“I really need to get that [x] project done today! What was that resource I saw earlier that I thought would help? I think It was on Pinterest… Let me just check my feed for it….. OH MY GOD – what an adorable dog! What kind of dog is that? I wonder what it would look like mixed with a Poodle? *googles it* wait – what’s this? An adorable video of a dog on a skateboard? I need to send this to [so and so!] *opens Facebook feed and starts to type in name* wait – [such and such] had a BABY?? I didn’t even know she was pregnant! *proceeds to creep through previous photos of such and such* Man, why are all my friends getting married and having babies, and I’m still sitting here in my pyjamas eating…..um…that reminds me! I’m hungry! What should I make for dinner? *Flips back to Pinterest to look up recipes, sees previous search open* OH RIGHT! I was going to work on [x] project! Well, now I’m not inspired anymore! Let me just look through Etsy for other pretty ideas! *browsing the front page of Etsy* What’s that? ……Nail polish? I didn’t even know you could BUY nail polish on Etsy! *expands store* Holy smokes, look at all these! And they’re SO PRETTY! I want them all! Wait – I can’t afford these! I wish I knew how to make my own! I wish I had my OWN nail polish line! What do I need to start one? *opens google* WAIT- Whats that??…..” (Repeat ad nauseam.)
You just heard an excerpt from my brain on a day which I’ve “devoted” to being productive/working from home….does that train of thought sound at all familiar to you? If so, you may be one of the members of society suffering from the effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD. It is estimated that about 7% of adults are affected by the disorder, however, I would speculate that there are a WHOLE bunch more, who have simply gone under the radar and been left undiagnosed, simply attributing their struggles to things like anxiety or depression (however, ADHD can actually be the CAUSE of anxiety and depression in adults, making it even more important to get checked out if you are looking for the root cause of your symptoms!) This seems to be the case with a lot of mental illnesses/disorders (read about my experience with that in THIS post!).
What exactly is ADHD? When most people think of it, they tend to picture a young boy, usually around 5 or 6 years old, bouncing off the walls of his classroom, causing his teacher’s hair to turn grey by the minute! However there’s a lot more to it than that, and that little boy is not to be blamed for his misguided surplus of creative energy!
There are actually several types of ADHD which have been diagnosed, some easier to spot than others, typically making them more commonly diagnosed. The two most common forms of the disorder are inattentive ADHD, and hyperactive/over-impulsive ADHD. Some people even experience aspects of both forms.
Like me, you may have gone through life sweeping your issues under the rug, thinking “Oh, I probably don’t have ADHD! I’m not hyper all the time!” Well, not everyone with ADHD is always “hyper.” Not even people on the hyperactivity side of the spectrum are always hyper! There is actually a LOT more to this disorder than simply hyperactivity, short attention spans, and forgetfulness!
I was always a very quiet student in school, afraid to take part in lessons vocally, preferring to just sit back and listen to other people’s ideas and expand on them in my head. However, sometimes I would expand on these ideas a little *too* much, and end up on a train of thought on a COMPLETELY different subject. Once I would “resurface,” I would have missed a large chunk of the lesson! I have a distinct memory of my high school French teacher making a comment along the lines of “If you can keep Alex’s attention during your presentation, you KNOW it’s a good one!” From then on I was widely known as the token “space case” in that class!
I have also had a HUGE problem with procrastinating for my entire life. These issues combined have made it exceedingly hard to stay productive. As a student, my grades suffered because of it. As an adult with a self-employed/self-managed blogging schedule, I have to work incredibly hard to make sure I stay on top of things!
I’m sure MANY of you have similar issues, which is why I’ve compiled a list of my favourite ways to maintain productivity, that I have found to be the most ADHD-proof!!