Finding the Interest
I find myself often thinking about how the ADHD nervous system guides my day-to-day life.
It's important to understand what really motivates us.
The basic idea is that we are often motivated by interest, challenge, novelty/creativity, or urgency. Unfortunately, this means we are not motivated by importance, rewards, or consequences—which is how most of the world operates.
(You can read more about this here: The ADHD Nervous System)
People often ask me things like, "So how do I fix this? How do I get interested in something that is important but boring?"
The trick is to try and inject these into the work.
Our brains are good at finding creative ways to approach a problem. Use this to your advantage by adding an interesting spin on a boring task. Don't be afraid if it creates a bit more work—the focused attention often makes it worth it.
Timers are my absolute favorite way to add urgency or challenge to a task. The Pomodoro Technique (25 minutes of work followed by 5 minute breaks) consistently helps me stay focused. And you can challenge yourself to go the entire 25 minutes without checking your phone/email/etc once.
It seems silly but it really works for me.
Have you found any clever ways to inject interest, challenge, novelty, or urgency into difficult tasks? I'd love to hear them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Until next week.
Jesse J. Anderson
This Sunday, May 9th, is Mother's Day in the United States. Show some love to the mothers in your life.
🎧🏸 My Journey of ADHD and Finding Focus. This week I did a quick interview with @reddy2go on Racket, a new micro audio platform with a recording limit of 9 minutes. Give it a quick listen to hear a bit more about my personal journey with ADHD. And you can listen to me fail to land a half-finished thought in the final seconds as 9 minutes ran out. 😂
🎥🧠 Top 10 Executive Function Tips. In this video, Seth Perler shares tips on how to improve difficulties with executive function. It's geared toward students, but there are lots of great nuggets of advice here whether or not you're a student.
Quote of the week
People with ADHD often have a special feel for life, a way of seeing right into the heart of matters, while others have to reason their way methodically.
— Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.