We ADDers (those who have ADHD) have a tendency towards great plans but poor follow through. Our creative minds go in all directions and we honestly believe that we will carry through on our wonderful intentions. But as we progress in a particular endeavour, along comes one of our most debilitating characteristics – boredom! And when we feel bored about doing (or completing) a particular task, its friend, procrastination, follows right behind.
Take these blogs that I write for Living ADDventure® as a case in point. My great intention was to write a series of blogs (one a month) on organising the home. In reality they have been less frequent; the last one I wrote was three months ago. To be honest I have been procrastinating because I am a bit bored about doing a room by room series on organising the home. I would rather just blog creatively on a topic of interest to ADDers about organising and simplifying your life, than stick to a routine and formulaic approach.
So this month you will not be getting tips on how to organise your living room!
My big question today is - how can we manage our inclination towards boredom so that we have creative and productive lives? Here are some of my thoughts:
1. Work to your strengths
If what you are doing is not working for you (i.e. boring you), you can change what you do and how you do it. Work with your ADHD not against it. Here's how:
• Understand yourself better – Honestly review your work and home life and write down what really gets you bored and demotivated.
• Minimise boring tasks – Where possible shift the focus of your daily activity onto what you naturally enjoy and what you are interested in. Interest drives the ADHD person. Boredom is the antithesis of interest.
• Work to your strengths – This is a huge topic on its own, one which I believe is really critical for ADDers, who often focus on their limitations. When you do what you enjoy and are good at, you are less likely to get bored. I challenge you to read up more on this topic - the Gallup Strengths Finder is a good place to start. It is a myth that you need to be good at everything!
2. Share tasks with others
Not every task that falls within the ambit of your work or home life has to be done by you. There are ways to share or delegate these tasks to others. The wonderful thing is that there are many people who are quite happy to do the mundane routine activities that we hate. Here are some ideas:
• Creative teamwork – Try to share boring tasks with others on your work team, if possible. Offer to take on tasks that they struggle with, but which you excel at and enjoy.
• Delegate boring tasks – This includes chores in the home and administration responsibilities at work.
• Hire someone – This may not always be financially possible, but it can remove a huge weight off your shoulders and free you up to focus on what you love.
3. Be creative with those boring tasks you cannot avoid
We cannot dodge every mundane and boring task that comes our way, but there are creative ways to get them done:
• Make boring tasks fun – Put on music to sing along to while you do a task like ironing or filing. Dance while you vacuum. Watch your favourite TV show while you walk on the treadmill.
• A problem shared - Invite a companion to join you while you do a boring practical task.
• Break down larger tasks into more manageable chunks – This makes an overwhelming task, like doing your tax return, less overwhelming. Tick off each step as you go along.
• Don't make a mountain out of a molehill – Tasks often become worse in our minds the longer we procrastinate. Just getting started is a big step.
• Reward yourself – Give yourself a treat when you have completed a task your particularly dislike.
If you are feeling bored and demotivated in your work, I encourage you to step back and have a good look at the reasons why, and then to try out some of my suggestions. Here's to a happier and more motivated you!
Contact Vicky Sim
Simplicity Services - Professional Organiser