Tl;dr quick tip: If you tend to hyperfocus on something and then get bored, and end up not competing much at all one way to overcome this is to pick say 3 (but probably no more than 5) tasks you need to over a long-term period or simply enjoy focusing on and rotate around those things.
A note to anyone coming here who doesn’t know me in real life (IRL): I self identify with there being a very high probability I have attention deficit ADHD. I can absolutely hyper-focus on a thing for anything up to a week and then get “bored” and have to go do something else. Making myself do the things I need to do but I sometimes find hard because they are new and/or simply tedious often takes a monumental emotional effort. This article explains one simple tactic I have found which works well for me.
Quick plug: I have set up a workaway.info volunteer page for people to come share my home space here in Ireland and exchange experience, knowledge, skills etc 👇
So, back to ADHD
It’s only been in the last half of 2021 that a throwaway comment from someone who said (I think) half-jokingly “Do you have ADHD?” led me to the ADHD Ireland website with a page to help you decide whether you may be affected with ADHD
On this there are around 52 statements to “test” if you might have ADHD, with it saying if you answer yes to over half these, you probably do have ADHD.
I said “NO” to about 2 of them 🤔
Since then I have been thinking and learning from others tactics to allow me actually make progress on things I need and want to as it’s so SO easy to make absolutely zero progress on everything. For years. Literal years can go by and nothing has changed other than you feel worse about your inability to function as an independent adult.
For me, the things I need and want to work on are:
1. Self-employed coaching business
2. Creating a space in and around my home that is more “me”, also not a typical house/home
3. Working on clearing, caring for and growing the land here to support No 2 above
4. Having time to breathe and enjoy the things I enjoy for downtime, like gaming. Damn you Elden Ring.
I can absolutely hyperfocus on a thing, like painting my hall for a week (walls, door – I’m slow 🤷🏻♂️ and the door needed 3 coats which took 1.5 days) and then get absolutely sick of doing it. SO bored. I still have my lounge to paint – the paint pot is waiting for me and has been for 2 months now. And kitchen to re-tile – the tiles have been there since Christmas….
Also like creating content for Ko-Fi. Or Instagram. Or LinkedIn. Or my own websites. Or working outside on the land. Or gaming. Or reading any of the numerous books I have and really want to read.
As you will probably know if you are a content creator or self-employed even as a side-hustle, each of the things you enjoy doing have a multitude of tasks within EACH thing.
Overwhelm even simply thinking about the gazillion things you want/need to get done is a huge problem in itself. As I said, literal years can go by doing nothing.
Don’t be me. Don’t waste years making zero progress. Please don’t.
Here’s a tactic I figured out by reading responses to “help” posts on the ADHD subreddit
1. Hyperfocus on one thing
2. Get bored
3. Hyperfocus on a different one thing
4. Get bored
6. Rotate round the MAIN things you want/need to get done.
Don’t create too many categories or main areas of interest to focus on as you will only end up doing too many things and again be in a position of overwhelm which tends to result in boredom and subsequently zero progress.
Occasionally, when you’re reading about what a “Demesne” is on Wikipedia and watching YouTube on how to create a coffee table with steamed curved bits of wood, acknowledge how much time has disappeared and consciously ask yourself some behavioural questions
Conscious Questions to Kick Yourself Out of Distractions
1. What am I doing?
2. What am I getting out of it?
If the answer to 2 is “It’s interesting”, add “Yes, but will you ever actually use it, or rather use it within the next 3 months?” The answer is probably “no”, so mentally, gently kick yourself out of it
3. What do I actually need to do to make progress on the things I want/need?
4. Do SOMETHING. Anything. You know full well that if you actually start one thing in one area you want o make progress on you will naturally hyperfocus on it for a few hours effortlessly. So take a deep breath, and start.
It’s still not easy and still needs some discipline to learn. If you want to make progress you will do this. Probably whilst whining to yourself about how you’re bored, if you’re anything like me. SO much internal whining.
There’s a saying in the software development world that goes like this:
I think that also applies to social media content creation.
I want/need to hyperfocus on learning how to make a month’s worth of social media content for my coaching business in the shortest amount of time possible. Creating a blog and repurposing blocks from within it is one way, it seems. Using tool/services like Frase.io, Lumen5 etc may very well help with that and then I’ll use my Publer sub to schedule the content. That’s the plan.
I know I’ll be bored like a whiny angsty teenager by the time I’m done with it. I can feel my whiny inner child complaining just thinking about it.
I know I will have to create a disciplined routine to get this done once a month. But I love coaching. Coaching needs people to coach. I have to attract clients to have the “enriched” life and “enriching” effect I love giving others in their own lives. There aren’t enough people here locally to coach. So I have to attract others worldwide really. To do that I need social media….
So, I will hyperfocus on that
Then DIY inside
Then DIY outside
And fit some gaming in. And food.
Music helps. Poly-rhythmic electronica. Don’t go look that up and get lost in the interesting world of the structure of music and how it affects our brains. Or make a time for it. It’s fascinating and explains a lot about why “ADHD study focus” playlist on Spotify helps us hyperfocus so well. But you need to make even a little progress on the thing you want/need to get done!
Good luck 🙂
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