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Simple Is Complicated, Complicated Is Good

bike on beach, sunset
We all have someplace to get to …

When I have something that needs doing, I want it done.

That’s the thing that many NTs don’t understand. It doesn’t get put off because I want it not done. It doesn’t get put off because I don’t care.

It gets put off because it … it’s boring. It’s insanely, mind numbingly boring.

It’s really just that simple.

And yet …

It’s complicated. Yes, I know.

Forms to be filled out? Please just drive an ice pick into my brain.

Watch a documentary on the development of printing ink? I’d rather have my fingernails pulled out.

Clean the garage? You know I’m only going to get as far as my bicycle and then I’ll be off to the store for a bag of chips and a Coke.


Because there are some things that bore us, and boredom is excruciatingly mentally painful. And we’re bright people so we come up with alternatives pretty quickly.

And those alternatives are called distractions.

And I am the Man of DistrAction, so guess how this works for me …

Weeeeeeeeeellll ….

If you guess that I get distracted you’d be right, some of the time. But sometimes I recognize the coming storm and take shelter.

And I take shelter in the form of making things that are simply boring and making them complicated, and interesting.


I add steps to the mundane tasks, try to do them in order, make a game of it and often that keeps me present.

I dig deeper for the reasons for things. I create conspiracy theories about how there are secrets hidden in the forms I have to fill out and it’s my job to find them.

I question why I have to do things and puzzle out the reasons and then puzzle out the reasons those reasons exist.

I was taught this

My mother, bless her soul, was one of us I’m sure, and she spent a lot of time helping me figure out how to focus or fake focusing if you want to call it that. She could make a game out of anything.

And my grandmother, who wasn’t one of us (I think it came by way of grandpa), was a school teacher and one who knew how to help all her students get the most out of their studies way back in those dark ages before ADHD had a name. She taught me how to read and write when I was four. I remember a lot of teachers in my life, and they didn’t all have the skills to manage my needs.

So …

When I say simple is complicated, I’m talking about how the simple things that we find boring are like fingernails on chalkboards to us and can drive us to distraction.

And when I say complicated is good, I’m talking about how we are more likely to stay focused if we can make something complicated enough to be interesting.

And when I say I can figure out ways to focus by making things complicated for myself, trust me, I can.

I wrote this post when I would rather have been riding my bike … which I may go do right now.

Simple Is Complicated, Complicated Is Good

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. (2019). Simple Is Complicated, Complicated Is Good. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Jun 2019
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