What motivates adults with attention deficit to organize, prioritize, and follow through on difficult tasks and projects at work?
by Jane D.
Crunch time, deadline time on the job.
I got up at the crack of dawn today all prepared to be at the desk an hour early to finish a work project that I've delayed and put off for two weeks. I’ve collected all of this interesting information, but the problem is I now have to put it together. I am an ideas person, and suck at executing.
Last night at my support group meeting for adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD / ADHD), the group leader talked about the challenges of motivation, how adults with ADD have the hardest time getting up that ski slope on their own.
We also talked about short term and long term rewards, and how the ADD adult has a tough time seeing the long term reward. We live in the moment. While sunning myself at the beach might be peachy for a day, I could have used that time to clean the apartment or figure out my finances.
My friends are getting married, having babies, and buying homes—and I remain a serial renter, dater, an impulsive snacker, and a bit of a spendthrift (lucky that I only like to buy things like candy and the occasional Banana Republic dress; otherwise I'd be broke).
For a minute I sat in the group dreaming of this apartment that I want to buy overlooking either the Hudson or East River, with a balcony big enough for a BBQ or a two-person Jacuzzi. Sometimes dreaming is enough to make me happy. The idea alone is the thrill.
Yesterday was a miserable day at work and a little scary. I was so fixated on the hellish project thanks to the Adderall. I did not talk to anyone. I looked so stressed and engrossed in the work that colleagues avoided me. I want to tell everyone I'm sorry for the social miscues. It's not them, it's me. It's the attention deficit disorder.
I wish I could multitask during the work day—eat lunch, go to the restroom, chitchat with colleagues, and also complete the work... but I just can't. I am so easily distracted that I need ADHD medication to chain me down. I was the first one to arrive at work and once again almost the last to leave.
It was very sad because in the end I felt like I was just spinning wheels. I had finished the project but it still wasn't perfect, and for all the fuel put into the engine, the results seemed minimalist.
Better luck tomorrow, hopefully.