Dammit, Planning Shouldn’t Be This Hard

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I thought that when I decided not to get another job after getting laid off, life would get easier.

Silly girl.

I keep forgetting ADHD.

Right now, I’m frustrated. I spend so much time on planning and checking things off lists, creating more lists, getting things from one list to another, et-freaking-cetera, that I get more done on the days I blow off the entire process. But then things start to fall through the cracks again, and soon I’m back to where I was Before Planning (BP.)


Organization and steady progress on many projects has never been my strong point. No, I’ve always done better with a tight deadline and a clear goal: Squash that bug. Write that report. Teach that class. Grade those exams. In the past I’ve done the top priority item and let the rest of my life slide. In ADHD terms, if I could hyperfocus I could get X done. I could often induce hyperfocus by sheer deadline panic. NaNoWriMo of course works on the principle of artificially inducing deadline panic every November.

I made some writing progress earlier this week by simply letting myself hyperfocus on it. It was surprisingly easy — I just ignored everything else in my life. I had no clean clothing; the dishes had piled up and were starting to smell. I was living on leftovers and frozen gluten-free pizza. I hadn’t bathed or brushed my teeth or gone out driving to make money or exercised, but by God writing was happening.

It was just like being in grad school.

Ya know, I make good plans. Even if they take me longer than I think they should to create, they’re good plans. They do great at helping me to remember to do routine stuff such as laundry, dishes, and personal hygiene. But plans seem to have no place in how I accomplish important stuff — and important stuff seems incompatible with daily maintenance.

I don’t know where I’m going with this rant. Maybe I need to give up the delusion that I can make daily, steady progress on writing. Heaven knows that my NaNoWriMo wins were anything but a steady, daily 1,667 words. No, I had days of no progress and days of 5,000-word glory. Perhaps I should try instead to do the minimum routine for health daily — and then have BoringStuff days and SandraGetsToWrite days.

I may as well give it a try. What I’ve been doing hasn’t worked.

gaelle kermen

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