"I take ADHD medication, and it has helped me focus at work and at home. But it hasn’t helped with my motivation. I still don’t want to clean up or get organized. Why don’t meds for attention deficit improve my motivation?"
by Ari Tuckman, Psy.D., MBA
Lots of people ask this question. It sounds as if your medication is doing what it should do -- improving your focus and your attention to detail, making things easier to remember, and making you more aware of time. However, medication doesn’t necessarily improve your motivation, especially for doing the tasks that you describe. They will probably never be fun.
However, if medication makes it easier for you to start a task, and to stay focused while you are working, you may find that, over time, you will become motivated to do things. It will become a matter of developing a mindset to tackle challenges instead of avoiding them.
Cleaning up may be boring, but you will be able to appreciate the benefit of doing it and see yourself as capable of accomplishing it. These feel-good thoughts will increase your willingness to clean up. Medication may be half the solution, but mindset is the other half -- and you need them both.