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Mar 22

When your activation temperature is approaching absolute zero, whaddaya do?

One of the most common problems that my friends with ADHD (and me too) tell me they have is getting motivated. They have things that they want to do but they just can’t make themselves do them. (Actually, delete that word “just” from the previous sentence. See a later blog post.) We all talk about this as a problem of motivation but actually it’s more like a problem of activation. Once you get going, on practically anything, you can almost always get going on something else. The something else is likely to be something that you ought to do but don’t really want to do, but it could be something that’s enjoyable but that  just doesn’t instantly grip you at that moment.

So what to do?

My answer is to go for a walk. It’s actually a rule. IF can’t decide what to do THEN go for a walk.

Obviously it’s good for you, right? It gets the blood flowing, gets some fresh air into your lungs, it gets you into a different environment, it gets the activation and alertness levels up instantly because somehow the world just impinges on your senses so much more noisily when you’re outside. Even if it’s cold and raining outside, I still feel better. It might be because I’m stomping around having an argument with myself or my imaginary friends 🙂 — actually, they’re usually my imaginings of real people and the arguments are purely hypothetical — or, more usually, it’s because my attention is on something else – the outside world – and no longer on the world going around inside my head.

And then usually the tasks I want to/have to do magically organise themselves into three or four groups and then I know what I’m going to do first when I get back home.

Do you find this rule useful, or do you have similar rules of your own that tell you what to do when you’re in the pit of inactivation? Do tell in the comments below.