Dithering —- ADD Tip o the day 213

Do you sometimes get in a dither?  A few days ago I was dithering (is that a word?)  Had a lot to do, tho no more than usual.  Couldn’t get going.  Couldn’t decide where to start.  Went this way, then that way, turned in circles, got nowhere.  Strategies didn’t work – pick the hardest part first, break into small steps, make shorter list – wasn’t overwhelmed or stuck, just couldn’t get started.  

So I piddled – did a few small things – made a phone call, cleaned up a corner of my desk, edited a list.  Let the big things, the list of five, just sit a while. And it worked!  I was doing something, got myself moving, and then was able to start on one of the real tasks.


a new strategy for ADD or ADHD -piddle.

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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8 Responses to Dithering —- ADD Tip o the day 213

  1. Great tip…yes of course dithering is a word. My mother used to accuse my father and I of it all the time…what would irk her the most was when we would be dithering at the same time, right in front of her…oblivious of course that the other was even there.

    Piddling as a solution – sounds kind of like a sports play…I like it.


  2. Pingback: To Dither, Or Not To Dither : Indecisiveness and ADHD « ADHD For Dummies

  3. ok, i like the blog.you sent
    (i dont understand urls)


  4. Yup. All the time.

    Two thoughts:

    1. A boss of mine told me in 2004 that the way he ensures he doesn’t lay in bed destroying himself as a failure is this: He makes his habit, his priority, each and every morning (or night before) to make a list of three things of intrinsic value that he wants to accomplish. Even, depending on his emotional state, something as small as “wash undies.”

    Why? Because if each day he completes those three tasks, no matter how big or minuscule they may seem, when he lays in bed at night exhausted, and the “you suck” you’re worthless” dialogue starts singing him to sleep, it’s the only tangible thing he can combat it with: proof that he did accomplish something and he’s not worthless.

    (On really bad days, when your fighting the lower realm of the spin down into a depressive cycle, just one thing of intrinsic value can make the difference.)

    2. I’ll never ever forget something that happened to me a few years ago: I was out at completed job sites with our photographer. I had a list of 20 sites we needed photography of, and we got to project number 8, an office building.

    We found the location but the address didn’t add up. The name on the sign differed and we needed to make sure we photographed the correct spot. I called the office: all at lunch. Called cell phones: no answer. I left message after message, drove around the building, grew more frustrated. Grew angry. 30 minutes passed. Still no answer.

    Then my photographer, Craig Davis, from Studio 563 in Houston looked at me and said “why don’t we just go to another job site and when we talk to someone and get the correct info we’ll come back?”


    Why didnt I think of that? I spent nearly an hour dithering, so laser focused on a single problem, that I couldn’t break away, refocus on the larger picture. It never dawned on me to GO ON TO SOMETHING ELSE.

    And oftentimes, we are supposed to just go do something else.


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