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Hi there! I’m 47 and while I managed to earn a doctorate and secure a teaching job (year-to-year contract gig), I have found “being on my own” incredibly difficult. No longer under the auspices of a graduate program, nor in the company of compassionate colleagues, my life very quickly unraveled to the point of nearly losing it. It was only then that I finally learned why I struggle so much with tasks (from assignments to relationships…) and in ways that my colleagues and peers don’t: I’ve got an ADHD brain! Well, all that to say, you’re not alone friend!
I wish I practiced this more consistently (I’m workin’ on it!), but I find setting a timer helpful. I can sit for hours staring at the computer screen when I work, sometimes to the point of sitting in a dark room because the sun set and I forgot to turn on the lights. (I now use wi-fi controlled lights, which turn on automatically!) I use a timer or a post-it note stuck to my computer screen to remind me to “Stand up! Walk away from the screen! You’ll thank me later!” Movement helps me feel better and physically removing myself from something I’m staring at helps me finish it faster when I return. If I don’t set a timer, a message or email the size of this post could take several hours to compose. Other tactics I deploy–with varying degrees of “success”–are practicing self-compassion and meditation, usually guided via phone app.
Wishing you all the best!