Target you motivating factor with ADHD.
Table of Contents
In my last post, I talked about why people with ADHD struggle with motivation and identified some tools to help get the momentum needed to start going on tasks. You can read about that here. Expanding on motivation a little more, there are four things that tend to be high motivating factors for people with ADHD. Time constraint, novelty, competition, and passion.
ADDitude magazine says motivation is like having “erectile dysfunction of the mind.” If the task is something that turns you on then you are all for it and have no problem performing. But if the task is not something that is interesting to you, or doesn’t turn you on, then you cannot perform.
Time constraint as a motivating factor with ADHD.
The pressure is on when you have a short amount of time to get something done. This is typically a high motivating factor with ADHD. people with ADHD are typically reactive instead of proactive, and I will talk more about that in another post. This reactivity is great when it comes to time constraints. You can jump in and get something done in a very short amount of time.
This is why people with ADHD tend to procrastinate and often they do some of their best work in a very short amount of time. This tends to reinforce that procrastination is a good way to go about completing schoolwork or work projects.
Novelty as a motivating factor with ADHD.
If you have ADHD chances are you have started several different projects because you found them new and exciting and dove in headfirst. The novelty of a new project is enticing and gives a surge of dopamine which motivates you to jump into that project. The downside of this motivating factor is that you may find you start a project and collect everything you need for the project only to lose interest in it shortly after.
Or you bounce around from project to project. You start one project because it’s new and exciting but then another novel idea comes along so then you start a new project. This happens because the new project gives you more dopamine than the one you’re currently working on, so you may find you bounce around without completing any one project.
Competition as a motivating factor with ADHD.
Competition can be highly motivating. This could be competition against another person or competition with it being a challenging task. Competition gives you that extra burst of dopamine, but it also gives you adrenaline that hypes you up and motivates you to complete the task. This can be a great tool to help motivate you to complete tasks if you can find an accountability partner that challenges you.
You must be careful with this motivating factor though because of that adrenaline. You may find that you crash after completing a task that was motivated by competition due to the spike of adrenaline.
Passion as a motivating factor with ADHD.
Passion is an amazing motivating factor with ADHD. People with ADHD often have a strong creative side. You can achieve beautiful things when this creative side is paired with passion. When you are passionate about something, it floods your brain with all the different sorts of positive chemicals, not just dopamine.
This passion driven motivation is why it is important to find a career that you find purpose and meaning in, otherwise, you may find that you bounce from job to job or often call in sick to work.
You can use these for motivating factors with tasks that you currently struggle to find motivation to complete. You can play a timed game with household chores to see how fast you can get your chores done. Find an accountability partner that will help challenge you. Identify something within the task that you find interesting or that you can be passionate about to help increase motivation.