adhd, work, rambling
still thinking on the notion of what would it be like to live with adhd if I just take it as a part of who I am rather than something to be corrected.
one tip you’re told in academia is to ‘follow the lilt’. that means to work on projects that you currently find yourself being enthusiastic about. the issues with butterfly brain are that
1) my lilt refuses to stay bound to within important, useful ,or work-relevant subjects, and indeed seems to resent and actively reject those reasons in favour of intrinsic motivation; and
2) my lilt is as intense as it is short-lived.
today, for example, my interest was on how to go about mounting orchids (grow them on a slab of wood or rock, as they do in nature, unrestricted by pots). I could tell you a lot right now about different, conflicting approaches to mounted orchid watering, strategies for humidity retention, which genera are easier and so on. there is no reason at all why I should know these things or be reading on them rn; I might not even ever risk mounting an orchid (they need watering every day—scary!), and even if I do, I’d only try in spring.
but following the lilt feels good. I rarely feel as satisfied as when I learned one of those things that my brain wanted for no reason. I’m inclined to think that it’s one of the few things that make life worth living, along with sharing time with loved ones and destroying capitalism. maybe I should just accept that I won’t ever work on a single thing for any length of time, that any personal project will be abandoned half-finished as soon as the challenging (=fun) part is over, that my habit tracker works best looking like a single item ‘did whatever my mind was inclined to today’, everyday. how would life feel like if you actively _chased_ that high? if I logged with pride rather than shame, ‘today I learned a lot about mounted orchids’?
the little snag being ofc that if I can’t prioritise tasks regardless of fickle interest levels, I will end up unemployed, unable to feed the children, and deported.
ideally one would set aside some work time for obligatory tasks, then use leisure time to follow the lilt. the nature of the lilt makes this very challenging – it’s often pulling the strongest when I have _just_ said to myself, ‘ok I should do this work thing before 18h’ (and, perversely, the lilt may go away as soon the clock hits 18h). the methods to engage with the obligatory tasks are probably the same as for everybody (break into small steps, pomodoros etc.), but I still find all that very challenging, and I really hope medication+specialised therapy helps cause things are looking dire. but at the very least for stuff that I do for myself, as opposed to tasks imposed externally, there’s no reason I should feel guilty for jumping from one infatuation to the next as fast as I please.
one thing my therapist suggested for work tasks is to have a list of all the things that are mandatory for me to do, and switch between them as soon as I feel bored with one. this is structured procrastination; it has worked for me in the past, but that rebellion perversity means I will often cycle between them in precisely the reverse order of importance. I have to find some way to defeat this tendency, for the sake of my own future incl. physical safety…
Elilla’s personal server.