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It seems like everyone on the internet is constantly talking about consistency and always being productive at all times and how that’s the ONLY way to be successful in life - and I call BS on it, so let’s talk about what consistency looks like with ADHD.
What successful people do - or not.
The messaging business owners and entrepreneurs receive is constant.
Must get up at 5am.
Must exercise immediately.
Must have morning routine with 10 steps including an ice cold shower - or else your day is doomed.
Everyone just LOOOOVES Atomic Habits (it IS a good book, just not for me).
And they make it sound oh so simple: just attach habits to a habit you already have. Easy. Like brush teeth + take vitamins + change into sports clothes.
Nothing can go wrong with that right?
Because everyone has habits right?
Nothing in my life is a habit - and I bet it isn’t in yours either.
[Other than maybe the endless coffee drinking, but I’m not counting that.]
Let’s be honest.
Nothing in my life happens on a schedule.
I don’t get up at the same time INTENTIONALLY (it’s always at some point between 6 and 7 but I don’t set an alarm).
I don’t always go to the bathroom first BEFORE making said coffee.
I don’t eat at the same time every day - heck I forget to eat at times.
I don’t work at the same time or in the same place every day.
I re-invent my life basically from scratch every single day.
I sort of follow my body, my brain and my energy levels - within reason.
Sounds great, but if I did that, I would get NOTHING done.
So I am dependent on my businesses to pay me money.
I have a decent amount of motivation to get up in the mornings and start another day. There are a lot of things I want to try and if I don’t get my arse in gear, I know I won’t get round to anything.
I also have clients and team members that want stuff from me and they get annoyed if I ignore them.
And I doubt that you live in a vacuum - and you just want to be a cucumber all day every day, and other people around you are okay with that.
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What actually happens in my life
Realistically I am always going to be slow to get moving until I feel like I’m behind. Then I’m suddenly thinking “oh shizzle, better get working” then I get REALLY into it. I catch up, and then I’m ahead of everyone else.
Then it doesn’t interest me anymore until I get behind again. And then guess what I pick it up again until I’m ahead.
And now I’m going to ask you a question:
Who said you have to get 1% better EVERY DAY, instead of getting 10% better once a week, or 20% better once every 2 weeks?
Why is it bad to work in spurts when the energy comes and go with that flow and ride the wave until it crashes. I’m writing this at 8pm because I FELT like it. I was playing video games 2 hours ago instead of working and now I had this spark of an idea and the energy to write this.
Who says writing 1 blog post per week is better than writing 12 in a day?
Who says listing 1 item on etsy per day is better than just dropping 30 items once every 30 days?
Yes in the short term algorithm bla bla bla, but in the long run over YEARS to come, is this going to matter?
And we’re not playing the short game here, we’re in it for the long haul.
My theory is this:
The reason why you get nothing done when you give yourself free reigns “to follow your energy levels” is because EITHER you’re completely burnt out from being forced into “consistency” for years and you NEED to recover.
You wake up in the mornings, had a really bad sleep and don’t have high energy. So you don’t start work right away. Then you start to tell yourself that you suck.
Now you feel worse than before.
So you think you should really start something NOW, but what’s the point because you already know you suck.
And your clients probably hate you anyways.
And you’re sure that sarcastic message from a fellow colleague of yours was meant to be insulting.
Then you start to REALLY panic that more than half the day is now gone and then your brain says “screw that” no point doing anything now anyways, cause the day is basically finished.
I think it’s not the “following of the energy” that is keeping you unproductive, but the little voice of all of the people in the past telling you to be consistent - and that you’re a failure if you’re not.
So I am telling you today: Screw consistency, unless it REALLY matters somewhere.
It’s time to cut that voice out.
Plan your week and think of all the REALLY important things you need to get done. Roughly guess how many hours that is. Put those hours in your calendar but don’t be required to stick to it religiously - as long as they are ALL done by the end of the week, you’re good.
Then Monday comes…
It’s content writing time - and you must write content for at least the time that is in your calendar. Or you must switch it with another activity from later in the week if you feel more inspired to do that today.
I have more creative days, then I have more analytical days, then I have more braindead days, so I happily shift stuff around so that it works for me - and I don’t tell myself that there is anything wrong with me for doing that, because it’s ALLOWED - it’s my life.
Let go of the belief that you must start work at x time, or finish work at x time. If you work better in the dark, work in the dark.
Do what works for you, and say bye to the voices once and for all and you WILL make progress, just not as linear as everyone wants you to believe it HAS to be.
I’ve lived my whole life like that and I don’t feel like I need to be ashamed anymore because I know that I’m just one hyperfocus away from getting everything sorted, and I just wait for it to come.