No matter whether you are inattentive or hyperactive, adults with ADHD are always in motion.
Whether physically or mentally we are always busy, engaged, seldom ever reflecting. We move from one activity to the next without much conscious thought. This is part of the reason why we fail to call our friends, makes plans, do the chores – we are always actively seeking the next interesting activity, thought, conversation or task – we don’t pause!
There is much to be gained from pausing. But you must learn to self observe and notice your transitions first. Watch yourself as you move from one task to the next. How many transitions take place like you’re on autopilot.
Thankfully you can break out of auto-pilot and it’s quite simple. It does mean paying attention though. Try to pay attention to your many transitions through the day. When you leave the house in the morning, when you start your email, when you take a coffee, when you ignore the time and stay an extra hour, when you pass over your expenses for email. Each is a transition demands an earlier decision – “what shall I do next”. There are hundreds of transitions in your normal day and hundreds of decisions too.
So when we transition, we are making a decision to change task. It’s perhaps a brief, maybe barely perceptible decision but there is a choice to start something new. When transitions take place without conscious awareness – that’s not always good. Important life decisions are taken by your impulsive auto-pilot, when you dive into the next most stimulating task. Long term goals are ignored.
Initially it is not easy noticing these transitions, but slowly you’ll become more conscious. After a few days, you’ll really see how long you reflect on your choices:
- did you leap at the next interesting task and ignore the important one?
- did you even consider the important one?
- did you consider tasks for the week ahead?
- did you check a calendar or task list?
- how quickly did you think, before you acted?
Pause and reflect
Once your awareness grows of these transitions, you can choose to pause, to defer the next task, and to reflect on your choices. The longer you reflect, the more criteria you can consider. When you consider the next task, ask is this task in my best interests, would another task better serve me. Reflect on options, on the future, on goals and requirements before you make the next transition.
Try pausing and reflecting, maybe there is a more valuable, rewarding and beneficial task or activity that you could be doing right now.