ADHD / Coping Strategies

Strange ADHD Coping Skills: Obstacle Creation

The term obstacle creation could be used to describe a lot of ADHD malfunctions, honestly, but there’s one particular type of obstacle creation that I use to actually make myself MORE productive, and to trigger my memory. Let me illustrate…yesterday I was having a tea party at my house. That meant I had to clean the house. Well I’d been pecking away at it all week, so it wasn’t too bad, really. I mean…aside from my “squirrel pile”, occupying an entire corner of the livingroom.

The Squirrel Pile is my little staging area where I put my stuff. Purse, coat, keys, other things I need (I have a lot of things I need to bring with me throughout the week). Well I don’t remember the last time I uncluttered it, and it was nearly as tall as our 8-yr-old, as of yesterday morning. Oops. Company coming over was a perfect reason to hit the plunger on the dynamite.

Rather than using actual explosives, I asked two of the kids to help me grab and ferry all the stuff upstairs…and I told them to put it on my bed. I would never be able to go to bed without mostly sorting through and putting away all. That. Stuff.

If you have ADHD, I know what you’re thinking: I could have just thrown it on the floor. Or on some other surface. Well, smartypants, you’re wrong. I have a cat whose love of peeing on things in the Floor Kingdom means that nothing can be left on the floor. I also had no other clean surfaces upon which to place a new pile. I got the pile mostly sorted, before going to bed.

I do this frequently, and I find it works pretty well: I put problems that I need to deal with in unignorable places, so that I HAVE to deal with them. It takes more effort to try to get out of it than to just do it (though I may be swearing while I’m doing it, haha). So I just do it.

And it feels REALLY good to have that pile GONE.



6 thoughts on “Strange ADHD Coping Skills: Obstacle Creation

  1. We have one of those cats too except when she is mad at me, she pees on the dining room table. That table used to be a catch all. Not anymore. LOL

  2. I have a purse/daybag/coat/hat/whatnot chair…and part of the table in front of the chair. Things that should go out the door with me in the morning (except I can’t put lunchy stuff there-wish I could–lunch left on counter happens instead:(

  3. I do some of that obstacle creation, though I have so much to deal with, those obstacles some times get ignored. And we used to have one of those cats, although my family never fully grasped the no stuff on the floor concept. Life is extra complicated for us, isn’t it?

    • Sometimes it is 🙂 One kid keeps leaving the same bag on the floor and I’ve been like a broken record for months, saying “the cat is going to pee on that”. Well, the cat peed on it this morning. OOPS.

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