Did you say ADHD Paralysis?
ADHD Paralysis was the bane of my existence. One day, in grad school, I had a paper due at midnight. I finished dinner at around 5:00 and figured I would spend five minutes checking Facebook before finishing up the assignment (Wait! Who am I trying to kid here! “Finishing up the assignment?” I hadn’t even started it). So, I went on Facebook, read a couple of posts, wrote a couple of comments, and decided it was time to get started. I looked at my clock and noticed that it was 11:45 PM! I now had 15 minutes to research and write a paper about some obscure point in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Ahhhhhhhh!
Luckily though, I am a sweet talker and was able to talk the professor into letting me turn the paper in late, but I had to look at what was going on. I’ve had other times when I just seemed to sit around, apparently daydreaming, while my mind was playing through scenarios of what I needed to get done during the day! If thinking were doing, I would be the model of efficiency, but alas, thinking is not doing!
I started to investigate how this paralysis could be avoided. I spent every waking hour looking for a solution (Well, every waking hour when I wasn’t paralyzed, or distracted, or just plain doing something else… I guess that really makes “every waking hour” into about 37 minutes for the entire day) and found out what helps me to mitigate the paralysis:
1. Listen to Music
The ADHD brain, I am told, requires stimulation. If it cannot get the stimulation from the task at hand, it will stimulate itself with thoughts or by drawing one to distraction and ADHD Paralysis, so I listened to music that energized me; it provided me with the outside stimulus I needed to concentrate. Now for me, that was punk rock: strong beat and very chaotic. I wrote a dissertation to the sounds of The Ramones, The Clash, Blondie, The B52s, and the Sex Pistols.
Nothing better than a brisk walk or a set of pushups to drive ADHD Paralysis away! When the excercise is away, the squirells will play! Exercise gets the juices flowing. When I start feeling paralyzed, I exercise and get energized, so I feel right on my game and in action. It has the added benefit of better health and a longer life
3. Use the Pomodoro System
I find the Pomodoro System to be a very effective tool when battling ADHD Paralysis. The Pomodoro System is a timing system where you work on a task for a fixed amount of time and then break for a set amount of time. For example, you work in a 25-minute sprint, take a five-minute break, wash, rinse, and repeat. You throw in half-hour breaks every once in a while to break the monotony. During the break, get up and be in motion.
4. Be forgiving of yourself as well as others.
Reality check, your mind will wander off, and no matter what, there will be times when you sit there out of focus in ADHD Paralysis. When that happens, it doesn’t mean you are a loser, it doesn’t mean you are lazy, it doesn’t mean you are worthless (all that has gone through my own head when that happens). You don’t want to get on that train! Just get up, grab your favorite soft drink, and then refocus.
5. Have lots of fun.
ADHD Paralysis fun? I may not be able to choose what I deal with, but I can choose whether or not I am having fun doing so. My brain stays much more active when I am having fun doin’ it. Anything can be made to be fun… even cleaning the cat box!!! When I look at the dread of doing something, the chances are less of it happening than if I make it fun. This is why there are so many puns and double entendre in my articles. Remember, all work, and no play makes Jeff a dull doctor
Want peace of mind pulverizing your ADHD Paralysis while skyrocketing your productivity? Do my workshop https://getinfocusworkshop.drgetinfocus.com/
Dr Jeff is not a licenced therapist but a PhD who has helped many with practical tips to deal with internal or external distractions and lack of focus. If you are looking for a therapist to help with your ADHD please click here: ADHD Resources