Friday, May 23, 2008

Week Three in Progress: My Greatest Obstacle Is Myself

So far this has been an excellent project to undertake.

Running out of timeFor those who have not been following along all month, I have decided to do something about my Multi-Irons Syndrome once and for all. I have deliberately picked two projects — one paying, one private — and set them as the ONLY projects I will allow myself to work on. This is a very difficult task for somebody like me with an ADHD brain so terrified of tedium that it commits me to at least 39 new and exciting projects each and every morning before I've had my breakfast.

As I make mental notes of when I become distracted, what caused it, and what type of distraction it was, I've identified a few more distractions in my life to add to the list. Each one plays its part to block me from success. My goal is to figure out how to manage these distractions so I can get busy doing what I want to be doing:

  1. It is really difficult just to pick ONE task to work on. Here I am considering what I want to do with my life and how I'm going to focus so that I spend my precious time working on the goals of my heart, and I can't make up my mind. My problem is I want to do everything. I don't want to pick just one task even knowing I won't have time to achieve any of the three goals I set out for myself. The ADHD component of this is that each goal I want to meet presses upon me with the same amount of intensity. It is hard to separate whim from heartfelt desire.

  2. One thing that really messes with my mojo is family life. With a 16, 13, 9, and 6 year old at home, there are wide and diverse distractions every moment of every day — all of which make it hard to build momentum. One way I get through the ADHD fog is to immerse myself into a project, but if I'm responsible for caretaking I cannot afford that immersion.

  3. My addiction to information reveals itself in the form of habitual news reading. Obviously, I must kick this habit. I have ordered "When Too Much Isn't Enough: Ending the Destructive Cycle of AD/HD and Addictive Behavior" by Wendy Richardson to that end. I'll review the book after it arrives and I've had a chance to test it.

  4. The last item I am starting to see as a serious roadblock to my success is my insomnia. This, too, is going to need greater analysis.

All things considered, however, having only two goals to work on has been beneficial even with sundry distractions. I have enjoyed working on my Benjamin Fudge book. It is nearly completed. In fact, I will have the first draft finished this weekend. With the week long writer's workshop coming up next month, I need this book at a good stopping point. When I began the month I was not certain which manuscript I would be bringing. Now that I am officially enrolled in Brandon Sanderson's class I need to prepare my middle grade novel. I only need to have two chapters of that ready for the workshop. Since I already have them finished I find myself in the unusual position of being prepared weeks early. This gives me plenty of time to further work on my story time line, gather my notes, prepare other ideas for the class, turn my sleep schedule around, etc. Although the early morning time of each class has me more than a little bit worried, I am otherwise extremely excited about this opportunity.

My website project, on the other hand, has been stalled of late. I am hoping to kick it into gear today with the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. The distractions and obstacles I have mentioned have all played their part in keeping me from tackling this project. I have finished my research and have had an excellent client meeting. I need to begin the design phase next, and have found myself in limbo waiting for my software updates to arrive. I am not discouraged, however. Everything I discover this month is going to benefit me in the long run. Starting next month I will begin tackling each ADHD hang up one at a time. If I don't discover information of general use for my blog readers, at the very least I can apply these coping strategies to my current assignment and make it a positive experience.

All in all, a great experiment. I have loved reading all your comments and apologize for not responding to them as promptly as I would like. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I wish you luck, too, in your endeavors to master yourself and take back your life from ADHD and Depression.

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