Writing is a challenge

So, I had planned to get some work done on my novel this week.

Spoiler: I have not.

There are very real reasons for this – it has been a jumbled week, I had a lot of other tasks on my list, I was sick…

But I did have time and energy to write.

What I didn’t do was the very thing I advise all my clients to do.

I did not get specific about my writing plans.

‘Work on my novel’ is not a specific plan, it’s a very general one. And besides, how will I know when I’m done?

‘Write an argument between Mike and Bug about the missing key chain’ – that’s specific.

I need to get that kind of specific about my next set of writing plans.

Unfortunately, that takes some forethought and planning and my brain is not cooperating on that sort of thing at the moment.

Brains can be such jerks.

A weekend’s work

I have had a very interruption-heavy couple of weeks and I have been having trouble getting some important tasks finished.

And that has been hard on my brain.

Everyone has trouble rebounding from interruptions but for those of us with ADHD interruptions are even more dangerous. Not only does the effort to get back on task take even more energy than it does for the average person but there is also the risk of getting even more distracted in the process.

And then my brain likes to toss around the idea that the delay in finishing things is due to something I “should” have been able to account for.

Once upon a time, those “should” thoughts were loud and would completely derail me but since being medicated they mostly just cause me some static. I’m not fully aware of them but they just kind of clutter up part of my brain.

And, of course, if my brain is cluttered then it is hard for me to make any of my plans or tasks really clear.

Which makes it hard for me to do them.

Which compounds the initial problem that the interruptions caused.

Which is why I have decided to spend a good chunk of my Saturday working to clear the backlog and get my brain decluttered.

Saturdays are usually pretty straightforward days with fewer interruptions.

Let’s see how it goes.

Sticking with a plan?

I often have trouble sticking with plans I made for getting my work done.

Either I underestimate the work involved, I forget about travel time, or I make some similar error and get on my own nerves.

Oh, and sometimes I plan for a regular day just when I have a bunch of unusual days coming up in a row.

Yesterday, I made a place for an ordinary day today but I had to pick up my car, go to the supermarket, and head to an appointment by 9:30.

That’s not an ordinary day so I couldn’t use my plan for an ordinary start.

Luckily, I have gotten past the point where I think that means I have failed. And I have stopped abandoning the whole plan when one thing goes wrong.

I still have a little trouble deciding how to change the original plan to match my reality though.

I guess these things just take time. 😉

A work time experiment

Tomorrow, I’m going to assign a time to each group of tasks and see if it helps my brain focus,

I really want my work days to feel more orderly and solid.

And I want it to be clear when I’m done for the day.

If it works, great!

If it doesn’t, I want to commit to tweaking the process instead of tossing it out and starting over.

Let’s see how it goes.

Classic Me Mistake

Before I was diagnosed/medicated, one of the ways that I would regularly overestimate my capacity was to assume that I could get just as much done on a meeting-filled day as I could on a day with no outside commitments.

I’m not sure if the problem was that I was imagining the meetings were taking less time than they were – equating them with a a quickly done task – or that I thought I could scale the other tasks to fit into the time available after the meetings.

I don’t do that regularly any more but every now and then I make that classic me mistake.

Today was one of those times.