Field Notes: Rough Battle Tonight with Coursework


  • Took 2nd adderall a bit late after my workday to start on my ‘phase 2’ tasks: completing a grad course in bioinformatics algorithms. But I took it right after dinner which ‘nerfs’ the effects so if I’m lucky ‘cruising altitude’ should start in 1/2 hour, else I’m against the surf BADLY.

  • My motivation to study is there but not quite there as I know you all know what I mean :slight_smile: . Worse is I’ve had a record productive past 4 days and around this time is where I have usually been slipping on past efforts to build consistency for my next big level of improvement.

  • Going to fight through the unwanted distraction and ‘mental tiredness’ with everything I got (including full pot of coffee!) and plan try small phases of work separated by YouTube video / social media check as a reward, but something also told me: "post this on the forum, let the tribe know what’s up"

I’m feeling a bit more empowered already, so Thanks Guys!

Will report tomorrow how this fight goes and the strategies I used to make whatever progress I could; in the hopes that it helps my fellow students and future me.

1 Like

(this is my first time responding to a support post so if i do it wrong just tell me and i can edit or delete it) Well asking “why do I slip up around this time/what factors lead to me slipping up” "what can I do to get rid of, minimize, or work around those factors to be able to be able to continue being productive.

Id recommend doing the same thing for the 3rd bullet point as you did with the second (if you do it with either)/

Good luck working threw today and I hope it works! have fun {:

1 Like


Foremost: @A_Arctic_fox nailed it on being sure to invest some time contemplating what the factors are in affecting your desired progress. I cannot stress this enough, fellow ADHDers: It’s worthwhile to analyze the condition of your body and mind throughout the day just like a pilot analyzes the condition of each part of their aircraft throughout a flight. It’s also literally the gateway step needed for everything from resolving habits to improving productivity and physical fitness and above all: building your relationship with and understanding of yourself.

For myself last night: I can share that I think what caused the slowdown and ‘fog’ was the combination of completing a busy workday, having just eaten dinner, ‘anticipation anxiety’ of the coursework to be done, and feelings of loneliness. So this would cause setback for anyone I think, let alone someone with ADHD suffering from the opposite end of that pendulum.

Okay so via the adderall: it did ‘kick in’ at a slower progression and over the course of 2-3 hours -vs- the 1-1.5 hours for the morning round. The coffee helped too, though within 2 hours I found myself ‘into the task’ enough to make much less frequent coffee breaks. This brings me to a realization I’ve been making more and more with my physical fitness goals that I call ’getting over the hill’ where once you “grind through” focusing on a task for just long enough: you end up “in the zone” are much more likely to continue forward.

  • This is similar to advice Jessica gave in one of her videos on completing projects along the lines of: "Start the task as badly as you can - even writing down just a few random letters, then continue to make improvements however small or big … Versus never starting at all!"

Phasing it out into ‘chunks’ of work-time separated by small rewards (YouTube vids and social media checks in my case) was also effective. There are 2 ways you could partition these sessions:

  1. By Time : “I will study for 45 minutes at a time with 15 minute breaks, and honor this cycle as best I can”. Side Pro Tip: Try to have a main task and a secondary task as different from the main one as possible that you can alternate between, e.g. main task = "Math Homework" and Secondary task = "Study History Class Lecture Notes"

  2. By “Milestone/Mountain” : “I will study until achieving a big gain with the larger task, or hitting a major obstacle requiring a small retreat where I will come back with a fresh attack”

Wrapping Up:

  • My ‘wish’ from this experience is to find ways to handle feeling lonely, as ironically I don’t really have the time or desire right now to start dating outside or as possible relief for said loneliness. I also could not find a good/productive ‘big reward’ for achieving total success for the entire day. It would have been hitting the gym: but I did that as a final act of daily progress as to achieve covering all the bases towards a ‘best day possible’ goal.

  • My ‘PSA’ from this experience is of course first: PERSISTANCE! and also the super important reality check (especially for newly diagnosed ADHDers) that adderall or any other drugs are NOT magic wands that will fully remove your symptoms and automatically turn you into a hyper efficient godlike being. At best, at least from the experiences I’ve heard: they often help just enough for you to start and continue helping yourself get over the hill as discussed earlier.

Hope this helps anyone dealing with the same who discovers this field note. Keep Forward - Plus Ultra!!!

1 Like

Good job and great advice! Maybe for the lonlieness find more friends?

1 Like

Thanks! I have started to attend events for socials meetup groups in town as part of my ‘work/life balance initiative’ with initial success, and am on this forum to keep in contact with fellow ADHDers. Each has certainly started making much more of a difference!

My issue has to do with loneliness of the romantic :revolving_hearts: kind, as it were. I am keeping myself realistic and sensible in preferring to find and build as mutually genuine a relationship as possible versus rushing into anything; and that even if I found mutual attraction with someone today: it would take time to grow.

IOW: I recognize there’s no instant solution to this particular problem that would be fulfilling and worthwhile, and plan to continue improving myself and my social life in the hopes of naturally meeting someone along the way with whom a relationship could emerge; versus doing anything less meaningful let alone something stupid out of immediate desperation. This is the plan, anyway!

Sounds good! (: maybe do activites you enjoy and do it in group settings so that way you could meet someone?

1 Like

Nice thread. Thanks for sharing … great advice, “start as badly as possible” … ! Gonna keep that one. “Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly” is a similar backward-aphorism I’ve heard.

I love this thread so much!!! There’s lots of great tips and it’s so encouraging to hear how another brain works through it all. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!!!