Why not just hang up the clothes?

A quick follow up to last week’s post. It occurs to me that a neurotypical person might wonder why I don’t just hang up the clothes in the closet or put them back in the drawer at the end of the day. That’s what my neurotypical wife does… which still amazes me on some level after 13 years of marriage and 15 years of living together.

Well the answer is hard to articulate but really gets to the heart of what ADHD really is. When we think “focus,” we generally think about sitting still in a lecture or something of that type. But one of the most under-appreciated and least recognized ways that a lack of focus affects us is the ability to do simple but routine and boring tasks. As ADHDers, because of our brain chemistry, we experience boredom in a way that a neurotypical person would have a hard time understanding. (I think I’ll do a post on just the boredom issue soon.) And, there is very little that is more boring for us than routine tasks like doing dishes, dealing with the mail, folding and putting away laundry, etc.

This deficit is often attributed to motivation… or lack thereof. Personally I think lack of initiation is closer to the truth, but really, it’s just attention. It takes so much attention for us to focus on boring and routine tasks that it is far easier to not do them. The longer term consequences of having a messy room or a cluttered house just aren’t as compelling in the moment as the desire to avoid the excruciating boredom of engaging in the behaviors necessary to avoid that messy room.

Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.

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