Here is a conundrum.
We know that getting started or initiating tasks, even those that hold some interest, is a challenge for many adults with ADHD. So, what do you do when you have a task to do and you are “just not feeling it”?
When the task holds no interest for you in the moment it can feel almost impossible to try to push onward.
Fortunately, there are some workarounds you can try to make it easier.
Checking It Out
First check in with yourself.
Explore how procrastination may be playing a part and possible ways of addressing it.
Also, consider whether part of your challenge is that you are working against your ADHD. If this is the case, maybe it is time to work differently.
At times, it may even make sense to put off a task until you have more energy. Why push yourself when you do not have to?
But what if the task is “mission critical” or you have just put it off for too long. And you have tried seemingly everything. The days are passing, and the work is not getting done. You are feeling exasperated…
It is time to look for the missing piece.
You know what it feels like when something excites you and you can attend easily. You are so into the task that the time passes quickly. In fact, you may even have to set a timer so you make sure you stop on time.
When this is not the case, though, one of the keys is to acknowledge that you are just not going to be enthusiastic about doing certain tasks.
And accept that when your mojo is not there it may feel like wading through quicksand.
But don’t stop there.
Waiting for Inspiration?
Because you also know that you can’t always wait until doing the task feels more like floating downstream.
For many with ADHD, one of the most common excuses for putting off work is the questionable idea that, “I need inspiration.” Which leads to the unconvincing promise that, “I’ll do it later, maybe tomorrow…when I feel more like it.”
Buying into these beliefs has risks.
One risk of needing inspiration is that the work will simply not get done. If you dislike doing expense reports, you are not likely going to feel any more motivated to do it tomorrow. And it is unlikely that organizing the basement, which you have been putting off for too long, is going to somehow seem more appealing next week.
The other risk is that your self-esteem may take a battering, as you shower shame and blame on yourself for not following through on your intentions. When this happens, you may have even less energy to tackle the important stuff.
Clearly, this can be a slippery slope!
Acting In Spite Of
To grease the wheels it also might help to ask yourself:
- How important is this to me?
- What are the consequences of not doing this?
- What are the benefits of doing this?
- Can I be sure I will have enough time to complete the work if I put it off another day?
- How would it help if I did even a little bit today?
Sometimes the answer is to take the next possible step, however small. You might be surprised that once you get going you will keep on working.
ADDed Perspectives Bottom Line
While you should accept that you will have days when your mojo is just not there, don’t resign yourself to putting it off until you feel like doing it.
Because who knows when that day will come.