submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by PointyDorito to c/adhd

Recently, I've noticed a pattern where I work extremely hard when I'm catching up on things or behind in some way. However, the moment I create a comfortable lead in life, I proceed to waste the next few days until its gone. All drive is gone, even if I have ideas of things I can do to move forward. Is there any advice anyone can give on maintaining that lead and finding motivation to keep moving when you get ahead on your goals and responsibilities.

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[-] balancedchaos 21 points 2 months ago

I almost need that adrenaline rush of being behind to focus me.

Also, this post is making me realize that this could be a feature of my (undiagnosed but 99.9% certain) ADHD.

[-] _wizard 4 points 2 months ago

Same. The repercussions from procrastination is my my motivation.

[-] [email protected] 12 points 2 months ago

You sometimes need rest? Don't try to work harder, try to work less. Your body and brain might be telling you it's recovery time.

I know I can force myself to be more productive, and can work really hard, and will eventually reach burnout, because I force myself to work hard really efficiently. So yes, I found some ADHD brainhack to study, work, raise a kid and tend a small farm, all at same time. It worked great for about 7 years, then my energy was depleted.

Nowadays the only thing I'll get busy for is fighting for the 4-day work week and against the productivity myths people tell themselves.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

Not really, but I think it probably starts with trying to be more aware of where the productivity blitz you're in the middle of is stress-induced, reflecting on what you're feeling in that moment, and trying to remember those feelings and internal reasonings at times when you want to be motivated but aren't feeling it.

For me it's a lot more helpful and impactful when it's a self-realisation vs. someone telling me the same thing, so it might sound silly or nebulous coming from someone else, but just have a go at practicing more mindfulness and go from there - eventually you'll be in the hardworking phase of the cycle while also being aware of that, while you're experiencing the feelings that cause you to be in that phase, and then later you can get to examining 'why'. It might not reverse the instincts you've learned over a lifetime, but it can help

[-] [email protected] 9 points 2 months ago

I'm sorry to be counterproductive here, so feel free to stop reading here if you don't want an alternative, contrarian perspective.

I personally see no intellectual reason to "stay ahead". The whole concept behind "staying ahead" or "catching up", of goals and responsibilities, is pretty much bogus. What happens if you reach a goal? You don't feel satisfied, you find a new goal. Repeat forever. You're never "done". Then you die.

I don't know what exactly you're trying to stay ahead of. But for me, life took an entirely new turn for the better when I stopped caring about responsibilities and goals. Of course, if you're literally dying, that's not quite possible. But most people have so many goals and responsibilities that are not at all, not even remotely, critical for anything. They're self-imposed shackles.

Just for example (this may not apply to you). Who cares if there's a pile of laundry? What does it actually impact? It's the societal norm to not have a cloth pile lying around. Most of the time, for many people, the clothes in the clothes pile are not actually dirty. If you smell them, they smell neutral. No visible stains. Many people still have plenty clothes to wear when they do laundry. Why exactly do these clothes have to be washed now, why not when it becomes actually necessary? This is what my ADHD brain thinks. And I can just give in to it. I know that when I have nothing to wear anymore, it'll be like "alright, now it's urgent enough to actually do something". It's not as "nice" or "responsible" or "orderly" as other people do it, but it gets the job done. And there's absolutely no stress, as long as you don't care about what other people think. Everything just happens as it naturally would for me.

Idk, maybe I'm not making sense here. But "managing" my ADHD started going much better when I stopped managing it, and simply embraced goals and responsibilities not happening like they would for other people. Sure, I don't get nearly "as much done" as other people... But will that really matter in the end?

[-] [email protected] 8 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

(insert confused Carl meme with caption "you guys can get ahead??")

I feel you, I have been facing the same issue pretty much my whole life, the last 3 years I have been able to identify it and make some progress. I am not in a perfect state, not even a good one, but I am making progress and I am happy with it.

For me, the problem was trying to catch up. My pattern involved the following cycle:

  1. I would feel I am "behind" and the guilt would start to build up.
  2. The guilt would get so bad that I would start doing the things.
  3. As I was catching up, the guilt would decrease, and I would start feeling the exhaustion building up.
  4. I would try to power through until I would crash and go into a state of depression.
  5. Repeat from step 1.

In other words, I was exhausting myself while trying to catch-up, when I was finally ahead the guilt wouldn't be enough to motivate me anymore, and I would crash.

Changing my outlook helped a lot. Instead of trying to catch-up, now I am aiming for consistenxy. This is really hard, as it involves taking a break when I need to even if it means "getting behind". When I changed my outlook my productivity decreased considerably and it took a few months to get at an acceptable state. I tried to be patient, keeping records helped a lot as I was able to see the improve from one week to another.

Recognising my rest needs is really hard, I just don't feel it untill my brain goes absolutely numb. Keeping a journal has helped me analyze my behaviours and recognise my limits. I try to respect those limits by being proactive and schedule rest days before I crash.

Ultimately, this is my experience and yours may be different. Some general guidelines would be to try to take things one step at the time and rely on your journal because your memory is not a reliable source of information.

PS I fucking hate journaling, it's the worst things ever, and having to rely so much on it drives me crazy.

[-] Dr_Nik 6 points 2 months ago

Are you taking anything for your ADHD? In some cases, your own adrenaline is acting like a stimulant medication and helping you focus. This could be a sign that you need to increase your dose or that you need some to begin with.

For me (unmedicated) I actually have a workout routine of 30 min of vigorous activity every other day which gives me enough of a natural stimulant boost to stay focused, but your milage may vary.

[-] PointyDorito 2 points 2 months ago

Yep, I've been on medication for a year. The one I'm currently on has been a couple months. I'll consider asking for an increased dose, since I'll be getting a refill this week anyways. Thank you for the perspective.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

This video helped me more than I could have ever imagined with what you described. It helps me understand waaaaay better what's going on in my brain.


[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

Here is an alternative Piped link(s):


Piped is a privacy-respecting open-source alternative frontend to YouTube.

I'm open-source; check me out at GitHub.

[-] OogieBoogieMan 3 points 2 months ago

I'm in need of the same thing. I try to convince myself to just take baby steps regardless and hope it'll build momentum. The track record is not great though

this post was submitted on 21 Mar 2024
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