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ADHD Makes Consistency Tough But Not Impossible

Staying consistent can be a challenge for anyone. However, staying consistent can be especially difficult for those affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

I Abandon Almost Everything I Start

Historically, my own experience of ADHD has made consistency difficult. I literally can't remember how many hobbies or interests I've started and abandoned over the years. I'm not delusional; I know it's unlikely I would have become a virtuoso violinist if only I hadn't deserted music class in early childhood.

So, I try and limit hypothetical daydreaming. Instead, I adopt certain behaviours to mitigate the threat of giving up on things too early, and to maintain a satisfactory level of consistency across both professional and personal aspects of my life.

Nobody Leaps Up Mountains

I understand the concept of incremental improvements. I know that small actions, performed often, lead to significant achievements in the long term. However, as basic as this idea is, I often have to remind myself of its truth. If I don't, then apathy, impulsivity, and the search for novelty can supplant my efforts at consistency.

I'm Vigilant in My Efforts at Consistency Because of ADHD

Remaining vigilant is mildly annoying, but it isn't too difficult. If I catch myself backsliding, I correct things through self-talk and critical thinking. If I indulge in faulty rationale to avoid tasks, I call myself out on it. Not literally, but internally. In essence, I ask myself if a thought process is sound or unsound.

For example, when I sit down to write, I sometimes find myself on YouTube instead of Google Docs. "What's the big deal," I ask myself, "I have all day to write. This documentary is interesting. I shouldn't flit between tasks; I should finish one thing before I start another."

I Correct Unsound Thinking to Achieve Consistency with ADHD

To me, the thought process in the preceding paragraphs represents unsound thinking. To counter this sophistry, my internal response might counter it by pointing out that I hadn't sat down to watch an interesting documentary; I had sat down to write. I'll gently steer myself towards the task by acknowledging the importance of deferring gratification in favor of maintaining a consistent schedule. I'll remind myself that I can watch the interesting documentary after I've finished my work.

The part of me that wants to watch interesting documentaries all day can't see how small steps add up to great things. Given complete control, this part of me would never study, work out, conduct research, or tidy the apartment. That's one type of consistency I can do without.

Do you find it difficult to be consistent because of ADHD? Let me know in the comments.

APA Reference
Thomas, M. (2022, May 24). ADHD Makes Consistency Tough But Not Impossible, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, July 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingwithadultadhd/2022/5/adhd-makes-consistency-tough-but-not-impossible



Author: Michael Thomas Kincella

Find Michael on Twitter, Reddit, and his website.

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