Bridge the Gap
You have a lot you want to achieve, but overcoming obstacles is sometimes impeded by the “Wall of Awful” or gaps in the “Motivation Bridge”. When you get started on a project, you start to notice the increasing list of small things involved, and that in itself becomes overwhelming. So, what can you do? Start small.
Society puts pressure on being productive and getting a lot done. But that ideology is based on a neurotypical brain, which those with ADHD don’t have. A lot can be accomplished, but projects are a web of tasks in an ADHD brain, not a list (usually). The following are some examples of how to start small:
- Start with one shelf, bin, or box, no matter how small.
- Decide what to do with the objects inside. ADHD can make deciding where to start a very difficult thing, so if the child is struggling to decide, pick something for them to start with. Even a single block to put in a bin will encourage the child to not become frustrated. Turn it into a counting or race game if they’re resistant.
- For cleaning, the examples above can still apply- remember, start small.
- For homework, list out the things that need to be done in writing. The list can be a helpful reference for knowing what needs to be done, reducing anxiety over trying to remember. Work with the teen to decide what they are going to start with. Have them break the writing prompts and math problems into chunks to focus on at a time.
The suggestions for adults are the same, with the additional idea of not being afraid to ask for some help or guidance. As I write this post, I remember when I needed to organize a room and unpack my suitcase from a trip. Should I organize the room so the space is prepared for the contents of the suitcase, or do I empty the suitcase to consolidate the to-do list? I stood there, frozen, because I couldn’t decide. A family member told me where to start, and my anxiety instantly lowered.
Remember to celebrate that things are getting done. If you need a 5-minute break or some praise after sorting through a shoebox, then do what works for you. At least you got something done. Finishing everything could take longer, but the alternative is fighting your brain and we already know how that ends.
Attempting these ideas might help in theory, but you and your loved ones are individuals with your own needs and obstacles. At Sound Health Counseling Solutions, we’re here to help you manage ADHD. Reach out today to get started!