A few years ago I wrote about a symptom of ADD which I experience often. I posted my experience on the website add.about.com, and it was answered by the guide, Keath Low. I was jazzed about that! See the URL http://add.about.com/od/adhdthebasics/a/Motivational-Issues.htm. The symptom is poor motivation and my post said the following:
“I will often sit at work at my desk, looking over my to-do list, and just staring at it for long periods of time. I can’t decide what to do first and when I do decide, I can’t get started unless it’s a task I enjoy. I just sit and stare at the wall a lot, thinking all sorts of distracting thoughts and feeling like I’m trying to push through a brick wall.”
Since I’m new at this, I hope I haven’t violated some law by reposting my comment here. If so, oops! I’m sorry. Please let me know and I’ll learn the rules eventually. Better to ask forgiveness than permission.
I’m having this symptom today, in spades. It’s Wednesday today. I was supposed to do my vacuuming on Monday, but with many excuses I didn’t. As I write this, I have had some success today working on this task, but haven’t yet finished. One of the ways experts like Keath Low suggest dealing with motivational difficulties is to break a task down into doable chunks and complete one at a time. So I broke down vacuuming into rooms. I did the hallway and my bedroom this morning. Then I rewarded myself by checking my email, which I love to do, and looking at yahoo messenger to see who was online. I just did the dining room and kitchen a few minutes ago. Now I’m writing, and I’ll let you know with a ……… when I finish up with the living room.
When I wrote the above post, I was working at a job I loathed. That was one of the big reasons it was so hard to motivate myself to get the work done. As you might guess, I got fired from that job and haven’t worked since. Thus my present predicament. I’ve done quite a few things in the last five days to begin the digging out process, and I’ll write about that in my next post. But the second, and perhaps most important, strategy for motivating oneself that I want to mention here is doing what you love as a profession. I love to write. But so far that hasn’t paid very well. In fact, it hasn’t paid anything. So to be realistic it’s not always possible to do what you love in order to provide for oneself and maybe a family. But moving in the direction of doing what you love is important to stay motivated to do the ‘chores’. Often while working at the dreaded job, I would complete a boring task then reward myself by writing a letter to a friend, or writing in my journal, or writing a business letter, or researching online how to do a job-related task better. All fun stuff. I may have done this a bit too much however. I should have used a third strategy for dealing with ADD; set a timer! Reward yourself for only 10 minutes, then get back to work. You might not get fired using this tactic.
Enough for now. Talk to you later.
Oh, by the way:…………..