People without ADD would think some of the things that throw us off-course are ridiculous. But those of us who are ADD-ADHD know that these “silly” little things actually make a difference between us following through or not.
For example, I don’t enjoy writing or taking notes on wide-lined paper. There’s nothing rational about it; it’s just a preference. I like narrow-lined pads of paper, preferably a smooth surface, perforated at the top. It can be either white or yellow, the color doesn’t matter to me. Staples sells a brand like this in bulk, but I sometimes have to hunt for it. I’ve been frustrated when this brand isn’t in stock.
I just know I won’t write as productively or quickly on a different kind of paper. Annoyance over the paper will distract me.
Lots of my ADHD Coaching clients are similarly distracted or frustrated by not having the right color pen, hating the screen on their computer, not wanting use a calendar that doesn’t please them, or feeling unable to organize anything until they have the perfect color-coded files and labels.
You can label it “picky” or “perfectionist,” but the main point is simply to recognize that you ARE distracted and thrown off by these details. That’s important because if you want to be most productive and avoid procrastination, you’ll need these preferred tools and conditions set up in advance to ensure success.
When you have a moment, take a breath and think about your workplace or home. Imagine your ideal tools and supplies, and consider whether or not you have them available. If it’s within your financial grasp to get them, it might be worth it to do so, even if you have to spend a bit for what seems like a foolish purchase.
So, yes, buy those fine-line purple pens and colored folders that you crave — even though the office supplies cheap ball-points and manila folders for free. Consider it an investment in your career. Because time spent in non-productivity will cost you more in the long run. Besides, they’re tax deductible.
What silly little thing distracts YOU?