Tuesday, October 14, 2008


For ADDers, initiating and finishing tasks are great challenges. For the non-ADDers, simple tasks, even if they are tedious, they can be accomplished with less effort. They can make lists, check items off daily, and use organizers. These typical procedures usually don’t work for ADDers ( For example, this blog has been on the top of my list for several days, and there have been many distractions before actually writing it). Actually, for the ADDer, just writing a list is reinforcing enough, with the ADDers having the illusion that the task is already accomplished!
Importantly, the arousal level is generally low for anyone doing a tedious task, but even lower for ADDers, who craves stimulation and can’t get started. Furthermore, the ADDer has a poor conception of time, and usually underestimates the time needed. Finally, there are many distractions and diversions that help avoid starting and completing tasks.

Now, what would help the ADDer? First, the time estimated to complete the task should be doubled, since time is generally underestimated. Once the time is figured out, the task can be broken into smaller chunks. Also, the ADDer needs to specify to himself the time of day he is most likely to do a tedious task. Often, I leave a task for after 8:P.M., knowing at some level, I will be too tired to do it. Now I’m trying to learn to do tedious tasks in the late morning or afternoon, when my arousal level is highest, and when I’m most likely to feel like doing it.

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