Psychology and Mental Wellness: Moving Forward Doesn’t Happen All at Once!

I'll be the first to admit that I suck at so-called multitasking.

In fact, I've been somewhat inclined to think that there is no such thing as multitasking, just an ability to sequentially jump from task to task to task with such swiftness that it looks like you're actually working on multiple things, concurrently.

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That said, I often work on many different projects ”at the same time."

Maybe that sounds like a contradiction, but I'm definitely not multitasking! It's just that I work best when I spend relatively limited amount of time focusing on one aspect of one thing, then call myself "done" for the moment, move on to work at a different thing for a while and so on and so forth.

Which is a fancy way of saying that (A) I have a short little span of attention and try to accommodate that as best I can while still being effective and (B) I've never been particularly good at starting some task or project and working nonstop on the same thing from beginning through the middle to the end. I just run out of enthusiasm pretty quickly... and when I lack enthusiasm?

Snails move so much faster than I do...

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Adaptation...

To compensate, I'm often moving several large projects or plans forward in tandem. Periodically, it looks really impressive to observers because I might — through no deliberate planning on my part — suddenly finish several fairly substantial projects or tasks all at the same time, or very close to at the same time.

I never really gave this particular personality quirk much thought until a friend asked me — maybe a couple of decades ago — why I was starting some new project before I had finished another one that I was working on.

My answer went something like ”I do it to keep interested in what I'm doing and not grow bored.”

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The thing that surprises quite a few people is the fact that I don't actually enjoy having a lot of loose ends in my life. I'd much rather just be done.

Some people don't quite finish their jobs or tasks because they don't like the state of ”having done” something, they only like the state of ”being in the middle of doing.” I'm definitely not one of those! I very much enjoy having done... because having done means that I get to relax and do something I want to do! Or better yet, not having to do anything at all!

All other things being equal, I think I would make a very fine "idler." Alas, I have never had the opportunity to spend much time idling...

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The "Adult ADHD" Factor

Of course part of what I'm describing here is simply the state of being an adult living with ADHD, and who has steadfastly refused to ”treat” his life with pharmaceuticals. Instead, I have chosen to try my best to understand how my mind works, with all its weird quirks, and then try to structure my life to accommodate that so that I can still be productive without having to become some zoned out zombie.

Can you tell that I don't think much of pharmaceutical intervention?

Don't get me wrong, meds do have their place for some people, particularly if they are needed to ”anchor” a person for long enough that they can develop some effective coping strategies that allows them to function without being dependent on the meds. After all, you have to start somewhere.

Anyway, today I found myself starting up multiple projects side-by-side, and it made me remember this old conversation of many years ago. Not much has changed...

Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your week!

How about YOU? How do you prefer to address your work/projects/tasks? Start to finish, one at a time? Work in bits and pieces on multiples, side by side? Or something completely different? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!

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Created at 20220404 23:55 PDT

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@denmarkguy I identify with you, I prefer to close issues than to have many tasks in process, I feel that I am more productive when I carry out my activities sequentially, that way I feel less stressed and am happier. 😊

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