When I walk into a mall, which I do not do very often, I almost immediately become overwhelmed.
How do you respond when you are flooded by so many choices?
Do you walk into every store, and buy whatever catches your eye? And then you get home and beat yourself up for spending too much money. But you do not know what to return, so you keep it all.
Alternatively, do you feel incapable of making any choice? You may walk into every store in the mall. But besieged by so many choices, you don’t buy anything. This is my usual m.o.!
Mega Mall of Life
These two approaches to making decisions about commitments are common for many with ADHD.
How do you respond when faced with the decision of where to spend your time and energy on optional commitments?
You may spend your time on things that you do not necessarily value as highly as other commitments. Then again, you may not commit to activities that you do value.
Yes, for some with ADHD, it can feel excruciating to have to choose between their many commitments.
Yet, we know, either of the above approaches does not serve us well.
How do you respond?
One approach is to recognize that, while all of your commitments may be important to you, you do not need to devote the same amount of energy and time to each one, especially when it comes to optional commitments.
You may even decide that you do not want to devote any time to a particular commitment at this time in your life; you recognize that you can only do so much. Or, you may decide, as I did with volunteering, to devote a very limited amount of time.
I really wanted to volunteer and I have thought about doing so for a long time. But I convinced myself that I just did not have time. I was scared that it would add too much to my plate. Then I would become overwhelmed, and I would neglect my important responsibilities.
I was falling prey to that black and white thinking that is common for many with ADHD.
Recently, I made the leap and decided to volunteer. Initially, after joining a committee, I took on too much and panicked.
Within a week of realizing it, I let them know, with apologies, that I could not take on the task that I had volunteered to do. They were understanding.
I’m still on the committee. We are meeting next week. I will take my time before committing to any new task.
So, where you are choosing to spend your time?
Next time you are out shopping, perhaps, it might be helpful to decide in advance what you want; look for shirts and socks only or decide to go into a limited amount of stores.
Need help? Check out my book, ADD to Done: Beyond Stuck, Procrastination and Overwhelm with the accompanying support of ADDed Perspectives Membership.