Getting Things Done

Bad Form

Forms, questionnaires, and documents leave me officially flummoxed. Why can’t I just fill in the blanks already?

Piles of white papers on a blue background, paperwork that needs organizing
Piles of white papers on a blue background

I was having a great day, until I sat down to fill out a form that was a week overdue. Things were humming along, but page two contained a line of legalese that meant nothing to me. Yet I was supposed to check “Yes” or “No.” I called the company to ask what it all meant. No one had a clue. So the form stayed on my desk.

This wasn’t the first time I’d succumbed to “form-o-phobia.” I’d known about a drug coverage plan for which I was eligible for years. Each year I requested a new form from my pharmacy, intending to complete it. In a form-o-phobic case of paper hoarding, I’d throw the latest form into an overstuffed file. This year, I finally filled out the form — it was so simple — only to find that I’d left one teeny-weeny box unchecked. My benefits were delayed by several months.

Why do I, and other ADHDers, fear forms? According to Russell Barkley, people with ADHD tend to lack flexibility. This explains my need to know precisely what every question means before I check a box. People with ADHD also don’t comprehend what they read, see, or hear as easily as others. No wonder I’m tentative about written instructions that will potentially 1) save me money or 2) cost me money.

[Free Download: Clean Up and Get Organized in One Weekend]

I haven’t figured out how to overcome my difficulties with forms and paperwork, but now, at least, I’m willing to take it on.