How many projects do you have going right now? And maybe more importantly, how many do you have that are still incomplete that you’ve lost interest in?
You know I’m asking because that’s an issue for me right now.
Let’s see, I’ve got a bathroom to paint, an entire set of furniture to paint and then make slipcovers for, endless gardening projects, and did I mention I’m sort of re-decorating the house? (Actually, it’s never been what anyone would consider decorated, so it’s more like I’m just starting – 4 years after we moved in.)
Ones that I’ve abandoned? I don’t even know or want to know.
My excuse is my ADHD. I’m easily distracted you know. There’s something about a sparkly new idea or object that just appeals to me. And yes, I mean that in all senses of the word. I try to keep glitter and sparkle way under control in my life, but in secret I could be quite tacky if given the chance.
Anyway, this tendency to jump from one thing to another is typical of ADHD. It’s what they mean when they say we have trouble focusing, or are easily distracted or have an inability to complete things.
Yes, yes we do. So what?
I know that those tendencies drive people crazy, including us at times. And I know that there are times when I feel guilty about starting something new when the last thing is incomplete.
But you don’t always have to feel that way.
You have to take stock of what you’re doing and why you’re doing and where it is on the importance scale.
For instance, let’s say one of your projects is to fix the kitchen faucet and another is to learn to make stained glass.
If you’re fixing the kitchen faucet, that means that it’s broken somehow, and that it’s very important for your family’s daily activities that it be operating properly. It’s certainly not the most exciting thing to do, but in this case, it’s important that you complete it. You may have to force yourself to keep at it, but in this case, that’s exactly what you need to do.
Now let’s consider the stained glass project. Maybe you bought a book or took a class and got interested. So you went out and bought the supplies and started a really cool project. But somewhere along the way, you lost interest. You found yourself doing less and less with the project and then you just stopped altogether.
You can feel guilty about that, and you can even force yourself to finish it if it will make you feel better. But consider this: we do things that we enjoy and we stop doing them when they are no longer enjoyable.
In the case of the faucet, it was never fun, but necessary. Stained glass? Fun, for a while. So if the money you spent on supplies was worth the enjoyment you got out of it, then what’s the problem? Sure, you have a half finished stained glass project there, but that wasn’t really the point, was it?
Try this new viewpoint out on your project list and see what happens.