The creative urge is... hey, focus!

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, January 31, 2023, 12:03 AM | comments: 0

I am feeling pretty energized lately about doing creative stuff. I'm not entirely sure what's driving that, and honestly I'm not sure it matters. I mean, I'm a little curious about the origin, if only to bottle it and use it when I'm not feeling it.

It wasn't that long ago that I was obsessed about lighting, and I still am. But I'm also kind of obsessed about how to replace the cabinets in our butler's pantry with some shelves that have embedded lights in them. I remembered last weekend how much I love photography. And of course, I want to shoot video so bad that I can taste it, and I have plans for that where I need to make a schedule. Oh, and I have some software coding projects in mind, too.

This is the most intense these urges have been since possibly my late 20's. What's hard is that I can't seem to focus on any one of the things. I am feeling the ADHD with self-awareness that I haven't had before. It's said that ADHD can be a superpower when you can settle into a hyperfocus mode, but it seems hard to choose that mode. I just find myself in it when doing certain things like writing code, or playing a LEGO video game. Task switching is generally difficult for people with ADHD, but I find that when I break things down into little chunks, it actually makes multitasking possible. You should see my first hour of work... I'm checking work and personal email, knocking out that Wordle, catching up on Slack messages, scanning my Facebook memories, reviewing the sprint board for my team... I'm doing all of that. So how do I apply that to the creative endeavors that take a lot longer?

I know now that so much of the struggle that I've experienced has come from fighting myself. I didn't know I had ADHD in school and college, but its effects caused a lot of self-loathing. I thought my inability to focus and finish things was a personality flaw, not brain chemistry. Now I know to lean into it, and I feel like it's helping me professionally. The challenge now is learning to apply it to creative things.

A concrete example of this is to look at all of those things that I want to do, choose one, and look for a smaller, interim outcome. I can get one of those video things scheduled, then I can move on to some prototyping for the code thing. For the shelving, I can map out what I would need to do it. If I can't focus on one thing, focus on all the things in short bursts. Again, it's what I do at work. What I hope might happen is that one of these things drift into hyperfocus, and then the outcomes are bigger.


No comments yet.

Post your comment: