This is my tenth blog post on this website! It’s not my tenth week running it, as I posted four posts before making the website live. It’s not the tenth blog post I’ve written since starting this website as most of the posts I copied straight from my Facebook page. But it is my tenth post, I’m proud.
Being an ADHDer, it’s not easy to stick with something. I have grand ideas and I can achieve a lot in a very short period of time, but the follow through is incredibly hard. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the things I’ve learnt so far in my life, so I want to take this opportunity to celebrate, and to share what has allowed me to get here.
It’s honestly the hardest thing I’ve had to learn. ADHD creates massive inequalities in achievement for me. In education, I am typically either one of the very top students, or on the brink of failing. Things my peers find challenging, I find easy, and things my peers find easy, I find meltdown inducingly difficult. Being average has never been easy for me, and the need to excel at something in order to do it has held me back time and time again. I knew before starting this website that I would need to be okay putting out average work, that I couldn’t be gushing with pride at every single week’s post. I spent some time putting out average works, posting average selfies, sending average emails, proofreading comments only once and not worrying if they were as good as they could be. It was hard, and I was often embarrassed. But as no one but me cared or even noticed, I got more confident putting in an average effort instead of no effort at all.
Disregard the Hard Stuff
On a similar note, if there is a task that I just cannot motivate myself to do, I just don’t do it. A lot of my blog posts would be greatly improved with embedding research, referencing other’s works, including links, etc. But those are the tasks I find the hardest and the most boring, so more often that not, I simply don’t do them. I know that if I tell myself ‘you must do this in order to write and publish this post’, I won’t publish that post. An imperfect post is a massive improvement on no post at all.
Time is different for ADHDers. It’s not something that chugs on at an even pace. It’s something that lunges and halts, crawls and sprints, and usually it does it all out of sight, so that we are left suddenly late, or hours early and if we dare glance away and do something with all that time, we are once again late. Scheduling posts is the only way I can manage a reliable weekly post. I need at least three posts scheduled in advance, or this whole project will fall apart.
Don’t get Ambitious
ADHD can make me highly ambitious, as I know there are times I can achieve a lot. But those times are not consistent. Hyperfocus is great and I have frequently sat down to work, blinked once, and suddenly several hours have past and work that takes others days has been done to a high standard. But I can’t summon it at will. It comes or it doesn’t, and any ambition that requires me to hyperfocus, is not realistic. I’m also very creative, and can come up with any number of great ideas, but there is only so much I can actually achieve.
Set Small, Measurable Goals
I often get lost in the possibilities, in everything I could do, should do, and want to do. It’s important for me to focus on small goals so that I don’t get overwhelmed, and it’s even more important to have goals that are clearly measurable so that I feel like I am achieving something, even in the face of everything that I haven’t achieved.
Celebrate the Small Stuff
You don’t have to crack open a bottle of champagne every time you find an image to go with a blog post, but give yourself a happy wiggle, or pump your fist. Celebrate sitting down to do work with the right music playlist, even if you don’t get anything done. Tell the people you know will celebrate with you when you hit a bigger goal.
Keep it Fun
Most of my posts are written and edited to loud music, my own bad and louder singing, and awkward wiggling that could (if one is very generous) be described as dancing. I also give myself rewards such as nice drinks or snacks not for finishing a task, but for while I am working.
When Possible, be Lazy
Most of my blog posts so far have been copied straight from my Facebook page. I scrolled through for the best long ones, pasted them here, gave them an edit, a little tweaking, and ended up with enough posts to get me through the initial stage. I still have several in my drafts, and a couple scheduled. Just because something is easy, doesn’t mean it’s bad, and just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it’s good.