I know you have a roving eye– not the kind that gets you into trouble with your spouse or partner. I’m talking about the ADD roving eye:
You see a pile of laundry that’s grown taller than your 18 year old son. With every intention of getting started on this odious task, you decide that today is the day to jump in.
So you grab the laundry baskets– wait- you first scrape the various colored/shaped fabrics off the floors. Notice “floors” is plural- that’s because most likely, more than one room has clothes that never made it into a basket, bag or whatever vessel you use to get it into your laundry room.
Here’s where the trouble often begins.
ADD = distractibility
ADD = disdain of boredom
ADD= the roving eye. You know all the shiny penny and squirrel jokes? Well, they aren’t funny when it comes time to deal with tedious chores.
You finally get the laundry in the proper room and get started (we hope).
Then, the next problem hits you squarely in the face- whether it’s doing laundry, paying bills, de-cluttering a room, organizing spices, preparing for a garage sale- you fill in the blank.
What often happens is one of two things:
You either cannot really get started (“Oh, I’ll do that after I watch the Morning Show”) or…you do get started but then you can’t stop! You are so happy to be working on a project you’ve procrastinated on, that you can’t stop yourself and you end up working and working on it for hours. Before you know it, it’s February. Ok, so I’m exaggerating. A little.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that ADD is not only about starting. We’re all familiar with that- aren’t we? Not sure? Then let me ask you this: When is the last time you cleaned the oven? Or vacuumed out the car? Or shampooed the carpet? This isn’t meant to make you feel badly; I have the same problem! It’s just we with ADD (there’s a good book title) avoid projects and chores that seem overwhelming (where do I start- vacuuming or dusting? Where does this go? Etc.).
What we don’t think about enough is how and why we end up working on a project that we cannot stop. It’s like we’ve finally fired our engines and then lost the ignition key.
There are a few reasons why stopping is hard. We already know why starting is a problem. But stopping? There’s an incredible surge of adrenalin-fueled energy that often travels with us once we finally jump in and work on something we’ve been avoiding. We say to ourselves- hey- this isn’t so bad after all! Why in the world did I avoid it all these (days/months/years/centuries). And on you go until your arms are about to fall out of their sockets (which you don’t notice because…you have ADD and you’re already on to that next box of “stuff” you haven’t seen since you moved out of your parents’ house).
More Reasons why It’s Hard to Stop
- Your ADD sense of time might be in the wrong time zone. Mars and Venus come to mind. Kidding aside, we know that those with ADD often have a poor sense of time. One hour can feel like 10 minutes or 3 days. Once you’re up to your neck in a project that has your interest, the time flies by. Conversely, if you hate washing dishes because it’s as boring as watching wood rot, you avoid it because though in reality it only take 3 ½ minutes to do, it feels like 3 ½ months.
- Another reason for stop issues is it keeps you from dealing with other things that are awaiting your attention. ‘What?’ you ask yourself– ‘No way am I going to pay bills right now when I have to check Facebook to see if I missed someone’s Birthday.’ (I call this Facebook Birthday Phobia). So…you avoid avoid avoid all the things that need your attention.
So, what can you do about this stop/start dilemma?
For one thing, you can use your calendar or whatever system you use daily to keep you on track. Write down your start/stop time. But don’t stop there!
Find your trusty alarms and/or timers (here are some ideas) and set them for when you must stop. In other words, use tools to help you because if we rely on ourselves, well…that doesn’t always work.
Also, start a to-do list of things you want to work on. List them in order of priority/importance and then gauge the amount of time it’ll take to complete (I often suggest you add in extra time to account for disruptions (don’t you HATE that once you’ve gotten going?), breaks (please remember to eat) and other hidden obstacles.
You can do it! You can learn to start/stop and become a pulsating chore machine! But if you still need help, a great resource is my Queens of Distraction group, which I know you’ve been getting lots of announcements about (sorry). As a loyal reader and since you’ve made it all the way to here, I am offering an extension of my incredibly ridiculous reduced rates one more week for you only.
So if you want my help and the support of other women with ADHD- and you want to learn how to jump in and get things done, join today while you can and while there’s still room (only a few spots are left).
Then we can start/stop our chores together!
Do you have some tips on how to start/stop? Share them in the Comment Section below.