I need a manual override for my brain.
February 3, 2012 11:07 AM Subscribe
ADHD sufferers and busy types in general: how do you handle the mental transitioning between different projects, or areas of your life?
posted by gallusgallus to Work & Money (5 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
After some reshuffling at work, I'm for the first time having to deal with a dual-duty position. "Job A" involves managing a team project, with lots of communication and relatively easy, quick-turnaround tasks; "Job B" is a more difficult, longer-term individual project, requiring quite a bit of focus and creativity, and with almost no structure except what I generate myself. Unfortunately, the two require completely different mindsets and types of thinking-- when I'm doing A I feel as though I can hardly relate to being the person who does B, and vice versa.
This added responsibility has brought out my existing attention problems in a huge way. Given enough lead time, I'm actually capable of a decent level of hyperfocus; but I'm much more of a long-form than a short-form thinker (my ideal "unit of work" to devote to any single project would probably be on the order of days, rather than hours or minutes) and procrastination is a huge problem when I have to make frequent transitions between different types of work. Before, I could just about handle prioritizing more-important professional duties over less-important personal stuff; but now that I have two completely different, equally important types of work to think about, I've been unable to prioritize at all. In practice, what's been happening is that the immediate, concrete demands of A intrude constantly on my thoughts and keep me from ever buckling down to B at all.
Totally classic problem, I know: so my fellow flighty MeFites, have any of you found techniques that allow you to voluntarily place yourself in the "mental space" for a particular task, and to *stay* there instead of being pulled away by the various other legitimately important demands of your busy life? I can carve out a decent block of time for work on B, but I'd love to be able to hit the ground running, instead of spending precious hours cajoling myself to work and hauling my wayward brain back from distraction after distraction.
(Bear in mind that I already have problems with organization, willpower and procrastination, so realistically I'm probably looking for things more along the lines of "Try this simple meditation technique" than "Implement this complicated GTD system." And thanks so much!)