struggle switching into a productive mindset

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    • #106166
      dirt bag jim

      One of my biggest problems is facing a daunting task. Sometimes I can attack an assignment effectively if it seems simple enough. However, once I run into a problem I go completely off-track, get overwhelmed and start to get super frustrated. This sometime can lead to learned helplessness and I can fall behind very fast because of it. It seems like I’m just being lazy but sometimes I’m just really not in the mood and know that it would only make matters worse if I tried. As a result, whenever I get a big project I plan it out very well but find it super difficult to pick up the pen and start when I really should be.

      For example, imagine I get given time in class to work on a project. During this time, I’m normally completely elsewhere in my unproductive overthinking headspace and no matter how hard I try I rarely manage to form a solid paragraph. I will often set up all my slides and hyper-focus on getting the right format, font and a nice little introduction on my project while everyone else has already done most of they’re research and they need to just fill in the gaps. Then when I get home, I might procrastinate a little before wasting time planning stuff out to do, either leaving me in a unproductive, dreamy state, a clouded, restless and frustrated state or a state where I know I got to do something really bad and I just write too much and pay too much attention on small details resulting in a slide an hour. Even when I start a project before everyone else does and plan it out as carefully, coherently and simply as I can, I ALWAYS fall behind the class and normally end up with an overdue, unfinished project.

      Obviously I’ve been told off billions of times for having terrible time management issues and planning, but I know I can be successful if I can actually get into a positive ‘working mindset’ where I will work diligently and actually make progress. I think this is the real problem, as I am always too disheartened and exasperated to do the work.

      There are many moments where I am motivated, full of alacrity and have a powerful drive to get things done, but find it very hard for it to stay that way when the pressure of time and expectation is present. I am very connive but I rarely follow through with action and the doing. How do I get into this arduous headspace where I can just focus and stay as elated as possible other than meditating and going for a walk/exercising ? (Unfortunately, none of these typical techniques can flick my hard-work switch on put on my get stuff done hat.) Any ideas to improve my working environment, my approach to work etc.?

    • #106194
      Penny Williams

      Understanding your brain and motivation is the first step to being able to get things done. The ADHD brain is motivated by interest and urgency, not importance. That makes it harder to get going on things you don’t want to do, even when you know they are important.

      Secrets of Your ADHD Brain

      There are some helpful procrastination strategies in this article:

      The Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting Things Done

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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