Hardest thing for me is getting motivated for so-called “productive” activities. A.k.a., those things that I don’t WANT to do but I HAVE to do. I can’t get started to go to the gym, to decide to look for a new job, to dress up my resume, to care about the work that I’m doing, to find new clients, to give a hoot. I have a lot of things I’m very excited and ambitious about – my writing, drawing, painting, music that I’m listening to and performing, learning about ADHD. Nobody pays me for any of those.
I allow myself to set multiple alarms and multiple appointments in my electronic calendars, even if they are contradictory or redundant. I notice, for example, that right now my calendar says that my favorite soccer team will be playing a big game tomorrow at 2 pm, tomorrow at 1:45 pm, and tomorrow all day. I can watch it on TV, on channel 79 or on channel 77, according to my notes. Today I had an appointment with my psychiatrist for medication prescription re-ups, and that appointment is also listed as having happened last Monday, a mistake which I never bothered to delete because removing things worries me, makes me wonder if I removed the right one. Better to have too many reminders than too few.
I am not a big fan of doing the prep the night before. A lot of people suggest that we should pack the bag, lay out your clothes, get the stuff out to make your lunch and line it up on the counter. I get the concept, it’s probably useful for a lot of people. But it’s just one more reason to lose sleep, to hyperfocus, to not get to bed on time, for me. I don’t allow myself to solve my problems by getting into a rush. If I’m late, late enough starting that I feel like I’m going to arrive late, then I know as well that it’s too late to be on time. So, I will just go at a proper rate and not be on time. And I always entirely unpack my whole bag, then repack it. These are overkill solutions that force me into the serenity mindset. They do work for me, but only because over time I have eliminated a vast majority of my daily responsibilities. I have a nearly empty intended calendar now. The best thing about ADHD is knowing that I’m not supposed to take on extra responsibilities, and therefore giving myself the permission to say “no” to the various favors people want me to do for them.