The Fate of ADHD Projects

We ADD adults love projects because they're big, they make us feel like we're establishing a beachhead in the war against confusion; but then everything goes off the rails.
Treating ADHD Blog | posted by Bill Mehlman
Bill Mehlman blogs about treating adult ADHD for ADDitudeMag.com

If there's one thing we of the Deficit (ADD) love, it's projects.

(So ask, already, would you?)

Glad you asked. We love projects because they're big, they make us feel like we're establishing a real beachhead in the war against confusion, and because starting a New Project doesn't require any actual work. Or thought. And if we're lucky, it will give us a reason, however specious, for buying a new toy.

Just after reaching the point at which we've defined the nature of The New Project is the site where we tend to go off the rails. Turning the project into an actual step forward, creating a useful structure for improving our lives, that's not so much fun. It's work. It requires regular, concentrated effort. It poses the risk of failure. We'll hate the sight of the new notebook, underwater-writing pen, ergonomic paperclips, daylight-spectrum desk lamp or — dare I say it — USB flash drive that we just had to have to make the project work.

You need an overview, to be sure. But let's remember what we talked about last month: base your actions on recognizing, defining, starting and completing small, discrete tasks. At the end of a month, the little tasks, completed, will add up to a lot more than a grandiose Leviathan of a project.

And you won't have to explain to your wife what happened to that lovely desk lamp she bought you last year.

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