4 thoughts on “4 Strategies for Staying Motivated With ADHD

  • January 25, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Wow. This is me,to a T. I’ve tried for years to explain what this whole shebang is like from the inside, but but your explanation nails it.

    I do have two questions.

    First, I noticed when I was a child that I was never able to think of anything to do to change a situation. If I were at point A and wanted to be at point B, I had the desire,but I could never think of anything to do, no matter how small, that would move me off of point A, let alone get me to B. I’m still like that to a large degree; I just don’t *think* in terms of “goals.” Is that a ADHD, or is it something else? (I was diagnosed ADHD in 1997 (age 34), then ASD in 2014 (age 51).)

    Second, I noticed two things recently. First, whereas I normally get really aggravated and angry, and have to walk away and give up, when faced with, say,a whole day of household chores, I found by accident that playing on Facebook constantly throughout the process short-circuited that response and made it possible for me to keep at the chores for about 9 hours and in short be successful, a very rare thing, believe me. Also, just last week, I discovered that playing with my new kitten, while working on household paperwork with my wife, led to my being much better focused on that paperwork than I usually am. It seems somewhat counterintuitive that a distraction would help focus, doesn’t it? What do you say about that? My working hypothesis is that my attention is focused by the act-and-moment of “switching gears” — cat, papers, cat, papers — and that by doing that *constantly* I kept myself balanced on that thin knife-edge moment when focus was best.

    Reply
    • January 26, 2016 at 2:06 am

      Hi Chris — thanks for commenting! I think the things you describe could definitely be ADHD-related:

      1) People with ADHD have trouble with executive functioning and planning ahead, which can cause us to “react” rather than deciding on actions and goals in advance. When I tried meds the first time, one of the biggest differences I noticed was having “agency” and making more deliberate decisions about what I wanted to do.

      2) Both of these are perfect examples of adding rewards during tasks to help motivation. Rather than just trying to power through tedious tasks you’re mixing them with things you enjoy. I.e., kittens make everything better!

      Reply
      • March 17, 2019 at 9:38 pm

        Neil — thanks for confirming and clarifying the connection between my experienced and observations, and known aspects of ADHD. (Sorry for the delay in this response; I left this page open in a tab but it got buried under literally a couple of hundred others that I am just now getting around to looking through. ADD! ADD! ADD…! …)

        Reply
      • March 17, 2019 at 11:43 pm

        Hey, I’m just glad you finally found this tab. 😛 Thanks for reading and commenting!

        Reply
 

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