My brain is such an asshole sometimes. Information comes in and disappears so fast, I feel like Guy Pearce in Memento. I need to write things down within 10, maybe 15 seconds or they disappear.
So here I am, writing a blog post while I know I’m supposed to be doing something else, but I just can’t remember what. I even have an active list today, with a bunch of stuff on it. But whatever this one item is, it’s been lost in the ether.
I’m sure anyone with ADHD can identify and is probably yelling “PREACH” right about now. This blog isn’t so much a sermon as it is screaming into the vast open wilderness of the internet and waiting for my echo. Maybe there’ll be a bounce back and I’ll here my voice whisper that lost item on my to do list, but there’s an even better chance that I won’t remember it until some random time, or even better, after it should’ve been done. I mean, if it had a deadline, I really can’t tell.
So what do you do? What do you do to calm the choppy waters of an easily distracted brain? I try my best to write things down. Make lists. Tattoo them backwards on my body so I can read them in the mirror. Wait, that wasn’t me. But I do make lots of lists.
I find that writing by hand on paper helps drive home thoughts, ideas, concepts, and responsibilities in a way no digital note taking app or program ever has. Believe me, I’ve tried enough. I’ve spent enough money on ways to organize, fancy notebooks, apps, color coding, color coded tabs, folders, files, and every other thing that helps normal people stay organized to know that none of it works for me. I use two things. A Franklin Covey planner (my splurge item) and composition books. So many composition books. Everywhere. Stacks of them.
Composition books, for some reason, make me feel like I’m doing something important. I don’t know if there’s even a reason to feel that way, but it’s where I am. Sometimes just buying them makes me feel like I’ve done something productive and useful. I try not to do that too often, because there’s no use in buying new ones when I haven’t filled the twenty or so I already have.
To me, composition books are a cheap and effective way to manage things. They’re not too expensive, so I don’t feel bad wasting some space in them when I’m off track. They’re not too cheap, so I don’t have to worry about them falling apart because I can’t take care of my things. It’s a nice middle balance with an attractive marble cover. I recommend it to everyone.
The other thing I have is a Franklin Covey planner. Now these things aren’t cheap. I bought the cheapest one I could find, and still felt guilty. Then you have to buy the actual pages. Good thing is you can reuse the binder and switch out the pages, and you can also keep useful pages while throwing out the rest. I do decent with a planner, though sometimes I might set it down for a week and forget about it. But I keep picking it back up, because that’s all you can do. Put the effort in.
ADHD is a weird affliction. It really makes me feel like I have the brain of a child. I hold onto useless facts, I start conversations like I’m already half into it and no one knows what I’m talking about, I’m told things and forget almost before the sentence is finished.
On the other hand, it allows me to hyper focus on things I’ve taken interest in. I can devote serious concentration and time into things I love, and get really good at them really fast. Of course, I don’t always get to pick what that thing is. I’m just glad that bonsai tree idea didn’t stick.
I’ve just been wandering in this post a bit, I haven’t had much point. I’m just sharing a little about what day to day Tim is like. Hopefully someone reading this will say “holy shit, I do the same thing!” And if I’m REAL lucky, something I wrote will help someone. In the meantime, I’m going to try to figure out what the fuck I was supposed to do today.