When it comes to ADD, there are plenty of co-morbid indicators. That’s a fancy, psychological jargon way of saying that ADD occurs in conjunction with other psychological and mental issues. For example, people with ADHD are more likely to also be diagnosed with depression. Whether depression is caused by ADD, or ADHD is caused by depression, or whether there is no casual relationship at all, is unknown. But, a person with ADD and depression has depression as a co-morbid indicator of ADD — or vice versa.
Another very common condition that often occurs in people with ADD is procrastination.
While everyone procrastinates sometimes, there are people, both with and without ADHD, for which procrastination is a very big problem that constantly threatens their lifestyle, rather than an annoyance. Unfortunately, adults with ADD are more likely to fall into the former category.
In fact, many undiagnosed adults with Attention Deficit Disorder never consider undergoing an evaluation for ADD because they believe that their "problem" is actually just with procrastination as opposed to a potential case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Among those diagnosed with ADD there is an ongoing difficulty in reliably distinguishing between issues that may be symptoms of ADD and those that may be more closely related to chronic procrastination. What makes determining where the obstruction to success lies so difficult is that most adults with ADHD developed procrastination habits and coping mechanisms simultaneously over the course of their life making the symptoms of ADHD indistinguishable from plain procrastination.
Books To Help With Procrastination
Books about procrastination and dealing with procrastination litter the shelves of the bookstore. Some books are better than others, but I’ve always found one very frustrating detail about procrastination help books is that they all seem hell-bent on tying procrastination to perfectionism, and therefore procrastination is caused by fear that what you do won’t be perfect.
This rings about as hollow to me as possible, and yet, it seems like many books about procrastination spend more pages on trying to "prove" that procrastination is caused by fear of failure. If you think that you do not have a fear of failure, then you just don’t understand that you are a perfectionist, and that not living up to being perfect is your problem. Therefore, procrastination is caused by perfectionism (which is just a form of fear of failure) and by the time they are ready to move on, I really don’t care what that book has to say because it no longer has any credibility in my mind. At the very least, whatever kind of procrastination that author is talking about, is not related to the procrastination from ADD that I might have.
I recently picked up a book about procrastination on a visit to the Tattered Cover bookstore. I do this all the time when I go into bookstores. I find a topic that might interest me and then I read a page or two from the book to see if it sounds like something that I might give enough weight to to actually read the book instead of dismissing it as some self-help guru’s attempt to make money off of some newspaper column or TV show appearance that they have. Most of the time, I just put the books back on the shelf. Something makes me roll my eyes, or think that it won’t resonate with me.
This time, however, I grabbed a copy of The Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting Things Done. I don’t really care about the title, but I happened to read a page near the beginning of the book where the author states that your inner procrastinator’s voice is very seductive, saying things like, "Oh, you can get that done later. You have plenty of time. You work better under pressure anyways." All of this sounds very familiar. But, what pushed it over the edge for me was the next paragraph which basically said, "You’re smarter than that. Don’t play the fool to that voice."
Now, THAT definitely resonated. In face, as I stood there with the book in my hand I actually felt like a fool who had been played for years by my inner procrastination voice. I’ have never really thought of it in those terms, but it has definitely given me a tiny handhold in my daily battle against procrastination, which is more than I can say for any other book about procrastinating, or focusing, or buckling down, or building new habits, that I have read in a very long time.
I haven’t read much of the book yet, so a whole-hearted endorsement of The Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting Things Done is a ways off, but I did manage to get to Chapter 3, which is titled, "What Are You Afraid Of?" — Check out the ADD tools and ADHD tips for those.
Uh, oh. Another book ruined by a tunnel-vision author who cannot let go of their "shocking, earth-shattering, enlightenment" that all procrastination is really just fear of not being perfect. But, then, just as the storm clouds gathered, something happened.
The author has a checklist that is designed to help determine if fear (of perfectionism or of failure) is your problem. That’s fair. It’s not like it is not one possible cause of procrastination, it’s just that it is not the ONLY possible explanation for why people procrastinate.
The book’s author, Monica Ramirez Basco, has a six point checklist to help determine if fear of failure / perfectionism is the issue causing your procrastination. The very next thing, is a different checklist. This procrastination checklist determines if fear of failure is NOT your problem.
That’s better than I have gotten out of any procrastination self-help book I’ve found in recent memory, so I’ll keep reading. In fact, I was so excited, I came right to Addessories to share my find with others who have ADHD and procrastination issues and might like to have a possible ADD and procrastination resource.
Ironically, it’s near the end of the month and I have tons of writing projects due, so technically, this who post is procrastination. But, at least I’m writing 🙂
Is Fear Causing My Procrastination Checklist
Fear is not your problem if:
- You are feeling lazy
- You are tired
- You are discouraged
- You just can’t concentrate
- You would rather be doing something else
Hello, #4 and #5! Come to Pappa!