Activating is one of the greatest challenges and most misunderstood elements of the ADHD struggle. It is especially challenging since it is a time we open ourselves to self-loathing and criticism.
“Lazy…Lack of Discipline…”
Images of our drill sergeant or 5th grade teacher can come to mind. Activating for a task is really a transition event for the brain shifting from a planning or review state into an action state.
Transitions, Time, and Trust
To shift with purpose from planning and inaction to action, we need activation. For activation, we need motivation. To activate for our Big Rocks we need to summon two seemingly unrelated resources: time and trust.
Time - for setting aside time, energy and attention (TEA) Trust - that the time spent will be of value
People with ADHD challenges treat time like a commodity like anyone else, but as ‘Masters of the Immediate’ we struggle with placing an actual value on ‘time futures’. We may set aside the time in our calendar, but a lack of trust in how we spend the time can have us continually pushing off the Big Rocks.
Coping, Coping, Coping, Diversify
Over years of trial and error we develop coping mechanisms to be productive. We do what needs to be done to make things happen. We become masters of the deadline and rely heavily on urgency as our chief prioritization and motivation tool. This coping mechanism serves us well as we take care of the daily list and move the small - but necessary - items down the road. But, this approach will not address the big rocks that lay dormant on the shoulder of our roadway.
Activating the Big Rocks
This week, as you view your Big Rock items, inject a little trust into the mix and let go of the perfect outcome. Don’t expect Big Rock dominance in one day. Would you expect to compete at the highest levels of the PGA after one day at the driving range? Diversifying motivators takes time, creativity and trust.