For ADD-ers: How do you set up your morning in order to stay productive?
December 21, 2013 1:09 PM Subscribe
I currently have a sporadic work schedule for a job that I would like to quit as soon as I land something better. On my days off, I know that I need to be filling in the extra days with productive stuff such as finding a new job. And on occasion I am successful! But more often than not, a misstep in the morning tends to snowball and leads to an entire morning - or even day - wasted. I'd like to know how other people who suffer from ADD or impulsivity were able to beat back their morning bad habits, or even reform them into good ones.
posted by Kamelot123 to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
Along with my primarily inattentive ADD I tend to be impulsive in many areas of my life. This has gotten me into trouble in the past; I have missed deadlines for work and school due to my habit of doing what's comfortable for me in my free time instead of what would stress me out. I'm fine when I'm sticking to a concrete schedule, but if I do not have anything scheduled or have a little leeway then I get stuck.
Let me give an example of my usual internal thought process on my days off:
7:00 AM: Rise and shine! I need to keep busy today, but let's have that cup of joe first.
7:15 AM: This coffee is something else. Yum. I'll job hunt/exercise/work on my novel/make plans with a friend/go xmas shopping/etc like I was planning to soon, but let's play just one game of online chess first. But I am done (and I mean DONE!) at 8:00 AM sharp.
8:02 AM: Ahh. That game dragged on a bit longer than I thought. It's past 8:00 AM. And I (won/lost). That (rocks/stinks). I'll play just one more (since I am on a roll/so I can avenge my defeat).
9:02 AM-12:00 PM: I (won/lost). That (rocks/stinks). I'll play just one more (since I am on a roll/so I can avenge my defeat).
Somewhere between 12:01 and 3:00 PM: Oh yeah. Doh.
Sometimes it's not chess. Sometimes it's news articles. Sometimes its Youtube videos. I usually haven't realized how much time has passed, and get in a bad mood that carries on throughout the day which doesn't help things any. ("You don't have any willpower! You stink!")
I also have a proclivity towards all-or-nothing thinking, where I continue to make bad choices after the first one since "I already screwed up anyway." This is why I feel that it is important to get started on the right foot in the morning so the rest of the day goes well.
What really bugs me is that these traps I set for myself to fall into lead me into activities that are usually solitary, often require little thought (I know you have to think in chess, but I have been playing for so long that I am comfortable with this kind of thinking) and not beneficial to me in the long run - at least if I was writing, composing or nurturing relationships I'd have something to show for it.
I intellectually understand my problem, but cannot seem to stick to anything unless I wake up thinking about it, which I have a difficult time doing. I bought a dry-erase board with a calendar, and am going to try setting up a self-imposed schedule for days off to see if I can 'trick' my brain into focusing on what I would like it to.
For those who have had similar problems: How did set up your morning so that you are able to stay on task and get what you would like accomplished? On days where I am able to avoid getting stuck on something frivolous in the morning I can get a lot done. I'd like some tips on how to make these days more of a constant in my life.