
But that wouldn’t have made it into a blog post.