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Procrastination or ADD?

I want to talk to you today about procrastination and distraction. I feel like I’m struggling with this and don’t want to admit it.

I know… you’ve heard me talk about this before. I talk a lot about working on my website or making music, but instead of actually working on it, I keep doing research or watching other content about it. Preparing to start. Waiting for my body to give me the green light that it’s go time. It’s getting close!

I can get pretty down on myself honestly. I’m always trying to curb ​my perfectionism​, which I think is a big reason why I’ve been delaying “just starting” on my website rebuild. I’m trying to learn how to do it right, and kind of nervous to get my hands dirty knowing I don’t know everything. Knowing I am not as good as these other guys.

I watched a ​livestream​ of Mark Szymanski, a WordPress developer rebuilding his own personal website. He mentioned feeling like he’s being too much of a perfectionist and it’s preventing him from actually building it. He’s watched too much ​Kevin Geary content​ and feels like he’s behind. Same here man!

Another thing delaying me is some of the tools I’ll be using are just about to release new versions. ​Bricks Builder​ is currently on v1.9.9 (beta) and ​ACSS 3.0​ is in beta and about to be released any day now. Nothing is stopping me from buying their current versions and upgrading later, but something feels better to my brain to wait for the major release.

And I’ve got two songs at 99% complete just waiting for me to say I’m done. Then I can master them, do the cover art and make a video, and release them. I go through phases where creative work is super important to me and other times when it’s other stuff, such as emotional or spiritual healing.

Procrastination or ADD?

Sometimes I blame myself and feel guilty for “being this way.” Wishing I was better and comparing myself against people who seem to be thriving and producing the way I want to. Sometimes I feel like an under-watered plant doing my best to grow in the environment he’s been planted in.

What if instead of criticizing the plant for not growing properly, we actually look at what kind of plant it is and provide it the right environment conducive of its growth. A plant is gonna grow tall and strong when it’s got the right soil and nutrients and is properly watered and cared for.

I started Googling for answers about why I get so distracted. Why it’s so frustrating to write and I overthink everything. I came across resources for ADD and I started to feel understood.

Do I have ADD?

Maybe, but don’t we all to some degree? Or is ADD just the ​neurological condition of late capitalism​?

I hope I’m not offending anyone with ADD here, but part of me is worried about ​using it as an excuse​. Perhaps that’s just because I’m viewing it through the lens of our productivity-obsessed consumer culture. If you’re not functioning well within the system, you are disordered and need therapy to sort yourself out. Not just a normal response to a effed-up system.

But if I’m honest with myself, maybe I do need to consider it. It does run in my family. A lot of the symptoms overlap with CPTSD and other coping mechanisms from being raised with ​adverse childhood experiences​. Despite all the dysfunction me and my siblings grew up with, my entire family is highly intelligent and creative, it’s just blocked by trauma, mental illness, and lack of proper support.

Giftedness?

A few years ago, I read about ​Gifted Adults​ and some light bulbs went off. I’m hesitant to call myself gifted, but the traits are just too accurate to ignore. I’m also skeptical of any personality tests that seem to prop up the ego and make you feel more important or special than other people. But if it’s an accurate assessment, I should lean into this and stop denying it.

gifted adult

If I viewed myself as a special type of plant with unique needs, I could take care of myself better. Provide myself an environment that supports my quirks instead of quietly feeling guilty about it. I spend a lot of mental energy worrying that I’m going to get in trouble for not working hard or not working on the right things (hence my podcast We Should Be Working).

So even though I spend a lot of time alone and doing self care, it can feel like I’m stealing time away from something or someone else. The guilt comes from feeling like I’m being selfish and just making excuses for not showing up for others in the right way. I get defensive when someone challenges me on this and I’m sorry. I’m still fighting off “the man” in my head years into grown adulthood.

Edit: I’m re-reading that last paragraph and I make it seem like it’s always this way. It’s not. I have good and bad days. Gotta give myself some credit.

I’ve been bringing this up to Cara, who also shares a lot of ​gifted traits​ but she doesn’t call herself gifted. Sometimes she compares her life to those she grew up with who all have families with a nice house and successful career. She feels like the oddball, dreaming of living off the grid in her own version of ​Walden​ where she can write and commune with spirit. Highly intelligent and creative, profoundly sensitive and socially attuned, but struggles mentally, battling OCD, perfectionism, and anxiety.

If we remember that we are indeed gifted, and allow ourselves to design a lifestyle that supports that, we can thrive. We can feel good about living up to our own standards, rooted in self love and self respect. We are getting better at this. We set up a weekly couple’s meeting to make it more intentional.

So yeah, we’re working on it.

Is procrastination even a thing?

I wonder if procrastination is even real. Who’s the judge?

Does nature procrastinate?

Think about that.

Am I actually supposed to be working on what that oh-so-urgent project? Or is that unexpected emotional trigger that totally fucked my day the actual thing I am supposed to be working on? Or am I just feeling the pressure of having talked about it a lot and I don’t have anything to show for it yet?

Sometimes life happens and things unfold in their own time, in their own way. I gotta remember that and let go of control and expectations. Remember to have fun and enjoy things.

As Lao Tzu said, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

That’s about all.

Have a good weekend ✌️

Jeff

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Jeff Finley
Jeff Finley

Jeff is a graphic artist, designer, musician, writer, and mystic with a passion for truth and personal growth. He's the author of Wake Up, Maker/Mistaker, and Thread's Not Dead, as well as the creator of Starseed Supply Co. Learn more about him here.

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