True confessions: There is suddenly a lot of activity on my blog because a colleague and I have challenged each other to create one blog entry each day for this entire week. We agreed to that challenge last Saturday, and in two days we’ll put our heads together and see what that experience was like for each of us. I am quite sure that without the challenge and agreement, I would never have written all of these posts.
A challenge like this might motivate lots of so-called “neurotypical” folks, but I suspect it is an even more powerful tool for those of us with ADHD. We are much more motivated by external factors as opposed to internal, so if we want to get moving, to overcome inertia, or deal with difficulty transitioning from one activity to another, a challenge from another person could be a good strategy to help us over the hump. (We don’t always need another person to challenge us. We can challenge ourselves, but we’d need to take the challenge as seriously as if we were accountable to someone else.)
Life with ADHD is a bit like being our own living, breathing science experiment. Each of us is unique. While we can learn from what we read or hear about how other ADDers have dealt with a particular challenge, the proof is in what actually works for us. If there is an area where we would like to be behaving or thinking differently, we need to watch what we are doing and where things seem to go off the rails. If we’re not so good at noticing what is going on for ourselves (also fairly common among ADDers), we might ask a trusted friend to give us feedback on what seems to be happening.
Based on our research, we come up with hypotheses and theories and ultimately strategies that we test in real life to see if they have the desired results. This week I have been watching myself for the effects of a challenge to write a blog post each day and post it by midnight each night. So far it’s looking like the challenge has encouraged me to do something I had not been able to do previously. If I successfully post another entry tomorrow night, it will be time to record those results in my lab/life journal so I remember that it could be an effective strategy in a future situation.