Living with ADHD…Imagine a Life Without Deadlines
So much of my life is spent looking through an ADHD lens I’m amazed at what I see when I get the occasional glimpse of the non-ADHD world. Wow. People really live like that?
This morning when my friend, Cindy, and I were talking on the phone I had one of those glimpses.
Cindy is an amazing woman. Without a drop of ADHD blood in her, she accomplishes more than just about anyone I’ve ever met.
Cindy does more than start projects. She finishes them.
Semi-retired, she gardens and cans the veggies she grows. She even drys her beans. Until I met Cindy I didn’t realize you could dry beans. Cindy sews quilts for veterans. She bakes bread. She grows grapes and makes raisins and wine. She organizes neighborhood yoga groups and throws parties.
If I didn’t like Cindy so much I’d hate her. But she does this all in a very casual, generous, low-key manner.
Anyway, this week Cindy is coordinating a project of gathering bedding to donate to a house for homeless veterans that’s opening in our community.
Today was our deadline for collecting the bedding.
As we were chatting about the deadline and when I’d get my stuff to her house, Cindy gave me a startling glimpse into her non-ADHD world.
Cindy said, “I don’t use deadlines for getting things done. Deadlines stress me out. I use a queue system. I keep a big list. Everything I want to do goes in the queue. I mark things off as I do them and when something rises to the top of the list (front of the queue) I do it.”
Wow, I thought! Imagine not needing a deadline. How do you get your brain stimulated so you can get into action and focus?
I even briefly considered whether a queue system would work for any of my ADHD coaching clients. I don’t thing it would.
ADHD isn’t really a lack of attention. It’s a lack of stimulation. The trick for getting someone living with ADHD into action is to provide their brain with stimulation.
And that’s precisely what a deadline does. It provides our brains with needed stimulation to kick into gear.
What do you think? Would a queue system work for you? I’d appreciate it if you’d share your thoughts in the comments below.