If only I could break up my whole, overwhelming ADHD life into small, manageable, quantifiable little jobs.
by Bill Mehlman
During my hiatus, my editor, the divine Ms A., sent some remarkably solicitous emails inquiring after my state of mind, and saying, basically, that I should concentrate on getting back to what passes for normal hereabouts and not to worry about the blog.
The other day, after I finally had managed to cobble together a post, and figured out how to put the cool little panel from a Krazy Kat comic in it, I sent it off with a pathetic little note asking if, rather than sending in a weekly batch of five or six articles, I could submit them piecemeal. Ms A. readily consented, and here's the next daily blurb.
My reason for wanting to alter my procedures should be clear to all by now: Bigger, more complex projects (writing and accumulating six posts a week) offer more opportunities for confusion and discouragement than small ones. The whole is definitely more than the sum of its parts: writing six closely focused, 400-word articles is intrinsically easier than weaving a coherent, 2,400 article.
I found this to be true when I was a catering chef. The work required a good deal of planning and coordination, and when I began doing it I tended to panic (you'll recall that time management and visualization aren't generally strong points for us ADHDans). Eventually I learned to view each job as a collection of small modules which, individually, weren't at all daunting (except for some of the meringues, which you really shouldn't try to make on steamy July afternoons). With the work accounted for in this manner, I was able to consider the forest as well as the trees, and still manage to sleep at night.
Small, manageable, quantifiable jobs are the way to go. Remember: if you can't describe the job in one clear, concise sentence, you should consider — oh, I hate this word — deconstructing it further.
Or find a sucker to help you peel and skewer all the shrimp.