Support & Stories

How One Simple Task Turned Into Hours of Stress

All I wanted was a recipe — but instead, I ended up spending hours in front of my computer, angry and hungry. Here’s why ADHD can make even the simplest task take forever, and what you can do to jumpstart your productivity.

A cartoon printer, belonging to someone who wonders why it takes forever to do anything
Cartoon printer, grey with colors on the page

Have you ever started to do a simple thing that should take a minute or so, only to have it take forever — or at the very least, several hours? If you have attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD), I bet you have.

All I wanted was a recipe for dinner. I had pinned it to Pinterest and just needed to print it out. That little recipe cost me over three hours and left my head spinning.

First, I needed to install an update to my printer, so it would stop sending me blank sheets of paper. But to do that, I had to log into the company’s website.

[Free Handout: 10 Secrets to Greater Productivity]

Did I have a password? No. I didn’t even have an account, so I had to create one. Then I had to find the update in my download folder. That took some doing because it had been sent as a PDF.

Then came the fun part: In order to install anything to my computer, I need a system password. That’s in addition to my iCloud password. And you can’t change your password — if you forgot it — without knowing what it is.

Several hours later, I realized that the password in question was the one I used to log in to my computer every day. Now I have my recipe printed out.

Why should you care about any of this? If you’re a woman with ADHD, here’s why:

  • We have poor short-term memory.
  • We tend to overthink things. It’s hard for us to see the forest for the trees, which is why nothing is simple for us.
  • We often become immersed in something to the exclusion of everything else.

So my day turned out to be nothing like I had planned, but I’ll have a tasty dinner tonight.

[Free Resource: Daily Routine Tricks for Adults with ADHD]