The ADHD Energy Rut

Sometimes I waste time. I’m not talking about an hour here and a few hours there, I’m talking about wasting serious time. Like spending an entire week going through the motions of being at the computer, but just managing to churn out the very minimum so that everything looks normal from the outside world. My intentions are awesome. Sometimes my to-do lists are bordering on inspirational. But still, time passes and I can’t seem to find that momentum to really plug away for results. I’m not depressed, but I struggle to actually begin new things, and might find myself organizing my desk and attempting to create the “perfect” conditions to get started. The to-do’s pile up and feel like a big brick wall that I need to get through…  and my brain is on a loop saying “Okay, go NOW… no? Okay…go NOW”

When I do finally find that momentum I can go into overdrive and work crazy long days (including workouts and social time too). Do you know where this is going? Yes… I ride that wave of momentum until I burn out and then I go back into the rut which feels like a dead zone.

What Changed?

Well, everything changed last Monday when, for the first time ever, I acknowledged and openly admitted to this rut thing. I was honest about how unproductive I was actually being and this made me realize that I’ve been going through these patterns of crazy momentum and dips for a long time. It would seem that it has become such second nature to conceal it from the world, that by extension I’ve been hiding from myself. How could I not see this obvious textbook ADD behaviour that I have identified and worked on with clients? Self awareness can be a funny thing.

But here is why I am excited… naming this and being open to a true examination of my patterns freed all of the energy I needed to swing right out of the rut! I must have been making a huge effort masking these patterns. I feel light and energized, but I also know that I need to work on managing my energy.

How I will Guard from Future Ruts

Here are some of the tactics that I am going to employ in order to better understand, and guard against the wild swinging tides of ADHD energy and ruts. Not counting Other the usual cure-alls of regular exercise/sleep/reasonable working hours.

  • I am not going to try to compensate for my most recent productivity rut and go into a compete guilt driven overdrive
  • I’m going to track my productivity and see if there is any tie-in to my cycle since we know that hormones can exacerbate ADHD symptoms
  • Since I always work during weekends I’m going to schedule rejuvenation time mid-week for a half day whenever possible and do something away from screens guilt free
  • If I feel a rut coming on I will immediately tell some people who will be able to hold me accountable and check in for the next 2 days – maybe I will even share here

Will keep you posted on any findings!