Planning Slightly In Advance

I really struggle with planning things in advance.

I know this is related to my ADHD, and it has to do with having trouble imagining a different time than now.

So I can imagine a time in the future when something is done and what that will look like. (Not everyone with ADHD can do that some people have trouble envisioning done.)

And I know what things are like now.

But I have trouble imagining the place in between those two. The place where the work is actually getting done where there’s a step-by-step process.

And if I’m very stressed, I have trouble imagining that time when things will be done.

I know that lots of people plan things for their future imagining that they’ll be much more organized much more clear, much more prepared than they are right now. Apparently, though, if left to my own devices, I will do that to an extreme extent.

If I don’t choose to be conscious of it, my imagined self automatically has the skills and materials required to do the thing. I will default to imagining that any task will be easier, more straightforward, in the future. After all I will have somehow magically gained different skills and capacities by then.

It takes a lot of energy for me to sit down and think about that in between time. It takes a lot of energy for me to remember that I’m not going to magically gain the skills or resources. It takes a lot of energy for me to break down that imagined completed task into the parts that need to be done.

And that ties into the task, initiation challenges that people with ADHD face, gathering the energy to begin a task, I have to battle two different ADHD tendencies in order to make a plan.

However, I do have better abilities for the short term future.

I am often easily able to marshal the energy to plan out a day or to plan ahead for the next morning.

I think it’s because I can easily imagine the future self who will benefit from those actions and I know that there is no time to get magically better at the tasks in the meantime.

For example, today, I cooked the meat I will be using for supper and made something for lunch all before 9 o’clock this morning.

And I love the feeling I have right now.

Instead of envisioning my day with the herd stop it 4:30 or 5 o’clock to get supper started, things feel a little looser at the end of the day, but in a good way.

And instead of giving myself a mental picture of making lunch at 12:30 I can skip ahead and just imagine that I’m sitting down at 1 o’clock to eat.

As I say that now I’m wondering – Does everybody actually sort of visualize themselves through the day in one way or another?

Hmm, maybe that’s a whole other post to consider.